Langston Hughes and Walt Whitman; Venn Diagrams

Ashley Luedtke

  • Disciplinary Literacy Skill: Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text. (RL.9-10.4) (DOK 1,2,3)
  • Critical Literacy Skill(s): Interrogating multiple viewpoints
  • Instructional Resources Needed:

Step by Step Instructions

  1. I will first give students a Venn diagram that focuses on Hughes I Too, Sing America and Whitman’s I Hear America Singing.
  2. I will assign students to groups of four to work on this activity. As they are analyzing, it will be helpful to talk about their ideas with their peers.
  3. Using close reading skills, they will compare and contrast the ideas of the poems and how they relate to each other.
    • Whitman was a White Male author living in the 1800’s and wrote his poems based on the pride he had in America.
    • Hughes was a Black Male author living in the early 1900’s and wrote his poem based on his own pride and how black people were treated in America.
  4. Students will then analyze the pieces from a modern lens and how they could change if the poems were written in modern times.
    • Students will notice ideas that are on either Hughes’ side of the diagram or Whitman’s side of the diagram and underline them if they could apply to a current modern lense for both authors.
Video Demonstration

About the author

I’m from Norwalk, Iowa but I moved four separate times before I started Middle School at Norwalk. I’ve always enjoyed English classes, and I want to instill appreciation into any students that I might have in the future. When I was in high school, I was often the one that my friends would go to when they needed help with their essays, and it just felt normal to go into teaching after that. I’ve had 8 dogs in my lifetime, with many more hopefully to come.