Elizabeth Woody is a poet and educator of Navajo, Wasco, and Yakama descent and is an enrolled tribal member of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. Woody’s writing focuses on the histories of her ancestors, the rich Pacific Northwest landscape, and the experience of being a tribal member, an American, and a woman in contemporary society. Woody is the winner of the American Book Award. In 2016, she was named the eighth poet laureate of Oregon—the first person of American Indian heritage to hold that honor. Oregon poets laureate are appointed by the governor and serve a two-year term as cultural ambassadors, traveling around the state to share the power of reading and writing poetry. In this lesson, students will explore and analyze Woody’s poetry. Students will have the opportunity to listen to Woody speak about her work and her relationship with language and the landscape. They will reflect on and discuss her perspective and the process by which she writes. Students will also learn a structured strategy for analyzing poetic text and recognizing key themes. Finally, students will demonstrate what they have learned by creating a group analysis and presentation of one of Woody’s poems.
English Language Arts
High School
Material Type:
Lesson, Lesson Plan
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