During Lockdown, I Let the Dog Sleep in My Bed Again

by Maggie Smith

Photo by Devon Albeit

Writing Workshop

Workshop Title: Lockdown

Step 1

Start by watching the embedded video. Then ask your students to discuss their feelings during the lockdown or the pandemic as its peak.

Step 2

Read “During Lockdown, I Let the Dog Sleep in My Bed Again” by Maggie Smith. When you’re done, briefly discuss the various feelings the speaker expressed throughout the poem.

Step 3

Say, “Take some time to come up with a list of feelings that you experienced during the “lockdown.” Then come up with reasons that explain why you felt that way.”

Step 4

Have your students write a poem like “During Lockdown, I Let the Dog Sleep in My Bed Again” in which they convey their feelings & emotions during the lockdown.

Step 5

When the students are done, have them share their responses with one another.

The full presentation may be found HERE.

Analytical Lesson

Area of Focus: Tone

Step 1

There are several steps to this assignment and you will have to do a little bit of prep before assigning this lesson. In short, your students are going to use a free online program to highlight the text of a poem, then create their analysis based around the class’s results. Before they are able to do that, you will need to create the template for them. Directions on how to create that template can be found in this presentation.

Step 2

If your students are not familiar with the concept of tone or tonal shifts, go through the introductory lesson.

Step 3

Start by asking your students to write down or think of three different descriptors of how they felt during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. Then have them share out and briefly ask them to explain why they felt that way.

Step 4

Open the following presentation and go through the overview and instructions with them. For this part of the assignment, your students are going to use the template you’ve created in Prism to create their annotations/highlights of the poem.

Step 5

When your students are done (maybe after 10 minutes or so), display the “visualization” of their response on the board for each of the three different facets/tones. Then briefly get some student feedback about why they decided to highlight certain lines of the poem in those colors.

Step 6

After a few responses, have your students open the following document and go over the instructions with them. This document is where they will record their “official” responses to the poem.

Step 7

When your students are done, have them share their responses with the rest of the class.

Lesson Details

Lesson Info


  • Tone


  • Appreciation
  • Children / Youth
  • Death / Grief
  • Family
  • Joy
  • Love
  • Mental Health
  • Parenting

Literary Tags

  • Diction
  • Figurative Language
  • Imagery
  • Selection of Detail
  • Tone