first date

by David F. Schultz

Writing Workshop

Workshop Title: Horror

Step 1

Ask your students, “What immediately comes to mind upon looking at the image on the following slide?” Then show them the image on the next slide.

Step 2

Read the poem “first date” by David F. Schultz, a “horror” poem written from the perspective from somebody about to perform an autopsy. When you’re done reading, briefly discuss if the speaker of the piece reflects some of the points of conversation held a few minutes prior.

Step 3

Say, “Think of a person from a horror movie, story, poem, etc. whose perspective you’d be interested in exploring for a short while. Who is this character? What do they feel? What do they think?” Then give your students 5-10 minutes to brainstorm.

Step 4

Ask your students to compose a “horror” poem similar in sentiment to “first date” in which they write from the perspective of another person.

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: Various

Step 1

This lesson allows students to analyze various concepts and skills, so it is recommended that you have covered several of the “standalone” lessons before assigning this one.

Step 2

Show your students the following video, a brief profile on a mortician. Then ask your students if they thought the subject of the piece “looked the part” of a mortician, or what they perceived morticians to be like. Discuss.

Step 3

Now read “first date” by David F. Schultz. Ask your students if the speaker in this poem acted more in line with their initial assumptions about morticians. Then ask how the poem depicted him in such a manner.

Step 4

Have your students open the following document and lead them through the slides. In this assignment, your students are going to have to create a visual representation – in the form of a movie poster – of the speaker’s “complex response” moments before performing an autopsy. Then give your students time to work on the assignment.

Step 5

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

Step 6

If time permits, visit the poet’s website and read through his thought process behind the construction of the poem.

Lesson Details

Lesson Info


  • Various


  • Body / Body Image
  • Death / Grief
  • Health / Health Care / Illness
  • Joy
  • Labor / Work

Literary Tags

  • Diction
  • Figurative Language
  • Imagery
  • Selection of Detail
  • Sound Devices
  • Structure (Syntax)
  • Tone

Content Warning

  • Blood
  • Death or Dying