by Lauren K. Alleyne

Writing Workshop

Workshop Title: In Remembrance

Step 1

Have your students think of a group of people who they think has been taken away unjustly or too soon. Give them time to brainstorm, then have them discuss with one another.

Step 2

Read the historical context behind the poem that they are about to read.

Step 3

Read the poem “Heaven?” aloud with your students. Then discuss how she feels about her chosen subject.

Step 4

Tell the students that they are going to write a poem written in remembrance of a group of people who were taken away unjustly and/or too soon.

Step 5

When the students, have them share their responses with the group.

The full presentation may be found HERE.

Analytical Lesson

Area of Focus: Figurative Language

Step 1

If your students are not familiar with the concept of “figurative language,” go over the introductory lesson with them.

Step 2

Have the students open up the document in which they’ll be working. Then go over the historical context behind the poem provided at the top of the page.

Step 3

Read through the directions with them, then read the poem aloud as a class. Ask them to pay particular attention to the poet’s use of figurative language.

Step 4

Ask the students what they think the poem’s message is. Then go over an example or two of the figurative language within (don’t go over it too long…that’s their job today).

Step 5

Have them complete the assignment in pairs.

Step 6

When they are done, discuss their responses. If time permits, share the exemplar essay with them.

Lesson Details

Lesson Info


  • Figurative Language


  • Criminal Justice
  • Death / Grief
  • Race / Ethnicity / Racism
  • Social Movements / Protest
  • Violence

Literary Tags

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