In Memory of Kamau Brathwaite

by Safia Elhillo

Writing Workshop

Workshop Title: My Teacher

Step 1

Ask your students to talk about their favorite teacher of all time. Then have them discuss why they felt so fondly toward that particular person.

Step 2

Read “In Memory of Kamau Brathwaite” by Safia Elhillo with them. Then discuss the different reasons why she decided to dedicate her poem toward him.

Step 3

Give your students time to think of the different reasons why their favorite teacher was so special to them.

Step 4

Ask your students to write a piece like “In Memory of Kamau Brathwaite” in which they dedicate a poem to their favorite teacher.

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. The prominent literary devices & techniques that this particular poem includes are: diction, selection of detail, figurative language, imagery, and structure (line breaks).

Step 2

Go through the following presentation with your students. The presentation will briefly go over how to move away from simply organizing your analysis by literary device.

Step 3

Show your students the video embedded in the presentation of Safia Elhillo’s recitation of “In Memory of Kamau Brathwaite.”

Step 4

Go over the instructions with your students (in the presentation). Then have them work in the following document.

Step 5

When your students are done, have them share their responses with one another. If time permits, show them the exemplar essay.

Lesson Details

Lesson Info


  • Various


  • Appreciation
  • Community / Culture
  • Creativity / Imagination / Writing
  • Death / Grief
  • Education Formal / Informal
  • Family
  • Friendship
  • Home / Homelessness
  • Joy
  • Love

Literary Tags

  • Diction
  • Figurative Language
  • Imagery
  • Selection of Detail
  • Structure (Line Breaks)