On Summer

by George Moses Horton

Writing Workshop

Workshop Title: Seasons

Step 1

Ask your students, “What’s your favorite season? Why?” Briefly discuss.

Step 2

Read “On Summer” by George Moses Horton. When you’re done, briefly discuss the season, as is expressed by the speaker. How do they feel about it? And how do they express those feelings?

Step 3

Say, “Focus on a specific season and simply write down how you feel about it. Try to mention all of its qualities, not only what you “love” or “hate” about it.” Then give them a few minutes to brainstorm.

Step 4

Ask your students to compose a poem similar in sentiment to “On Summer” in which they express their feelings or attitude toward a particular season.

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

Start the lesson by simply showing your students the following video about “duality.”

Step 3

When the video is done, ask your students to discuss “duality.” What is “duality”? How do the characters in the video reflect the concept? Field a few responses.

Step 4

Now ask them to find the dualities present in other aspects of life. First, ask them to identify dualities in other pop–culture characters. Then ask them to identify the dualities in nature. Finally, ask them to identify the duality of the summer. Field a few responses and briefly discuss.

Step 5

Read “On Summer” by George Moses Horton. As you are reading, ask your students to pay attention to the “duality” present in summer, as is expressed by the speaker.

Step 6

Ask your students to open the following document and go over the instructions with them. In this assignment, your students are going to create “memes” and discuss them to convey their understanding of the “duality” of summer, as is depicted in the poem. When your students are done, give them time to work on the assignment.

Step 7

When your students are done, have a few of them share their memes with the rest of the class. Instead of having each student explain their meme to their peers, have the class discuss how the memes reflect one of the dualities present in the piece. Share a few memes and let the students discuss.

Step 8

If time permits, show your students the exemplar essay.

Lesson Details

Lesson Info


  • Various


  • Appreciation
  • Community / Culture
  • Environment / Environmental Justice
  • Food / Hunger
  • Joy
  • Labor / Work

Literary Tags

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