The Hill We Climb

by Amanda Gorman

Photo by Patrick Temansky

Writing Workshop

Workshop Title: Inauguration

Step 1

Ask your students, “What’s your take on America’s past, present, and future? What hopes do you have for our country as you look forward?”

Step 2

Have your students watch Amanda Gorman’s inaugural poem “The Hill We Climb.” Then ask them to talk about the vision she holds toward America’s future.

Step 3

Tell your students that they are tasked with – just like Amanda Gorman was – coming up with an inauguration day poem in which they share their vision of America. Give your students some time to brainstorm some ideas that would be appropriate for an inauguration day poem that will be broadcast to millions of people around the world.

Step 4

Have your students write an inauguration day poem in which they offer their vision of the future of America.

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: tone, diction, figurative language, structure, structure (rhyme scheme), syntax, imagery, sound devices, and selection of detail.

Step 2

Have your students watch Amanda Gorman’s performance of “The Hill We Climb.” Then briefly discuss the vision she holds for America’s past, present, and future.

Step 3

Have your students open the following document and go over the instructions with them. For this assignment, the students will have to go through the poem and analyze four different literary elements Gorman uses to convey her attitude. Then the students will have to create a one-pager that reflects her hopeful vision of America.

Step 4

When the students are done, have them share their analyses and examples. Or you may share the following student sample.

Lesson Details

Lesson Info


  • Various


  • Appreciation
  • Children / Youth
  • Class
  • Community / Culture
  • Creativity / Imagination / Writing
  • Family
  • Friendship
  • History
  • Joy
  • Labor / Work
  • Love
  • Philosophy
  • Race / Ethnicity / Racism
  • Social Movements / Protest

Literary Tags

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