Those Winter Sundays

by Robert Hayden

Writing Workshop

Workshop Title: Retrospect

Step 1

Say, “Try to think of a person whom you look at differently now that you’re a bit older and wiser. What did you think of this person when you were younger? Why? And what do you think of this person now? Explain your change of heart.” Then give your students time to discuss.

Step 2

Read “Those Winter Sundays” by Robert Hayden. When you’re done, briefly discuss the speaker’s feelings for their father now that they’re older and wiser. How did their feelings change?

Step 3

Have your students choose a person whom they look differently upon now that they’re a bit older and more mature. Ask them to try to develop a list of qualities about this person or a list of things that they did that seem more significant to your students in retrospect.

Step 4

Ask your students to write a poem similar in sentiment to “Those Winter Sundays” by Robert Hayden in which they express a “changed opinion” about somebody from their past.

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: Selection of Detail

Step 1

If your students are not familiar with the concept of “selection of detail,” review the introductory lesson.

Step 2

Open the following presentation and walk your students through the introductory activity. For this introductory activity, your students will watch the opening of Batman and briefly discuss how the details of the scene contribute to the development of the protagonist.

Step 3

After the students have gone through the activity and discussed their takeaways, ask them to open the following document.

Step 4

Go over the directions of the assignment with your students. In this assignment, your students will have to – like they did with the introductory activity – analyze how the details of the piece contribute to the development of its characters. Then give your students time to work.

Step 5

When your students are done, have them share their responses with one another.

Step 6

If time permits, share the exemplar essay with them to see if their responses are somewhat similar in scope.

Lesson Details

Lesson Info


  • Selection of Detail


  • Aging
  • Appreciation
  • Children / Youth
  • Education Formal / Informal
  • Family
  • Friendship
  • Home / Homelessness
  • Joy
  • Labor / Work
  • Love
  • Parenting

Literary Tags

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