Discipline: ELA

Grade Level: 8

Course: Communication Arts

©Literacy Design Collaborative. September 2011

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Extended Metaphors in Walt Whitman’s “O Captain! My Captain!”
Overview
  • Module Description
    • “O Captain! My Captain!” is one of Walt Whitman’s most famous poems. Whitman not only shows his own remorse for the loss of Lincoln, but also represents the somber feelings of many Americans during a time when the country would have been celebrating the Union's Civil War victory. By comparing Lincoln to the captain of a ship, Whitman uses this among other extended metaphors to speak for the nation. Students are to determine if Whitman was justified in his comparisons.

  • Tasks
    • Teaching Task Template Task (Design your own lesson)

      Your Task:  Does Walt Whitman adequately portray the sense of loss felt by Americans after Abraham Lincoln’s assassination?  After reading “O Captain! My Captain!” and other informational texts, write an essay that addresses the question and support your position with evidence from the texts. L2 Be sure to acknowledge competing views.  L3 Give examples from past or current events or issues to illustrate and clarify your position.

      Task 2: [Insert question] After reading _____ (literature or informational texts), write a/ an _________(essay or substitute) that addresses the question and support your position with evidence from the text(s).  L2 Be sure to acknowledge competing views. L3 Give examples from past or current events or issues to illustrate and clarify your position. (Argumentation/Analysis)
  • About The Teacher
    • Authors: Allison Bullock & Kelly Newswanger

      Course: Communication Arts

  • Materials, References, and Support
    • For Teachers

      Texts:

      • Instructional PowerPoint for “Lincoln: A Photobiography” and “O Captain! My Captain!”
      • Notebook file for Citations (Smartboard)
      • Citation directions obtained from citationmachine.net
      • McDougal Littell textbook
      For Students


      • “The Civil War Ends – A Small Town’s Reaction, 1865” EyeWitness to History, 2011.  Web. 6 Mar 2011.  www.eyewitnesstohistory.com (2004).
      • Freedman, R. "Lincoln: A Photobiography." The Language of Literature. Ed. McDougal Littell. Evanston, Il: Houghton Mifflin, 2006. Print.
      • “The Lincoln Assassination.”  Safari Montage.  Web 15 Mar 2011. http://safari.iu13.org/SAFARI/montage/play.php
      • “Northerner’s Reaction to Lincoln’s Assassination.”  History Engine.  University of 
        Richmond, 2008.  Web. 6 Mar 2011.  http://historyengine.richmond.edu/
      • Whitman, W. "O Captain! My Captain!” The Language of Literature. Ed. McDougal 
        Littell. Evanston, Il: Houghton Mifflin, 2006. Print.
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