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This is a beautiful poem. I would say that it depends upon where you live and the type of student you are teaching. I live in the South, so my students are unaware of the biting cold of the winters in the North.
1.I would start with pictures of working hands and ask the students what they think the person in the picture does for a living. How old is he? What kind of a life does he have? What can you tell me about his family?
2. Then I might ask them to share stories of being cold. Everyone's perception, depending on their experience, is different. How do they deal with the cold? What do they do when they have to get up in the morning and it is cold?
3. At this time, you might want to explain some of the words used in the poem. Words such as "offices" and "austere". You know your students, so pick words that they might not know. These words are not used in their ordinary context and could confuse the students. Have the students come up with sentences of their own. This could be done in pairs or groups.
4. Read the poem. Discuss the meaning of the poem and the relationship between the father and son. If you have time, you could have them write it in a prose form, using their own words or synonyms for the words. Each stanza could be a paragraph.
5. You may want to discuss the form. The first five lines discuss the father's actions, the next seven, the boy's response, and the last two a reflection now that the boy is an adult.
6. If you want to delve deeper, you may want to note the consonance in the poem (the hard "c" and"k" sounds )and the rhyme scheme and how they add to the meaning of the poem.
7. An extension might be to give the students a critical analysis of the poem and ask if they agree or disagree and why?
It all depends on the purpose of your lesson, the time you want to spend, and the depth you want to pursue. I would suggest looking at enotes analysis of this poem(referenced below).
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