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Annotation BookMarks: Poetry Lesson
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Rooted in Language

Annotation BookMarks: Poetry Lesson

Annotation BookMarks: Poetry Lesson

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Guide your students through meaningful annotation and poetry interpretation with Annotation BookMarks, a visible and enjoyable tool for developing critical thinking and analysis skills with literature.

Annotation is a conversation with text through bits & pieces of writing, developing a deeper understanding of abstract ideas and encouraging original thoughts and interpretation of literature. It is used to teach students the practice of close reading and analytical writing. This difficult challenge requires focused attention, comprehension, and analysis — three hard-to-teach language skills. Therefore, students need multiple opportunities to practice annotation across all genres. 

With Annotation BookMarks, students can:

  • track literary techniques and structural elements
  • capture and record thoughts
  • pay close attention to and develop an understanding of writer’s style and techniques

The Annotation BookMarks: Poetry Lesson offers more guided practice as a follow up to Annotating Literary Elements. This lesson uses the classic ballad poem, "The Highwayman" by Alfred Noyes, with guided prompts and an answer key.

All Rooted in Language products incorporate research-based methods to support students with dyslexia, dysgraphia, developmental language disorders, and other literacy-based struggles.

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  • Grade level: 7 -12 (see FAQs regarding use with younger students)
  • File count: 1 PDF
  • Page count: 28 pages
  • 1 annotation lesson demonstrated with a single poem, for repeated use with any piece of literature
  • 7 pages of student resources 
  • Annotation BookMark, a student-utilized reference to guide learners as they annotate (cardstock recommended)


Annotation BookMarks defines the following elements and practices annotation with a single poem, "The Highwayman" by Alfred Noyes:

Writer’s Style

  • Tone and mood
  • Satire and sarcasm
  • Hyperbole
  • Foreshadowing
  • Word choice and grammar/syntax

Figurative Language–Comparisons:

  • Metaphor and simile
  • Personification
  • Symbolism and motif
  • Allusion

Figurative Language–Poetic/Musical:

  • Alliteration and assonance
  • Repetition, rhythm, and rhyme
  • Onomatopoeia

Plot Elements:

  • Plot arc
  • Genre
  • Characters
  • Setting
  • Point of view and narrator
  • Theme

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use Annotation BookMarks: Poetry Lesson with younger students?

The Annotation BookMark is designed for students who have acquired basic reading and writing skills (students must be able to write original, sentence-level thoughts). It is recommended for Middle and High School Students but can be used in earlier grades with educator support. For educators of elementary level students, the Annotation BookMark can be used as a resource to inspire modified and simplified lessons with young readers, using level-appropriate poetry. In addition, Annotating Literary Elements is an excellent choice for this age level.

Age-appropriate concepts practiced in this strategy are also taught to younger students (K-2) in our Pinwheels and Wand programs. Early and repeated exposure to key literary elements promotes an appreciation for these concepts and deepens comprehension skills in growing readers and writers. 


Will Annotation BookMarks: Poetry Lesson help my student who struggles?

Yes. Students who struggle with abstract thinking need explicit instruction in how to analyze text. The strategies in this product can be utilized with any text throughout the school year and for years to come! Use literature that your student can accurately read, identifying and practicing the strategies and concepts taught. Learning story structure, poetic language, and the elements of writer’s style greatly increases students’ understanding and appreciation for the text they read, regardless of the text level.


Do I need any other resources to teach with Annotation Bookmarks: Poetry Lesson?

A printable copy of the poem used with the lesson in this packet is provided. The lesson can also be completed with any piece of literature you choose.


Can I use Annotation Bookmarks: Poetry Lessons with other programs?

Yes. These concepts are designed to deepen analytical thinking and general appreciation for text. The concepts should be repeated, as they are applied to other literary works, because mastery of deep comprehension skills is obtained over time. As students interact with a variety of materials, each literary piece advances the student’s analytical thinking expressed in the writing activities.

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