Your World by Georgia Douglas Johnson

Teacher Guide by Ashley Trudeau

Find this Common Core aligned Teacher Guide and more like it in our Elementary School Category!

Your World Poem Lesson Plans

Student Activities for Your World Include:

“Your World”, written by American poet Georgia Douglas Johnson, is a remarkable poem with a message of perseverance. This poem describes the journey of a person recognizing their potential in the world, using a bird in flight as a metaphor to represent a person “flying” free from the limitations that would keep them from reaching their fullest potential.

Your World Lesson Plans, Student Activities and Graphic Organizers

"Your World" Vocabulary Lesson Plan | Frayer Model

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In any classroom, vocabulary is a critical component for expanding student knowledge. A perfect way for students to practice vocabulary skills is to create Storyboards that show the use of a word in a real life context, or visually depict the word's meaning. When students define a word and use it in context, they better retain it as part of their own vocabulary.

In this activity, students demonstrate their understanding of vocabulary words using a Frayer Model. After choosing a word, students provide a definition, quote, examples (synonyms), and non-examples (antonyms) of the word. Students may be provided the vocabulary words, or they can use words that they have discovered through their reading of the poem.

Example for "cordon"


n. a line of people or things placed around an area to enclose or protect it


"I battered the cordons around me"


barrier, line, row, chain, ring, circle, picket line, close off


combine, desegregate, free, join, let go, unite, release

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)

Student Instructions

Create a Frayer Model for one of the vocabulary words from "Your World".

  1. Choose a vocabulary word and type it into the center title box.
  2. Find the definition in a print or online dictionary and enter it into the description box under Definition.
  3. Illustrate the meaning of the word in the Definition cell using a combination of scenes, characters, and items.
    • Alternatively, use Photos for Class to show the meaning of the words with the search bar.
  4. Quote the use of the word from the book, and recreate the scene.
  5. Provide written and visual examples of the word.
  6. Provide written and visual non-examples of the word.

(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

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Structure and Meaning of the Poem

In this activity students will identify the structural components of the poem, including stanzas and lines. Students will also determine the rhyme scheme and the meaning of the stanza.

Structure Analysis for "Your World": Stanza One



Rhyme Scheme

  • A "it"
  • B "abide"
  • C "corner"
  • B "aside"


The poet tells about being constrained to something and not being able to succeed in life. The 'wings' (bird) symbolize the person's abilities and how they are not being utilized.
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Identifying the Symbols in "Your World" Activity

Valuable aspects of any literary work are its themes, symbols, and motifs. Part of the Common Core ELA standards is to introduce and explain these complex concepts. However, abstract ideas are often difficult for students to understand without assistance. Using a storyboard, students can visually demonstrate their understanding of these concepts, and master analysis of literary elements.

In this activity, students can chose a symbol from the poem and depict what they think it represents using a storyboard.


  • In this poem, wings symbolize a person's abilities.
    • In the first stanza, they keep their wings by their side. The person doesn't think they can succeed.
    • In the third stanza, the wings are open and ready for flight. The person realizes their potential.
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Literary Elements in "Your World"

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When teaching poetry, it is often helpful to refresh or introduce students with technical words. Terms like metaphor, simile, stanza, alliteration, personification, rhyme scheme, and onomatopoeia are a few important terms.

In this activity, students can create a storyboard that depicts and explains the use of each literary element that they can find in the poem. You may chose to focus on one element at a time, or if the students are advanced, you can focus on many.

Here is an example of six literary elements found in “Your World”:


  • Repetition of a sound
  • Example: “narrowest nest”


  • The repetition of a vowel sound
  • Example: Open "O" words ("corner", "horizon", "cordons", "soared")
    These sounds create a soaring, flying effect for the reader.


  • A comparison, or association, without using 'like' or ‘as’
  • Example: Bird = Person
    "My wings pressing close to my side."
    "And cradled my wings on the breeze”


  • A comparison using 'like' or 'as'
  • Example: “Your world is as big as you make it”


  • Visually descriptive or figurative language
  • Example: “I throbbed with a burning desire”


(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)

Student Instructions

Create a storyboard that shows five examples of literary elements in "Your World".

  1. Click "Use this Template" from the assignment.
  2. Identify use of literary elements in the text.
  3. Put the type of literary element in the title box.
  4. Give an example from the text in the description box.
  5. Illustrate the example using using a combination of scenes, characters, and items.

(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

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A Quick Synopsis of "Your World"

The first stanza describes how the narrator would follow the “norm” in life and how she never really felt accomplished. The second stanza describes how the narrator decides that she will push to succeed in her goal, no matter what it may be. The last stanza describes how the narrator let nothing stand in her way, and she describes how liberating it feels to be free and able to succeed. The poem starts and finishes in a hopeful, encouraging way. The narrator says that only you can decide how your life should be.

Essential Questions for "Your World"

  1. What idea is the author trying to convey?
  2. What are the parts of a poem, and how can identifying them aid in analysis?

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•   (English) Your World   •   (Español) Tu Mundo   •   (Français) Votre Monde   •   (Deutsch) Deine Welt   •   (Italiana) Il tuo Mondo   •   (Nederlands) Jouw Wereld   •   (Português) Seu Mundo   •   (עברית) העולם שלך   •   (العَرَبِيَّة) عالمك   •   (हिन्दी) आपकी दुनिया   •   (ру́сский язы́к) Твой мир   •   (Dansk) din Verden   •   (Svenska) Din Värld   •   (Suomi) Maailmasi   •   (Norsk) Din Verden   •   (Türkçe) Senin Dünyan   •   (Polski) Twój Świat   •   (Româna) Lumea ta   •   (Ceština) Tvůj Svět   •   (Slovenský) Tvoj Svet   •   (Magyar) A te Világod   •   (Hrvatski) Tvoj Svijet   •   (български) Вашият Свят   •   (Lietuvos) Tavo Pasaulis   •   (Slovenščina) Vaš Svet   •   (Latvijas) Jūsu Pasaule   •   (eesti) Sinu Maailm