Poetic Devices in "A Dream Deferred"

This Storyboard That activity is part of the lesson plans for Dreams and A Dream Deferred


Poetic Devices in "A Dream Deferred"

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Activity Overview


When teaching poetry, it is often helpful to refresh or introduce students with technical words. “Simile", "alliteration", "consonance", "imagery", and “parallelism” are a few important terms.

After you have read the poem, ask your students to do a scavenger hunt using the Storyboard Creator. Give them the list again and have them create a storyboard that depicts and explains the use of each literary element in the poem. They will have an absolute blast and gain mastery of the words.


Literary Element Examples in “A Dream Deferred”


DESCRIPTION EXAMPLE
Alliteration Repetition of consonant sounds at the beginnings of words in a sentence or line “What happens to a dream deferred?”
Imagery The use of descriptive or figurative language to create vivid mental imagery that appeals to the senses “Does it stink like rotten meat?”
Parallelism A form of repetition in a sentence or thought that emphasizes an idea or deepens the reaction to the idea “Does it dry up / Like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore– / And then run?”
Consonance The repetition of similar consonant sounds at the ends of words “Or crust and sugar over–”
Simile A comparison using 'like' or 'as' “Maybe it just sags / Like a heavy load.”



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Template and Class Instructions

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Student Instructions

Create a storyboard that shows five examples of poetic language in "A Dream Deferred".


  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Identify use of literary elements in the poem.
  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.

Literary Element Spider Map Template

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