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Activity Overview

For this activity, students will choose 3 different parts/lines of the poem to analyze. Students should think about what Kipling means to say in these lines, in more “kid friendly” terms. Their analysis should illustrate examples from the poem.

"If" Poem Analysis Examples

First Stanza

“Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies.” This means that just because others may lie about you, it doesn’t mean you should lie in return.

“If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, and blaming it on you.” This means that you have to keep your cool if others are losing their cool and saying it’s your fault.

Second Stanza

“If you can dream and not make dreams your master.” This means that of course you should have your dreams, but don’t let those dreams control all aspects of your life.

“Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, and stoop, and build them up with worn out tools.” This means that you have to be able to put together pieces of your life and build yourself up, even if it seems difficult or impossible.

Third Stanza

“If you can make one heap of all of your winnings, and risk it all on one turn of pitch and toss, and lose, and start again at your beginnings, and never breathe a word about your loss.” This means that you have to be able to take risks and even if things don’t go your way, you need to start anew and not complain about it.

Fourth Stanza

“If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, or walk with kings, nor lose the common touch.” This means that you should not be a follower. It also means that you cannot forget who you are if you are among the rich and powerful.

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Due Date:

Objective: Make a 3 cell storyboard that analyzes and illustrates 3 parts of the poem.

Student Instructions:

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. In the headings, write the line or lines of the poem.
  3. Illustrate each example using scenes, characters, and items.
  4. In the description boxes, write what you think the line or lines mean.
  5. Save and exit when you're done.

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 6-8

Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)

Type of Assignment Individual

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/6/2] Determine a theme or central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/7/2] Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/8/2] Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to the characters, setting, and plot; provide an objective summary of the text

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