Activity Overview

Poetry is one of the most expressive forms of literature. It can evoke emotions, set a mood, tell a story, or create a deeply and universally understood feeling in its readers. This makes expounding its elements, and understanding its rich meaning, comparisons, and symbols, even more important.

The TP-CASTT method of poetry analysis is a great way to teach students to dissect a poem and understand its parts. It helps students to uncover the deeper meanings within poems while giving them the confidence to be self-educators. TP-CASTT Poetry Analysis is an order of operations similar to PEMDAS for math. It asks students to list items in sequential order and answer questions based on their reading of the poem.

"Ozymandias" TPCASTT



“Ozymandias” sounds exotic. It could be the name of a place, or a person from a long time ago.


The speaker meets a traveler who has recently seen the great statue of the powerful pharaoh Ramses II, or Ozymandias. The traveler tells the speaker that the statue is in pieces in the sand in the middle of the desert. Ozymandias used to be a great and mighty king, but there is nothing left of his empire anymore.


The speaker uses words such as antique, vast, shattered, cold command, despair, nothing… remains, decay, and wreck to emphasize that this once-great King’s statue now lies broken in a wasteland. Ozymandias once thought he would be remembered for his works which were so great they would last forever, but now, there is nothing left.


The tone seems to be ironic. After describing this shattered visage which was once sculpted with such care by its creator, the inscription on the pedestal shows that it was once a symbol of great power. Unfortunately, that power did not last for Ozymandias.


As is true of most sonnets, there is a shift. The shift is found when the speaker moves from describing the physical aspects of the statue, which shows that it is in pieces, to the significance of the statue which is found on the pedestal. This is no longer a piece of marble in the desert; it was the statue of a great king.


The title is about the King, Ozymandias, and his great statue that lies in ruins in the middle of the desert.


The theme of the poem is that human power and greatness is transient, and while we all hope to leave our mark on the world in some way, nothing lasts forever—not even great empires.

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.)

Student Instructions

Perform a TPCASTT analysis of "Ozymandias". Remember that TPCASTT stands for Title, Paraphrase, Connotation, Attitude/Tone, Shift, Title, Theme.

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Choose any combination of scenes, characters, items, and text to represent each letter of TPCASTT.
  3. Write a few sentences describing the importance or meaning of the images.
  4. Finalize images, edit, and proofread your work.

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 6-12

Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)

Type of Assignment Individual

Type of Activity: TPCASTT Poetry Analysis

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/6/4] Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/6/5] Analyze how a particular sentence, chapter, scene, or stanza fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the theme, setting, or plot
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/6/7] Compare and contrast the experience of reading a story, drama, or poem to listening to or viewing an audio, video, or live version of the text, including contrasting what they “see” and “hear” when reading the text to what they perceive when they listen or watch


(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

TPCASTT Analysis Rubric Template
Analyze a poem using the the TPCASTT method: Title, Paraphrase, Connotation, Attitude/Tone, Shift, Title, Theme.
Proficient Emerging Beginning Needs Improvement
TPCASTT Responses
Every part of TPCASTT was thoroughly answered and there was sufficient evidence from the text.
Most parts of TPCASTT was answered with sufficient evidence to support claims.
Less than half of TPCASTT was answered and/or responses had insufficient evidence from the text.
Examples and descriptions are missing or too minimal to score.
Depictions chosen for each section are accurate to the poem and reflect time, effort, thought, and care with regard to placement and creation of the scenes.
Depictions chosen for each section are mostly accurate to the poem. They reflect time and effort put into placement and creation of the scenes.
Depictions chosen for each section are inaccurate to the poem. The depictions may be rushed or show minimal effort, time, and care put into placement and creation of the scenes.
Most depictions are missing too many elements or are too minimal to score. Little time or effort has been put into placement and creation of the scenes.
English Conventions
There are no errors in spelling, grammar, or mechanics throughout the storyboard. All writing portions reflect careful proofreading and accuracy to the poem.
There are a few errors in spelling, grammar, and mechanics throughout the storyboard. All writing portions show accuracy to the poem and some proofreading.
There are several errors in spelling, grammar, and mechanics throughout the storyboard. Most writing portions do not reflect proofreading or accuracy to the poem.
Errors in spelling, grammar, and mechanics in writing portions of the storyboard seriously interfere with communication.

More Storyboard That Activities


Image Attributions
  • Desert • Moyan_Brenn • License Attribution (
  • DSC_9063 • zolakoma • License Attribution (
  • Pyramids • zolakoma • License Attribution (
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