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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.


TPCASTT Example for “The Bells”

T

TITLE

The title sounds like it might be about bells. But, what kind of bells? School bells? Church bells? Sleigh bells?
P

PARAPHRASE

The first and second sections deal with silver and golden bells. Both toll for happy reasons, like life and marriage. The third and fourth section describe menacing bells, ones to be fearful of. The brazen bells are frightening, and the iron bells sound like they are tolling for Death.
C

CONNOTATION

The narrator repeats the word “bells” over and over again, each time combining it with sounds each kind of bell would make. Silver bells tinkle and jingle; golden bells rhyme and chime; brazen bells clang and crash and roar in warning; iron bells toll and moan and groan in despair.
A

ATTITUDE/TONE

The narrator’s tone is upbeat and optimistic in the first two sections; in the last two, the narrator’s tone is fearful, sad, and defeated.
S

SHIFT

The major shift in the poem comes between the second and third sections, where the happy bells turn into ones of warning and sadness, from early life and marriage to aging and death.
T

TITLE

The title is about the different kinds of bells in life, from the silvery tinkling bells of youth, to the tolling iron bells of death.
T

THEME

The theme of the poem is that death ultimately triumphs over life, and every person faces the same journey through each phase of bells.

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


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 “The Bells”. 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.



Rubric

(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
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.




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