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 Raven"



The title will be about a black bird and the bad luck it will bring.


A man loses someone he loved, named Lenore. He is devastated. One night, in December, while sitting in his room, he hears a knock. A raven visits him. It makes him angry when it tells him that he'll never see Lenore again.


The man is severely depressed, and is caught in his grief.


Poe uses words like 'chamber', 'ponder', 'weary', 'bleak', 'ghosts', and 'embers' to make the dead come alive. These words are depressing and melancholy.


A shift occurs when the speaker asks the raven if he will ever see Lenore again. This shows his anger with the bird, whom he kicks out.


After reading the poem, my title was partially correct. The poem was about a raven, but he represented sorrow and death.


One interpretation of the theme: even though death is painful and sad, one must not dwell on it, or it will consume one.

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Student Instructions

Perform a TPCASTT analysis of "The Raven". 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

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.

How To Conduct a Question and Answer Session on “The Raven”


Analyze the Poem

Help the students learn about the poem's many components, such as the topics, characters, symbolism, and the poet's style. This will assist the students in foreseeing any queries.


List Down Questions

Ask the students to list down any questions they have regarding the poem, its themes, characters, or even the author, Teachers can give students twenty minutes within the class to come up with these questions and students can look back at the poem and read it once again to check if they have any confusion.


Divide the Class

Divide the class into two groups. Ensure that both groups have equal members. Ask both groups to write their questions on one page each. Teachers can then ask the groups to exchange their questions with the other group. Give each group fifteen minutes to address the questions of the other group. Students can use primary sources or any other material available to answer the questions.


Exchange Answers

One student from each group can come on the stage turn by turn and give an answer to 2-3 questions from the other group. This will help the students to go through all the questions and leave no room for any confusion. It will also induce a collaborative learning environment where students learn with the help of each other.


Address Wrong and Remaining Questions

Once students are done with their presentation, teachers can address any questions that the students were unable to answer or had given a wrong answer to. Appreciate the students for their work and give them encouraging feedback to keep up their motivation.


Summarize and Reflect

Occasionally rephrase the main issues brought up in the discussion. This guarantees that everyone is in agreement and serves to reinforce key ideas. Give students the chance to consider what they discovered during the Q&A period.

Frequently Asked Questions About "The Raven" TP-CASTT Analysis Activity

How can students use TPCASTT for theme analysis?

A few major themes in "The Raven" include the unavoidable nature of sadness, grief, loss, and despair. Students might investigate how the poem develops these topics throughout time. Students can also analyze the impact or role of these themes in comparison to other elements of the poem.

What other activities can the teachers introduce in class as an extension to TPCASTT analysis?

Following the TP-CASTT analysis, teachers can ask students to write an analysis that compares and contrasts one poem with another, make illustrations of their analysis, or even produce a poem that is entirely original and inspired by "The Raven."

This Activity is Part of Many Teacher Guides

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