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Learning outcomes

Students will:

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

30–45 minutes



  1. Read the poem “Dust of Snow” through once as students listen.
  2. Invite students to list unfamiliar words that they noticed in the poem. Record all responses.
  3. Guide students to notice the word “mood.”
  4. Ask students to predict pronunciation based on phonemic knowledge and visual structure. Guide them toward the correct response.
  5. Read the poem asking students to listen for the word and predict meaning. Brainstorm some possible means, finally have a student look the word up if necessary. Conduct a short discussion on different moods that people can have and how we can determine a person’s mood from facial expressions or body language. Read the poem again and briefly discuss mood changes in the poem.
  6. Follow a similar procedure with the word “rued” and any other words that the children noticed that were unfamiliar.
  7. Discuss how many speakers or characters are involved in the poem (two—a person and a crow). Read poem again and brainstorm about which character might read each line or pair of lines. There is no right or wrong answer here as long as the students can give a reason why they want to assign a part to a certain character.
  8. Discuss cause and effect. What changes in the poem? Why does it change? What happens to bring about the change? etc. Brain storm about how the person feels at the beginning of the poem. How does he/she change? Encourage students to experiment with how they can show feelings with body language. Allow time for several demonstrations.
  9. Select actors and act out the poem. Actors can read their parts from the overhead. Repeat enough times for each student to have a turn. Begin each reading by having both actors face the audience and say the name of the poem and the poet. At the end of their reading they should come back to center stage and face the audience for applause and bows.


Supplemental information

It’s Show Time by Allan Wolf

North Carolina curriculum alignment

English Language Arts (2004)

Grade 3