Poets of the 19th Century

U. S. Civil War Webquest


created by Mathew W. Pollock for 11th graders in U. S. History

Photo of Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Grayscale picture of Poe, with signature - 46.5K interlaced GIF

Walt Whitman

Welcome to the past. Where people have made more mistakes than you.
Introduction  Task Process Evaluation Conclusion Websites/references TeacherPage

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Welcome to the century of the 1800s. When America started to materialize into a country divided by an imaginary line that separated the North and the South. Poets like Emerson, Whitman, and Poe captured the nation's heart beat in the words of their poems. Through their words, you can begin to see the picture of today's ideas and thoughts starting to take shape on their canvas back in the 1800s. Your job will be to read the backgrounds of the poets and identify passages from their poems. While reading the material, look for ways on why and how these poets' ideas and thoughts not only reflect their own time period, but also today's time period and tomorrow's time period.  

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 The Task

Working on your own, you will read the poets background and decide how their experiences have influenced their poems. You will have to identify passages taken from each authors poems and label them for the first part of your assignment.

Next, you will describe in a short one to two page paper why these poems reflect the 1800s. You must articulate personal insight into your response and be creative. Be prepared to defend your answer against other webquest classmates. Websites will be listed below to help you gather information to help you support your position.

The final portion of your assignment will be for you to transform the information to see how it relates to today's society. Formulate an opinion and be ready to defend it. Use the web to help yourself if you get stuck.


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The Process

1. First you will read the short back ground summary for each poet from the Attachment.

2. Once you are done with that, you will need to complete the worksheet. On the worksheet you will match the author with the correct passage that was taken from their poems. You may use the websites at the bottom of the page to help you name the poets to the poems. Try to figure out who wrote which passage before going to the websites for help. Passages

3. Now that you have identified the poets to the poems. Write a short one to two page paper on how the poems reflect the times in which they were written. If you need more help refer to the websites at the bottom of the page. The websites will give more examples of their poems and more incite into their life and history.

4. The final portion of your assignment will be to relate the poems to today's society and culture. You must find ways how these poems have shaped or influenced our society today.


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Evaluation/ Grading

Very Poor Poor Average Good Excellent
No depth, no creativity, no effort, no involvement with sharing of ideas, Paper not handled in or late, Proper grammar is not evident, worksheet not completed

Little depth, some creativity, some effort, Very little involvement with class, Paper handed in that is less than 3/4 a page, Grammar is poor, worksheet not completed

Some depth but not supported, Average creativity but not supported with material in paper, Participates when called on, Paper handed in on time with a few grammar mistakes, worksheet completed



Depth of writing and thinking evident, creativity is supported with examples and material from the body of paper, Paper handed in on time with one or two grammar mistakes, Participates openly with ideas with the class, worksheet completed


Depth of writing well supported with a variety of examples and colorful creativity, Paper handed in on time, Effort during discussion added to class learning, No grammar mistakes, worksheet completed

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Through this lesson you have come to see history through the eyes of poets and not text-book companies. You will come to realize that history is made-up of people from all walks of life. Remember that by studying history you are studying lives that have already lived. Learn from their mistakes and accomplishments and some day students might be learning about you.

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Last updated on February 22, 2005. Based on a template from The Webquest Page





Teacher's page

As a history teacher you must remember to include all walks of life in your history class. Remember you are painting the picture your students will remember. Be sure to include all colors, shapes and dimensions into your lesson, this will result in a vivid picture. Then students will begin to add their own color to history and through the shapes and dimensions you have laid before them, they can begin to mold the shapes and add depth to the dimensions. Remember a black and white picture has to many gray areas on it.


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Last updated on February 22, 2005. Based on a template from The Webquest Page