Lesson Plan

Let Your Voice be Heard (Grades 6-8) Carl Sandburg Home NHS

Black and White photo of Sandburg speaking to congress.
Grade Level:
Middle School: Sixth Grade through Eighth Grade
Literacy and Language Arts,Social Studies
Lesson Duration:
60 Minutes
Thinking Skills:
Understanding: Understand the main idea of material heard, viewed, or read. Interpret or summarize the ideas in own words. Evaluating: Make informed judgements about the value of ideas or materials. Use standards and criteria to support opinions and views.

Essential Question

Can writing impact social change?


• Student will write a poem or prose response that reflects an understanding of and appreciation for the legacy of the Carl Sandburg Home NHS.
• Student will use point-of-view and imagery in writing to effectively convey tone or theme.
• Student will analyze how an individual’s work can shape the lives of others.


This writing activity allows students to reflect on the insights gained through the “Eyes of a Poet”. Through reading and watching a video of one of his poems, students can reflect on Sandburg’s values and apply those insights to their daily lives. They may use the prompts to make a personal connection to Connemara and its inhabitants, explore their own role in a future society, or consider the impact the Sandburgs had nationally and internationally. The prompts offered here lend themselves to creative journalling, art and activism and poetry composition. Shared responses help students define and recapture the meaning of their individual experience. 


Procedure (Remote Learning)
Show students the PowerPoint “Let Your Voice be Heard”. (It can be uploaded as a Google Slide.) The students will be reading a poem written by Carl Sandburg and watching a video of the poem as it relates to civil rights events today. 

Procedure (In Person Learning)
Show students the PowerPoint “Let Your Voice be Heard”. On slide two, the students will be reading a poem written by Carl Sandburg and watching a video of the poem.

  • Why do you think Carl was inspired to write the poem?
  • How does this poem relate to events that are happening today?


This Power Point file can be uploaded to Google Classroom as a Google Slide for use with digital learning.

Download Let Your Voice Be Heard


Teaching Strategy
Show students slide three of the PowerPoint. Discuss the meaning of the word protest. 

  • Why do people protest?
  • Why do you think the right to protest is one of our rights as an American? 
  • What connections do the students make to the word protest?
  • How have protests changed history?
Summarizing Strategy
Students will write to answer one of the reflective writing prompts on the PowerPoint and submit to the teacher. 

Extension Activity
Students can research other journalist who covered protests in American history. How does their writing compare to Carl Sandburg’s? Students can share their learning with each other. 

Contact Information

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Last updated: August 4, 2020