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Adapted from the Interactive Reader, McDougal Littel


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Adapted from the Interactive Reader, McDougal Littell

“Mother to Son”
In, “Mother to Son,” a mother tells her son how difficult her life has been and gives him advice on how to deal with his life’s problems. In, “Speech to the Young,” the speaker also gives advice about life.
Before we read, I would like you to make a connection to your life – and right the advice you would give to someone younger than you.


SUBJECT

ADVICE

















What we are going to be listening for in “Mother to her Son” is the advice given – and his play on words.


The speaker gives the following advice:
So boy, don’t you turn your back.

Don’t you set down on the steps

Cause you finds it’s kinder hard


What makes these words sound like spoken English?

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Read “Mother to Son” – as you read underline words and phrases that describe a suitcase.
For example, “It’s had tacks in it,” is one.
What do you notices about the author’s spelling?

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


-The author does not follow all the rules of written English. Instead he imitates the relaxed kind of conversation you might hear on the street. For example, the speaker says I’se been instead of I’ve been and set down instead of sit down.
What effect does this have?

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

What does the speaker compare her life too?

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Answer yes or no, is the staircase…..


  • Easy to climb?

  • Hard to climb?

  • Well lighted?

  • Made of crystal?

What is the mother saying to her son?

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

“Speech to the Young Speech to the Progress-Toward”

By Gwendolyn Brooks

Read Orally

What kind of people does the speaker refer to in lines 2-5?


Happy? Negative? Encouraging? Confident?
Reread lines 6-7. How would you state the speaker’s message in your own words?

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

In the last three lines, what does the speaker advise?
1.

2.
3.




Making Inferences



Inferences are illogical ideas that readers form by combining evidence in the text with their own knowledge. Record any inferences you can make about the speakers of these two poems in the charts below. Also write clues from the poems that help you make these inferences.

“Mother to Son”





CLUE

INFERENCE

























Speech to the Young….”




CLUE

INFERENCE



























Literary Analysis
SPEAKER
The speaker in a poem is the voice that speaks the poem’s words. Sometimes the speaker is the poet and sometimes it is a person the poet imagines. Use the diagram below to contrast and compare the speakers in “Mother to son” and “Speech to the Young…”

Speaker in “Mother to Son COMMON QUALITIES Speaker in “Speech to the Young”

Sounds tired but seems strong looks on the bright side



Free Verse Poem: Verse composed of variable, usually unrhymed lines having no fixed metrical pattern.

Write at least 10 likes of free verse poem on what advice you would give your little brother, little sister or best friend.


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