The Sounds of Whitman's Memories

Analyse the language in texts by Walt Whitman and the music composed for them

By: Patricia Finn & Dr. Susan Key
Estimated Time: 45 - 50 Minutes
Specific Reccomendation: Honors-level English, 10th/11th grade

Download Lesson Plan (PDF @ 145KB)

Lesson Details


  • Identify Walt Whitman’s purpose for including “drums” and “bugles” in his poem “Beat! Beat! Drums!”
  • Differentiate between Whitman’s mood in “Beat! Beat! Drums!” and “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d”
  • Identify instruments to accompany “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d” and “O Captain! My Captain!”
  • Define “soundscape” and identify soundscapes in “Memories of Lincoln”

Common Core Standards:

  • RL.9-10.7: Analyze the representation of a subject or a key scene in two different artistic mediums, including what is emphasized or absent in each treatment
  • W.9-10.1: Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence

Additional materials: ‘Memories of Lincoln’ Worksheet

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