A Positive Response to a “Deferred Dream”

Langston Hughes' "Harlem" launches a study of how to respond positively when a personal dream is deferred. After a careful analysis of the poem, class members consider the various ways people can respond to difficult situations and how assuming personal responsibility for a situation change can lead to developing a plan to respond positively.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Have class members research Sanya Richards-Ross and other celebrities that responded in a positive fashion to deferred dreams
Classroom Considerations
  • Requires extra prep time to locate and queue videos, and to make copies of the poems and worksheet
  • No context is provided for the "Nike - A Dream Deferred" YouTube clip; therefore, either provide information about Sanya Richards-Ross's comeback from her defeat at the 2008 Olympic games
  • The richly detailed plan includes step-by-step instructions that model how to conduct a close reading of a poem
  • Sanya Richards-Ross' name is misspelled in the resource (Sonya instead of Sanya)