Frost wrote a long narrative poem extolling much of the history, beauty, and singularity of the state of New Hampshire. First, read the poem aloud to the class without them having a copy. Next, have students mark things they need to find while they listen the second time (you will have done so earlier, in case they miss things). Then, working in pairs or small groups, they can look up the people, places, and events referenced in the poem as if it were a scavenger hunt or webquest. They should plan to share their answers. Then, putting the poem “back together” with all this newfound information, answer:
- What does the poem tell us about the state of New Hampshire?
- What is the speaker’s attitude toward the state?
- What evidence from the text supports this conclusion?
Students can write their own poems, either adding to Frost’s original with newer information, events, and places, or they can research another location (town, city, state) and develop a poem that focuses on the same kinds of things that Frost did in “New Hampshire.” This could be a fun alternative assessment for the often-assigned research project about other states/locations.