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What’s the Most Important Word?

Most people are familiar with Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken,” but it is worth a re-visiting. Poets choose words very carefully, and the order the words appear in is not accidental! 

Read the poem aloud at least twice (teacher reads, then a student or two). Then, quietly consider: what is the most important word? Students can offer up their choices with rationale; there is no “right” answer, of course—all words are important! However, focusing on word choice is a key component to working through and understanding a poem. This exercise should generate a lively and thoughtful conversation, one that does not need to come to a single conclusion other than the power of each word used in a poem.

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