Teaching "The Bees" by Audrey Lorde

By: Mary Kathryn Kearse


Grade Level: High School

Time Period: 60 Minute class period


  • Black Nature Book
  • The Bee's poem
  • TPCASTT worksheets
  • Power point on Audrey Lorde


  • 4.2: Read grade-level prose and poetry orally with accuracy, appropriate rate, expression, intonation, and phrasing on successive readings
  • 5.1: Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text; identify multiple supported interpretations.
  • 7.2: Investigate how literary texts and related media allude to themes and archetypes from historical and cultural traditions.
  • 11.1: Analyze and provide evidence of how the author’s choice of point of view, perspective, and purpose shape content, meaning, and style.

Learning Objectives

  • Students will be able to recall background information on Audrey Lorde.
  • Students will be able to connect the historical time period of the author to the poem "The Bees."
  • Students will be able to analyze the poem "The Bees" using the TPCASTT model.

Up Next:

Essential Question

How does poetry sing?


  • To engage students into the lesson, the teacher will have them begin by writing a journal prompt that ask how poetry sings.
  • The teacher will give students five minutes to write what this prompt means to them.
  • The teacher will then have students share and explain how this relates to the days lesson.


  • After the students complete their writing prompt the teacher will direct them to get out materials for note taking.
  • The teacher will present the power point on Lorde, informing students about her historical time period and biography about her.
  • The teacher will then have students read the poem aloud with a partner.
  • After completing this, the teacher and students will read it together.
  • The teacher will hand out the TPCASTT method in which the will analyze the poem "The Bees."
  • The teacher will go over a power point on how to complete this chart, informing students what each letter represents.
  • Students will work on this with another partner, analyzing the poem
  • After 15 minutes, the teacher will go over there findings.
  • A class discussion will then take place, connecting the meaning of the poem back to the historical time period of Lorde.
  • Students will be asked questions such as "Based on your understanding of Lorde and the themes she writes about, what might this poem represent"
  • The theme of destruction and nature will be examined in another unit after this lesson.
  • Students will return to the writing prompt upon closing and answer the prompt now that they analyzed a piece of poetry.

Explanation of Content

  • Included in the power point will be information about Audrey Lorde and her biography. Information about the historical time period she wrote in as well as themes she wrote about will be included
  • The TPCASTT model is a method that can be used to analyze poetry. This is an easy chart that will get students involved in exploring different poems to find the meaning behind the poem and the authors purpose.
  • The first T stands for Title. This is where students answer what the words of the title suggest to them. They list any denotations listed in the title.
  • The P stands for paraphrase. This is where students paraphrase in their own words what the poem is about
  • The C stands for connotations. This is where students examine the meaning beyond the literal meaning of the poem. They focus on form, diction, imagery, point of view, details, allusions, symbolism, and other figurative language.
  • The A stands for attitude. Here students answer questions about the speaker's attitude. For example, "How does the speaker feel about himself?' "How does he feel about others?"
  • The S stands for shifts. Here students will look at shift in tone, setting, and voice.
  • The second T stands for Title: after completing the analysis part of the chart, students return to the title to see if the meaning changed to them.
  • The last T stands for Theme. Here students will discuss the theme of the poem, providing a detailed sentence of what the theme of the poem is.
Big image


  • Students will turn in the TPCASTT chart to be graded as a participation grade.
Big image
*Note: Accommodations for students with IEP's and other accommodations will be addressed as needed.