Education Technology

NCTE: Exploring Personal Response

Published on 07/19/2006

Activity Overview

Students will identify possible motivations and situations for the writing to occur to understand both the author's point of view and their own in relation to it. The teacher demonstrates the process to allow the students to write their own response.

Before the Activity

See the attached Activity PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity.

Print the appropriate pages from the Activity for your class.

Install the LearningCheck™ App on the students' graphing calculators following the attached instructions.

Explain activity objectives. Begin by asking students to record a definition of the word thanatopsis using the "Journal" file. If they do not know the word, they should record a definition based on what it sounds or looks like it might mean.

During the Activity

  • Distribute the appropriate pages from the Activity to your class
  • Distribute the LearningCheck file(s) to your class using TI Connect™ and the appropriate TI Connectivity cable
  • Follow the procedures outlined in the Activity


  • Students will:
  • Read the poem "Thanatopsis" and consider motivations for its creation.
  • Practice writing a personal response.
  • Compare and contrast student views with poet views.
  • Write a collaborative personal response to "Thanatopsis."
  • Identify significant quotations and explain personal reactions to them and to the poem as a whole.
  • Explain insights gained by reading the poem, if any.
  • After the Activity

    Answer any questions.