Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Memory of a Kiss

Zerelda Hammer


Students read, discuss, and memorize the poem -Jenny Kissed Me- by Leigh Hunt. The students then write a letter to Jenny imagining that they are an elderly person reliving the memory of her kiss.


The student determines the main idea or essential message in a text and identifies relevant details and facts and patterns of organization.

The student identifies the author's purpose and/or point of view in a variety of texts and uses the information to construct meaning.

The student drafts and revises writing that -is focused, purposeful, reflects insight into the writing situation;-conveys a sense of completeness and wholeness with adherence to the main idea;-has an organizational pattern that provide for a logical progression of ideas;-has support that is substantial, specific, revelant, concrete, and/or illustrative;-demonstrates a commitment to and an involvement with the subject;-has clarity in presentation of ideas;uses creative writing strategies appropriate to the purpose of the paper;demonstrates a command of language (word choice) with freshness of expression;has varied sentence structure and sentences that are complete except when fragments are used and purposefully; andhas few, if any, convention errors in mechanics, usage, and punctuation.

The student produces final documents that have been edited for-correct spelling;-correct punctuation, including commas, colons, and semicolons;-correct common usage, including subject/verb agreement, common noun/pronoun agreement, common possessive forms, and with a variety of sentence structures,including parallel structure; and-correct formatting.

The student selects language that shapes reactions, perceptions, and beliefs.

The student knows how mood or meaning is conveyed in poetry, such as, word choice, dialect, invented words, concrete or abstract terms, sensory or figurative language; use of sentence structure, line length, punctuation, and rhythm.

The student responds to a work of literature by interpreting selected phrases, sentences, or passages and applying the information to personal life.


- Copy of -Jenny Kissed Me- by Leigh Hunt which can be found in a textbook such as ADVENTURES FOR READERS on page 704. If book is not available, check websites: OR

- Overhead projector and transparencies
- Notes on Lyric poems (to be downloaded)
- Questions for discussion (to be downloaded)
- -Jenny Kissed Me- quiz (to be downloaded)
- Student sample (to be downloaded)
- Plain paper
- Colored pencils (or have students supply their own)


1. Download file of notes, quiz, and student sample (MicroSoft Word 97).
2. Make sure overhead is working properly.
3. Gather transparencies.
4. Enlarge notes, quiz, and student sample and make transparencies of each.
5. Copy to transparency.
6. Gather plain paper and colored pencils (or have students supply their own pencils.)


1. When discussing lyrical poetry (or during your poetry unit), have students copy notes from the overhead (download notes).

2. Remind students that personification is giving inanimate objects human qualities.

3. Show examples of lyric poems such as -Nothing Gold Can Stay- by Robert Frost, -Barter- by Sara Teasdale, -The Burden- by Francesca Yetunde Pereira, and -The Choice- by Dorothy Parker.

4. Discuss why these poems (or other poems you choose) fall into the category of lyrical poetry (using the notes from the overhead as a guide).

5. Before you present -Jenny Kissed Me,- tell the students:

Imagine an elderly person who has lived a long life of perhaps many conflicts and trials - sadness, sickness, daily troubles, hard work that was not as lucrative as he had hoped, perhaps wistful because now he is near the end of his life and hasn't the energy, vitality, or health he once had. But...when this person closes his eyes and seeks comfort, he smiles because he does have one spark, one memory, one sweet moment in his past that can literally make him forget all that has happened to him, a memory with the power to last years and years and still make him feel warm inside.

6. Read -Jenny Kissed Me- by Leigh Hunt.

7. On the same sheet of paper as their notes, have the students answer the discussion questions (download).

8. Discuss the students' answers to the questions.

9. Have the students imagine that they are the person in the poem and that they feel the need to write to Jenny (girls may substitute a boy's name). What would you say? Base the details of your letter on content from the poem.

10. Show student sample (download).

11. In addition to the letter, students will make their own copy of the poem and illustrate it.

12. Pass out plain paper (and colored pencils if students don't supply their own).

13. Tell students to draw a large heart on their paper (they may decorate around the edges), and copy the poem inside the heart (include the title and author).

14. Tell the students to memorize the poem (including the title and author), and be prepared to recite on the day/date you set.

15. Give -Jenny Kissed Me- quiz at an appropriate time or include the questions on your own poetry quiz/test.

16. Give the students any remaining time in class to begin writing their letters. Assign as homework.


Writing must follow rules of grammar, mechanics, and usage. It should also indicate an understanding of the poem, the man's situation, and how he feels about the kiss.

Web Links

Web supplement for Memory of a Kiss
Leigh Hunt

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