Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Safe from the Storm

Joy Rowell


Students read the poem 'Snowbound.' In pairs, they compile a collaborative list of refuge attributes. Individuals then create a graphic display of a personal refuge and write a descriptive paragraph following correct format procedures


The student applies a variety of response strategies, including rereading, note taking, summarizing, outlining, writing a formal report, and relating what is read to his or her own experiences and feelings.

The student analyzes poetry for the ways in which poets inspire the reader to share emotions, such as the use of imagery, personification, and figures of speech, including simile, and metaphor; and the use of sound, such as rhyme, rhythm, repetion, and alliteration.


-Copies of the poem 'Snowbound' by John Whittier
-Art Materials
-Literature textbook


1. Locate copy of the poem. (It is located on page 305 in the American literature book called ADVENTURES IN AMERICAN LITERATURE published by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.1989. )
2. Consider a place of refuge that you have known. Bring in a photo or some object to identify your refuge.
3. Locate the section of you literature book that describes literary devices and post on board.
4. Print and copy rubric for distribution so that it can be reviewed by students before activity as it will be used for grading purposes.
5. Review poem.


1. First, begin a discussion of what a refuge is. Share a picture or object that exemplifies your refuge.
2. Discuss why a refuge is needed. (Ex. Running from an intruder, a quiet place to think, a place away from pressure, a hospital chapel, a hiding place from a bear, a tree to climb to escape a bull, a shelter from the storm, etc.)
3. Ask students to read the poem 'Snowbound' by John Whittier silently.
4. Explain that the narrative poem tells the story of what happened to the adult speaker who is remembering a snowstorm that happened when he was a child.
5. Look over and discuss each section of the poem.
6. Ask students to form pairs, discuss personal preferences and then compile a list of the ten necessary attributes of a refuge.
7. Have pairs then work together to locate and identify an example of each of the following literary devices used in the poem: Imagery, rhyme, rhythm, repetition, alliteration, simile. Identify by line number.
8. Ask students to think of a real or imaginary refuge that would invite the feeling of safety and security that the boy felt while inside the house in the poem.
9. Ask students to write a descriptive paragraph describing the look, feel, sound, and smell of their real or imaginary refuges.
10. Ask students to create a graphic display of the refuge. (This could be in the form of a mobile, collage, shadowbox, etc.)


I. The list of attributes will receive a grade based on the Collaborative Rubric.
II. The list of literary devices will receive a grade based on the Collaborative Rubric.
III. The descriptive paragraph will receive a grade based on the Writing Rubric.
IV. The graphic display will receive a homework grade worth 25 points upon completion of a project that depicts a refuge of some sort. (I can not justify grading a project based on art in an English class. The production of the project is sufficient for me.)

Attached Files

2 rubrics     File Extension: pdf

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