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For many high school readers, realistic and young adult fiction are genres that maximize relatability and engagement with literature. “Geraldine Moore the Poet” by Toni Cade Bambara is a short story focusing on a girl with unfavorable life circumstances who is on the verge of an important self-discovery: that she has a natural talent for expressing herself poetically. With this challenging worksheet composed of high-order questions, English Language Arts teachers will help students extend beyond basic reading comprehension, support the development of close reading analysis skills, and save valuable time at home without sacrificing quality and rigor in the classroom. A detailed answer key is included. Materials are delivered in printable Word Document and PDF formats. By completing this close reading activity, students will:

  • Identify what the text states explicitly and implicitly
  • Explore how complex characters think, behave, and interact with others
  • Apply knowledge of various literary devices including foreshadowing, idiom, and ambiguity
  • Articulate the function of a given detail
  • Make logical inferences about the author’s intent
  • Demonstrate awareness of the narrative’s inciting incident
  • Articulate the symbolism associated with Geraldine’s being offered tomato soup
  • Choose an opinion with which Geraldine is most likely to agree
  • Evaluate the qualities that make Geraldine’s poem “the most poetic thing”
  • Argue whether Geraldine or Mrs. Scott experiences the greatest epiphany
  • Support claims and ideas with reasoned thinking and relevant textual evidence
  • Write ideas with clarity, accuracy, and precision

Materials are available for teaching a variety of texts such as: