Lesson Plan

“From Citizen, VI [On the train the woman standing],” Claudia Rankine

Claudia Rankine’s 2014 poetry collection Citizen: An American Lyric (Graywolf Press) recounts a number of situations in which racism, either blatant or subtle, is evident today. “From Citizen, VI [On the train the woman standing]” is one such poem.

This lesson is an adaptation of an original lesson by the Academy of American Poets Educator in Residence, Madeleine Fuchs Holzer.

Guiding Questions

Why does prejudice exist?

How does art work as social commentary?

Learning Objectives

Students will analyze tone, structure, and insinuation within the poem to determine meaning and perspective.

Students will draw comparisons to personal experiences as part of their reflection on perspectives and actions in the poem.

Students will evaluate the degree to which "we are traveling as a family."