Two Poems to Read in March


“In like a lion, out like a lamb.” This saying has frequently been used to describe the month of March as harsh winter conditions give way to spring. While the proverb categorizes the month’s climate, it also sets the scene for two exciting poems to be used in the classroom: William Blake’s “The Lamb” and “The Tyger.” Here are five reasons students should read “The Lamb” and “The Tyger” in March.

1. An Introduction to William Blake

As two of his most famous poems, “The Lamb” and “The Tyger” can act as excellent tools to introduce students to one of Britain’s most iconic poets. Students will familiarize themselves with Blake’s writing style and learn to recognize some of his techniques.


2. Corresponding PoemsWilliam Blake is famous for writing two books of poetry: Song of Innocence and Songs of Experience. The two compilations of poetry are intended to show contrasting views of the human condition. “The Lamb” is from Songs of Innocence while “The Tyger” hails from Songs of Experience. While the two are different, they are meant to correspond and interact with one another. Students will recognize the similarities and differences between the two poems.

3. Visual Aid

Blake hand-painted the illustrations for both Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience. Both “The Lamb” and “The Tyger” have corresponding paintings to go along with the text. Students will gain a visual perspective to help enhance their understanding and appreciation of the two poems.

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4. Comprehension

Students who struggle with enjoying and understanding poetry will appreciate how straightforward these two poems are. The language is fluid and easy to understand. Additionally, the poems have simple rhyme schemes and relatively consistent meters which will assist in teaching students how to recognize sound and rhythm patterns. To help students read and understand poetry, I like to have my students closely read and annotate each poem.

5. Enjoyment

At the end of the day, “The Lamb” and “The Tyger” are two beautiful poems with rich language and imagery. Because poetry is meant to be experienced and bring pleasure to the reader, students who walk away with nothing more than two new poems that they enjoy will have already accomplished a great deal.

Resources for Teaching Poetry:

Annotating Poetry Made Easy

SMARTePlans Digital Interactive Poetry Notebook

Academic Vocabulary: Poetry



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