William Butler Yeats
Lesson plans and teaching ideas

| Biography and Background | | Specific Poems |

Biography and Background

The Magic of Yeats
Background, some interpretation, related links.

William Butler Yeats
Biography and links to e-texts of several poems.

William Butler Yeats, Winner of the 1923 Nobel Prize in Literature
Background and related links.

Specific Poems

Assignment 2: The Soldier
Using Hardy's "The Man he Killed," Yeats' "An Irish Airman Foresees his Death," and Brooke's "The Soldier," students explore character traits of the speakers.

"The Cap and Bells"
Brief summary and suggestions for writing an analysis.

"Easter, 1916"
Text, discussion questions, writing prompts, analysis.

"The Fascination of What's Difficult"
Poem paired with a biographical article about Yeats' desire to write plays. Includes 2 printable handouts.

"The Fisherman"
Downloadable audio file (1:40). Click on the title for the text of the poem.

"The Host of the Air"
This study guide includes suggestions for writing an analysis.

Origin of "The Lake Isle of Innisfree"
From Yeats' autobiography, located at the Thoreau Reader.

"The Lake Isle of Innisfree" in Lough Gill, Ireland by W. B. Yeats
Photos of the island, related information.

Listen to Poetry
Scroll down to listen to Anthony Hopkins read "The Lake Isle of Innisfree."

Repeat After Us
Audio files of some Yeats poems. A good site for LD students, ELL students, and for those who read well and might like to record and contribute. Files are in alphabetical order by poet; scroll down.

"The Song of the Old Mother"
Analysis and ideas for responding to the poem.

"The Song of the Old Mother"
Among the resources here, don't miss the video. Pictures and audio will help students visualize the poem.

"When You Are Old"
Scroll down to find the audio file of an introduction and poet Diane Thiel reading the poem.

"The Wild Old Wicked Man" by William Butler Yeats
Jazz musician Wynton Marsalis read the poem in this video. Scroll down for discussion questions and analysis. This video runs 2:17. It is captioned and downloadable.

William Butler Yeats Study Questions
Discussion questions for these poems: "The Lake Isle of Innisfree," "The Second Coming," "Sailing to Byzantium," "Leda and the Swan," "Among School Children," "Byzantium," and "Crazy Jane Talks with the Bishop."