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An Exploration of Romanticism through Art and Poetry


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Note that this resource was reviewed during the Spring 2013 review period. The resource may or may not have been updated since the review. Check with the content creator to see if there is a more recent version available.


This resource was reviewed by OSPI in Spring 2013. Learn more about the review process and the data analysis approach.

Background from OER Project Review Team
ReadWriteThink is a partnership between the International Reading Association (IRA), National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), and Thinkfinity that provides educators, parents, and afterschool professionals with access to free reading and language arts materials. Though designed to take advantage of digital media, a print option is available to reproduce much of the content of this unit.

Publishers' Criteria (Learn more)

Chart with scale from 0 (Strongly Disagree) to 3 (Strongly Agree). Quality of Text: 1.25, Quality of Questions and Tasks: 1.38, Writing: 2.25.

EQuIP (Learn more)

Needs Revision (1.8)
Chart with scale of 'meets criteria' from 0 (None) to 3 (All). Alignment: 2.5, Key Shifts in the CCSS: 1.75, Instructional Supports: 1.5, Assessment: 2.25.

Achieve OER (Learn more)

Chart with scale from 0 (Weak) to 3 (Superior). Explanation: 1.75, Interactivity: 1.25, Exercises: 1.25, Deeper Learning: 1.5.

See standard error chart for the review scoring

Reviewer Comments (Learn more)

Moderate (1.5)

With some moderate adjustments, this ReadWriteThink Romanticism unit could be a valuable introduction to European Romanticism. The lessons need to include more Romantic poetry, text and art along with formative assessments and process writing. With this type of unit as an introduction to American Romantic writing (which came later), it would help students master the genre of Romanticism.

Most of the written/oral tasks ask the students to confront the poem/painting using textual support to draw inferences. The tasks require expository writing; most of it calling for analysis and evaluation. This is where the unit shines because it does an impressive job of aligning to the depth of the CCSS. The Wordsworth poem and the Gericault painting allow for students to identify and explain how the characteristics of a literary/artistic genre are reflected in Romanticism. The unit targets high school students and gives six clear objectives that ask students to analyze significance and meaning (in a complex painting and poem) through explication of individual elements.

With more poetry/art/text analyses, interactive computer exercises, scaffolding, formative assessments and on-demand/process writing (and their assessments) to accompany this unit, the RWT Romanticism unit would come close to meeting all of the CCSS for writing and reading at the 11-12 level. In my own class, I will use the TP-CASTT and “Romantic Characteristic” worksheets and the juxtaposition of a few American Romantic poems and pieces of art for next year. I truly think the kids will find it engaging and enlightening.

I would use these materials in my classroom: Strongly Agree
(On a 4 point scale: Strongly Disagree, Disagree, Agree, or Strongly Agree)

There is little range of texts. The only texts outside of the poem by Wordsworth and the painting would be those in the final essay assignment. This would give above level students the ability to tackle new works, and demonstrate their understanding of the texts.

There are no supports for ELL/SpEd students, and this would probably take the most time to implement.

The balance of texts are lacking, and while there are not a lot of texts in the first place, it would be preferential to include the gamut of texts to provide students with ample contact time.

I would use these materials in my classroom: Agree
(On a 4 point scale: Strongly Disagree, Disagree, Agree, or Strongly Agree)

Impressed with: cross-curricular tie between LA and art; clear, significant protocols to develop and strengthen analysis of poem and art piece; interactive activity in session 4 is meaningful and engaging; excellent job “setting the stage” regarding the theme or topic of Romanticism; appreciate the opportunity to select one of three final assessment options; detailed rubric for grading.

Challenged by: lower Lexile score for poem; demonstrations of learning do not require synthesis of information into anything new, sticks between level 1 and level 2 thinking and questioning; extremely long unit; very directed thinking, little room for student inquiry.

Bottom line: extremely usable; focused on ensuring teacher success in order to facilitate student success; recommending the unit to building staff.

I would use these materials in my classroom: Agree
(On a 4 point scale: Strongly Disagree, Disagree, Agree, or Strongly Agree)

In this unit students study Romanticism through Wordsworth’s “The World is Too Much,” and the painting “The Raft of Medusa.” There are some useful items in these materials in which teachers may want to use, but overall it would take a moderate amount of work to align the unit with the CCSS. Each lesson would have to be aligned explicitly with CCSS and some of the lessons may take fewer than 50 minutes in an 11th or 12th grade class.

There are other materials within the unit that teachers may want to use and adapt. For example, there is an interactive portion on a website where students click on two different parts of the painting and answer questions. Teachers would need to have access to a computer lab to complete this. The unit also includes the TP-CASTT (Title, Paraphrase, Connotation, Attitude, Shifts, Title, Theme), which students could use to study other pieces of poetry in any time period. Some of the questions in the unit would have to be revised away from text to self-connection such as “What do you like about the painting? Why?” to more evidence from the text about what the painter was trying to say.

The unit ends with an essay, although there is not any explicit writing instruction during the unit. There is a rubric provided that is tangentially related to the CCSS, but a teacher would have to put in a little work to make the connections more explicit.

There are certainly some good material and ideas in this unit. The unit identifies 12 CCSS students work on through the eight sessions, although the connections to the CCSS need to be more explicit.

I would use these materials in my classroom: Disagree
(On a 4 point scale: Strongly Disagree, Disagree, Agree, or Strongly Agree)

Creative Commons License
This work by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.