If all of the elements of this lesson plan are employed, students will develop the following powers, skills, and understanding:
Understand Walt Whitman's importance as perhaps the most significant American poet, and his influence on subsequent generations, specifically the Beat generation.
Understand and be able to discuss Whitman's ideas about individualism and democracy, in religious, political, and literary contexts.
Understand how the Civil War affected Whitman's writing and create sophisticated analyses of his elegies for Abraham Lincoln.
Appreciate free verse poetry.