The Raincoat

by Ada Limón

Photo by Lucas Marquardt

Writing Workshop

Workshop Title: Mother

Step 1

Have your students watch the embedded video. Then ask them to discuss the different ways the artist expresses his appreciation for his mother.

Step 2

Read “The Raincoat” by Ada Limón. Then discuss the similarities between the mothers in the two works.

Step 3

Give them some time to think of their mothers or somebody who has acted as a mother figure in their lives. Then have them write down the different ways in which this person has made sacrifices for them and list the reasons why they appreciate this person.

Step 4

Have your students write a poem similar to “The Raincoat” in which they express their appreciation toward their mother or another mother figure in their lives.

Step 5

When the students are done, have them share their responses with one another.

The full presentation may be found HERE.

Analytical Lesson

Area of Focus: Various

Step 1

This lesson allows students to analyze various concepts and skills, so it is recommended that you have covered several of the “standalone” lessons before assigning this one. The prominent literary devices & techniques that this particular poem includes are: selection of detail, structure, and imagery.

Step 2

Have your students read “The Raincoat” by Ada Limón. Then ask them what they think the purpose of the poem is.

Step 3

Briefly discuss how that purpose was gradually revealed over the poem. Ask them what the perspective of the speaker was at the beginning and how it changes at the end.

Step 4

Have your students open the following document and read through the directions with them. In this assignment, the students are expected to “map out” the poem using a generic plot diagram and support the reasoning behind their responses.

Step 5

When your students are done, have them discuss their responses with one another.

Step 6

If time permits, share the following student sample or the exemplar essay with the class.

Lesson Details

Lesson Info


  • Various


  • Aging
  • Appreciation
  • Children / Youth
  • Family
  • Love

Literary Tags

  • Imagery
  • Selection of Detail
  • Structure