The cremation of sam mcgee
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“The Cremation of Sam McGee” PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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“The Cremation of Sam McGee”. Concept: Ballad. Essential Question. This poem is actually a narrative poem because it tells a story. However, it is very similar to a ballad, which is a narrative song that tells about heroes and adventures. How is a narrative poem similar to a ballad?.

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“The Cremation of Sam McGee”

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The cremation of sam mcgee

“The Cremation of Sam McGee”

Concept: Ballad


Essential question

Essential Question

This poem is actually a narrative poem because it tells a story. However, it is very similar to a ballad, which is a narrative song that tells about heroes and adventures.

How is a narrative poem similar to a ballad?


About the author

About the Author

Robert Service

  • 1874-1958

  • Popular verse writer known for his ballads

  • Moved to Canada after World War I

  • Canada and the Yukon Territory is the setting for most of his poetry


Background to the poem

Background to the Poem

  • The setting of this poem is the Yukon Territory in northwestern Canada.

  • The first gold was discovered here in a small creek off the Klondike River in the 1890s.

  • Eventually, tens of thousands of Americans swarmed to the area in search of gold, but they faced obstacles such as below-freezing temperatures, lack of food, a fierce environment, and few established settlements. Many died in their quest for gold.

  • However, within the first ten years of discovery, over $100 million in gold was removed from the region.


The cremation of sam mcgee

The Trail to Dawson

Most gold prospectors arrived in Skagway, Alaska, and ventured up through the treacherous region of the Yukon Territory to reach Dawson City, a central town during the Klondike gold rush.


Thinking about the poem

Thinking about the Poem

This poem tells the story of Sam McGee, a gold prospector who travelled all the way from his home in Tennessee. Sam McGee hates the cold, and his only request of his sledding partner is to cremate him in a fire if he should die.

Line 33 states, “Now a promise made is a debt unpaid…”

In your opinion, what does this statement mean?


Vocabulary preview

Vocabulary Preview

The following vocabulary words appear in the poem. How many do you already know?


As you read

As You Read…

Think about the elements of poetry that we have studied this year. In your notes, make a list of the literary devices that Robert Service uses in the poem and find an example in the poem.

Think about…


The poem

The Poem

Country singing legend Johnny Cash made one of the most famous recitations of this poem.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJNZwuamwj0


Post reading activity

Post-Reading Activity

This poem really doesn’t seem to relate to our theme of American patriotism. However, you need to think about the character of Sam McGee and his motivation for leaving his home and journeying to the Klondike. How does Sam McGee illustrate the ideals of patriotism?

Answer this question in your notes.


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