To his excellency general washington an hymn to the evening
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“To His Excellency, General Washington” & “An Hymn to the Evening” PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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“To His Excellency, General Washington” & “An Hymn to the Evening”. By Phillis Wheatley. Objectives:. To develop vocabulary and word identification skills To use a variety of reading strategies to comprehend literature

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“To His Excellency, General Washington” & “An Hymn to the Evening”

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“To His Excellency, General Washington”&“An Hymn to the Evening”

By Phillis Wheatley


  • To develop vocabulary and word identification skills

  • To use a variety of reading strategies to comprehend literature

  • To increase knowledge of other cultures and to connect common elements across cultures

  • To express and support responses to the texts

  • To analyze literary elements

  • To plan, prepare, organize, and present literary interpretations

  • To increase knowledge of the rules of grammar and usage

Background for Understanding:

  • Brought to America as a slave from West Africa at age 8

  • Purchased by John Wheatley in 1761

  • Taught to read and write

  • Gained fame at an early age as a poet

  • First published abroad

  • Wrote a poem to Gen. Washington during the Revolutionary War

  • Freed in 1773

  • Two children died in infancy

  • Husband jailed for debt

  • Died at the age of 30

Literary Focus

  • Personification

    • Giving human characteristics or attributes to things or objects that are not human

    • Example

      • Your shoes are talking.

      • The wind whistled a beautiful tune through the trees.

      • The earth wept at the destruction of her rain forest.

Reading Strategy

  • Clarify

    • To give a more specific meaning

    • Example

      • The rain in Spain falls mainly upon the plane.

        • When it rains in Spain, it usually rains in the low-lying flat areas.

      • Let’s go halves on a baby

        • Let’s have a child


  • Celestial – adj.

    • Of the heavens

  • Refulgent – adj.

    • Radiant; shining

  • Propitious – adj.

    • Favorably inclined or disposed

  • Refluent – adj.

    • Flowing back

  • Pensive – adj.

    • Thinking deeply or seriously

  • Placid – adj.

    • Tranquil; calm; quiet

  • Scepter – n.

    • A rod or staff held by rulers as a symbol of sovereignty

Grammar & Style

  • Subject /Verb Agreement

    • Verbs become either singular or plural in accordance with their subject

    • Singular subjects take singular verbs; plural subjects take plural verbs

    • Examples:

      • Tom runs every day. (singular)

      • They run every day. (plural)

To His Excellency General Washington: Links



An Hymn to the Evening

Review: “To His Excellency…”

  • Columbia is filled with anxiety because of the war

  • Great Britain is depicted as foolish and greedy

  • America is protected by God because they are fighting for a just cause

  • George Washington is described as “the Great Chief”

  • Wheatley uses personification to help the reader recognize the beauty and strength of America

Review: “An Hymn to…”

  • God brings both the light and the darkness

  • Night time is a time for renewal

  • Wheatley use images from nature in her descriptions

  • Poem is synonymous to a prayer

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