Lesson Overview

In “Looking for The Gulf Motel,” poet Richard Blanco uses vivid sensory detail—both in the images and in the sounds of the language itself—to immerse readers in a multisensory experience that makes them feel like they are at The Gulf Motel with him, both in the past and in his memory of the past.

All of the prompts and questions are intended to generate conversation in the classroom. Follow your students’ lead as they explore the poem. Note that students won’t identify all the details in this poem on a first read. Instead, aid them as they explore, locate, and begin to understand and connect sensory details. The Annotated Poem PDF includes possible readings and interpretation to support student conversation and questions.


Lesson downloads

Bringing poetry to life in middle school classrooms

Amplify has partnered with Poetry in America® to bring poetry to life in middle school classrooms through the Amplify ELA program. The lessons include tips for leading rich classroom discussions on poetry and videos of a wide variety of interpreters close reading poems. Click here to learn more. poetry_logo_light_200w








The following videos will be used in the lesson. See Instructional Guide for details.


Video 1: Richard Blanco reading the poem

Video 2: Exploring sensory details


Video 3: "Meet the illustrator": Eddie Peña