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Lesson Five: "Mending Wall" Lesson

Lesson Five: "Mending Wall" Lesson

Author: Tara Neely


Students should read the poem and complete the reading response journal. Students may hand in a paper copy of the RRJ or they can select to complete a Google Form.

Students will be expected to complete the Form and Content Handout in preparation for class discussion and the upcoming essay. 

Students are expected to synthesize the information/meaning they gather from the poem and place those ideas on the graphic organizer located in the Batman Study Guide.

Robert Frost Poetry Connections and Assignments

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"Mending Wall" Poem

Below is a slide show that will help you to read and separate the stanzas to completely grasp the meaning intended.


Mending Wall

by Robert Frost


Something there is that doesn't love a wall,

That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,

And spills the upper boulders in the sun;

And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.

The work of hunters is another thing:

I have come after them and made repair

Where they have left not one stone on a stone,

But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,

To please the yelping dogs.  The gaps I mean,

No one has seen them made or heard them made,

But at spring mending-time we find them there.

I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;

And on a day we meet to walk the line

And set the wall between us once again.

We keep the wall between us as we go.

To each the boulders that have fallen to each.

And some are loaves and some so nearly balls

We have to use a spell to make them balance:

'Stay where you are until our backs are turned!'

We wear our fingers rough with handling them.

Oh, just another kind of outdoor game,

One on a side.  It comes to little more:

There where it is we do not need the wall:

He is all pine and I am apple orchard.

My apple trees will never get across

And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.

He only says, 'Good fences make good neighbors.'

Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder

If I could put a notion in his head:

'Why do they make good neighbors?  Isn't it

Where there are cows?  But here there are no cows.

Before I built a wall I'd ask to know

What I was walling in or walling out,

And to whom I was like to give offense.

Something there is that doesn't love a wall,

That wants it down.'  I could say 'Elves' to him,

But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather

He said it for himself.  I see him there

Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top

In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.

He moves in darkness as it seems to me,

Not of woods only and the shade of trees.

He will not go behind his father's saying,

And he likes having thought of it so well

He says again, 'Good fences make good neighbors.'



Robert Frost: Reading Response Journal

Students may hand in a paper RRJ or an e-RRJ for this assignment.

Source: created by Tara Neely

RRJ Questions: select 3 of the questions to answer on your RRJ.


  • How would you describe the speaker and his tone? How would you describe the neighbor? How would you compare them?
  • What is the meaning and significance of the word "mending" in both the poem's title and in the action carried throughout the poem? Notice that the word can be both an adjective and an action. In what way(s) does Frost directly and indirectly use this word? Does anything else in the poem need mending?
  • In what ways do "walls" become metaphorical and/or symbolic in the poem?
  • Why does the neighbor think that "good fences make good neighbors"?

Source: Robert Frost's "Mending Wall": A Marriage of Poetic Form and Content @ edsitement

Frost's Form and Content" "Mending Wall"

in the Lines column you will find the questions to answer and your expectations.


Source: EDSITEment