Dylan Thomas - Do not go gentle into that good night

This lesson is designed to introduce students to Dylan Thomas’ poems which focus on the theme of death. We recommend you use it with older learners and consider if your students are mature enough to deal with the topic. The subject is likely to bring religious issues and beliefs to the surface and it is important that students are aware that they should keep an open mind, and that differences in opinion should be expressed respectfully.

Focus on the language and ideas in the poems; keep a positive attitude and motivate your students to see this as an opportunity for intercultural exchange.

Level: Advanced

Age group: Young adult learners, mature learners, literature students

Time: Approx. 90 min

Main aims:

  • To introduce students to three of Dylan Thomas’ most celebrated poems
  • To raise students’ awareness of main themes in English literature
  • To promote intercultural discussion and understanding

Subsidiary aims:

  • To help students expand their vocabulary
  • To give students opportunities to develop the four skills
  • To give students opportunities to discuss more complex issues
  • To give students the opportunity to explore films and plays


  • Student worksheet
  • Access to Jeremy Harmer’s recording of Do not go gentle into that good night.
  • Dictionaries
  • Optional: pictures of baptisms, weddings, and funerals

By Chris Lima

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