Grade Levels: 6-8, 9-12

*Click to open and customize your own copy of the Emily Dickinson Lesson Plan

This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Emily Dickinson, and supports the standard of analyzing the impact of a literary device on a poem. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of projects.

Step 1: ACTIVATE PRIOR KNOWLEDGE

Ask students:

  • What’s a poem you’ve read or heard that you’ve enjoyed? What about it did you enjoy?
  • What makes poetry different from other genres?

Step 2: BUILD BACKGROUND

  • Read the description on the Emily Dickinson topic page.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Have students read one of the following Related Reading articles: “Way Back When,” Etc.,” and “Quirky Stuff. Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: ENGAGE
Students express what they learned about Emily Dickinson while practicing essential literacy skills with one or more of the following activities. Differentiate by assigning ones that meet individual student needs.

  • Make-a-Movie: Produce an animation of one of Dickinson’s poems. Use images and sounds to illustrate your interpretation of its poetic devices, including similes, metaphors, slant rhyme, and meter. (Essential Literacy Skill: Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meaning)
  • Make-a-Map: Make a concept map identifying samples of different poetic devices that Dickinson uses. (Essential  Literacy Skill: Acquire and use domain specific words and phrases)
  • Creative Coding: Code a meme symbolizing elements of Emily Dickinson’s poetic style. (Essential Literacy Skill: Make logical inferences from explicit details)
  • Primary Source: Read the poem by Emily Dickinson and cite details to answer accompanying questions. (Essential Literacy Skill:Cite specific evidence to support conclusions drawn)

Step 4: APPLY & ASSESS 

Apply: Students take the Emily Dickinson Challenge, applying essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.

Assess: Wrap up the lesson with the Emily Dickinson Quiz

Step 5:  EXTEND LEARNING

Sortify: Writers Challenge players to categorize writers by attributes, such as genre, time period, and more in this sorting game.  

Related BrainPOP Topics: Deepen understanding of poetry with these topics: Figurative Language, Similes and Metaphors, and Maya Angelou

Additional Support Resources:

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

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