Uploaded by Danielle Conway

BecauseICouldNotStopForDeath Activity

Because I could not
stop for death
By Emily Dickinson
Close reading
Focus on symbolism
Constructed Response
Suggested Use:
This lesson is a focus on identifying and interpreting literary devices, particularly symbolism and
Learning Objective:
Students should be able to consolidate
understanding of symbolism in the text
to identify the tone and explain how
the author conveys the tone in the text.
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and
analyze in detail its development over the course
of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped
and refined by specific details; provide an objective
summary of the text.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as
they are used in the text, including figurative and
connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone
(e.g., how the language evokes a sense of time and
place; how it sets a formal or informal tone).
Verify the preliminary determination of the meaning of a word or phrase (e.g., by checking the inferred meaning in context or in a dictionary).
Acquire and use accurately general academic and
domain-specific words and phrases, sufficient for
reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge
when considering a word or phrase important to
comprehension or expression.
Because I Could Not Stop for Death
Emily Dickinson
Because I could not stop for Death –
He kindly stopped for me –
The Carriage held but just Ourselves –
And Immortality.
We slowly drove – He knew no haste
And I had put away
My labor and my leisure too,
For His Civility –
We passed the School, where Children strove
At Recess – in the Ring –
1. Gossamer – very thin substance such as
spider web or cobweb
We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain –
We passed the Setting Sun –
2. Tippet – scarf like garment
Or rather – He passed us –
3. Tulle – thin fabric, used for making tutus
The Dews drew quivering and chill –
For only Gossamer1, my Gown –
My Tippet2 – only Tulle3 –
4. Cornice – ornamental wood lining a
room just below the ceiling
We paused before a House that seemed
A Swelling of the Ground –
The Roof was scarcely visible –
The Cornice4 – in the Ground –
Since then – ‘tis Centuries – and yet
Feels shorter than the Day
I first surmised the Horses’ Heads
Were toward Eternity –
Other words I did not know:
Comprehension Questions:
Answer in complete sentences.
1. What is being personified in this poem? How do you know?
2. What is revealed about the narrator in the last stanza of the poem?
1. The Carriage
2. The Children
the end
4. The House
onwards toward the afterlife
Paragraph Constructer Response:
What is the narrator’s attitude toward death in the poem?
What literary devices help to create the tone? Explain their effects. Use textual evidence.