A Bird Came Down the Walk by Emily Dickinson

Teacher Guide by Elizabeth Pedro

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A Bird Came Down the Walk Lesson Plans

Student Activities for A Bird Came Down the Walk Include:

“A Bird Came Down the Walk” by Emily Dickinson is a poem that describes the brief meeting between the narrator and a bird.

A Bird Came Down the Walk Lesson Plans, Student Activities and Graphic Organizers

Keeping Track of New Vocabulary

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In this activity, students will demonstrate their understanding of vocabulary words using a Frayer Model. After choosing a word, students provide a definition, characteristics, examples (synonyms), and non-examples (antonyms) of the word. Students may be provided the vocabulary word, or they can use words that they have discovered through their reading of the text.

This example uses the word plashless:

  • Definition: In a flowing manner; without splashing; without disturbing the surface of the water.
  • Characteristics: “Or Butterflies, off Banks of Noon, Leap, plashless as they swim.”
  • Examples: Smoothly; fluidly; deftly; elegantly; gracefully
  • Non-examples: poorly; awkwardly; unattractively, rigidly

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)

Student Instructions

Create a Frayer Model for one of the vocabulary words from the "A Bird Came Down the Walk".

  1. Choose a vocabulary word and type it into the center title box.
  2. Find the definition in a print or online dictionary and enter it into the description box under Definition.
  3. Illustrate the meaning of the word in the Definition cell using a combination of scenes, characters, and items.
    • Alternatively, use Photos for Class to show the meaning of the words with the search bar.
  4. Think of at least three characteristics that help expand the meaning beyond the definition.
  5. Provide written and visual examples of the word.
  6. Provide written and visual non-examples of the word.

(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

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Structural Elements of Poems

In this activity, students will identify the structural components of the poem, including stanzas and lines. Students will also determine the rhyme scheme in each stanza by labeling the lines with the letters of the alphabet. Most importantly, students will analyze and describe the main idea of the stanza.

The example provided is for the first stanza.

  • Lines: 4
  • Rhyme Scheme: ABCB
  • Meaning: The narrator watches as the bird splits a worm in two and eats it.
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"A Bird Came Down the Walk" Themes

Themes, symbols, and motifs come alive when you use a storyboard. In this activity, students will identify a theme of “Bird Came Down the Walk” and support it with evidence from the text.

The main theme of the poem is nature. Three examples showing this theme are:

  • The narrator watches a bird in nature; the bird splits a worm in two and eats it.
  • The bird drinks morning dew from the grass and lets a beetle pass by.
  • The narrator compares the bird’s flight to a butterfly’s.
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A Quick Synopsis of “A Bird Came Down the Walk”

The poem begins with the narrator noticing a bird coming down the sidewalk. The bird cuts a worm in two pieces and eats it. The bird then drinks water from the dew on the grass and casually moves out of the way of an oncoming beetle. The bird then becomes frightened; its eyes and head move rapidly. The narrator cautiously offers the bird a crumb, but the bird just opens his wings and, more graceful than a boat moving through water or a butterfly flying through the air, the bird flies away.

Essential Question for “A Bird Came Down the Walk”

  1. What can a human gain from watching animals in nature?

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•   (English) A Bird Came Down the Walk   •   (Español) Un Pájaro Bajó la Caminata   •   (Français) Un Oiseau Descendit la Promenade   •   (Deutsch) Ein Vogel kam den Weg Hinunter   •   (Italiana) Un Uccello Discese il Sentiero   •   (Nederlands) A Bird Came Down the Walk   •   (Português) Um Pássaro Desceu a Caminhada   •   (עברית) ציפור ירד Walk   •   (العَرَبِيَّة) جاء عصفور أسفل ممشى   •   (हिन्दी) एक बर्ड वॉक नीचे आया   •   (ру́сский язы́к) Птица Сошёл Аллее   •   (Dansk) En Bird Came Down Walk   •   (Svenska) A Bird tog sig Fram på Walk   •   (Suomi) Bird Etenee Walk   •   (Norsk) A Bird Came Down the Walk   •   (Türkçe) Bir Kuş Yürüyüşe Çıktı   •   (Polski) Ptak Przybył na dół   •   (Româna) O Pasăre a Coborât Walk   •   (Ceština) Bird Came Down Walk   •   (Slovenský) Vták Prišiel po Chode   •   (Magyar) A Bird Lejött a Walk   •   (Hrvatski) Ptica je Došla niz Šetnju   •   (български) Една Птица Отиде на Разходка   •   (Lietuvos) Bird Nusileido Žemyn Pasivaikščioti   •   (Slovenščina) Ptica Came Down Walk   •   (Latvijas) Bird Came Down Walk   •   (eesti) Bird Tuli Alla Walk