Literary Elements in "Because I Could Not Stop for Death"

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Because I Could Not Stop for Death Literary Elements

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Activity Overview


When teaching poetry, it is often helpful to front-load poetry terms as an introduction, or refresher, for your students. “Metaphor”, “simile”, “stanza”, “alliteration”, “personification”, “rhyme scheme”, and “onomatopoeia” are a few common terms that might be helpful.

After you have read the poem, ask your students to create a scavenger hunt using the storyboard creator. Give them the list of terms again, and have them create a storyboard that depicts and explains the use of each literary element in the poem. They will have an absolute blast and master the words as they do.


Literary Elements Dickinson Uses


DESCRIPTION EXAMPLE
Personification Giving human-like characteristics to non-human objects or abstract ideas "Death…He kindly stopped for me - " Making Death seem like a person, stopping to pick her up.
Alliteration Repetition of consonant sounds at the beginnings of words in a sentence or line "Dews” & “Drew”, “Gossamer” & “Gown”, “Tippet” & “Tulle"
End Rhyme Words at the end of a line that rhyme with words at the end of other lines. "me” & “Immortality”
Metaphor An implied comparison between two things In the poem, Dickinson states that they pass the “Setting Sun”. This is a common symbol to describe the end of a person’s life.



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Student Instructions

Create a storyboard that shows four examples of literary elements in "Because I Could Not Stop for Death".


  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Identify use of literary elements in the text.
  3. Put the type of literary element in the title box.
  4. Give an example from the text in the description box.
  5. Illustrate the example using using a combination of scenes, characters, and items.

Literary Elements T-Chart

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