Teach This Poem: "Winter is good - his Hoar Delights (1316)" by Emily Dickinson

Produced for K-12 educators, Teach This Poem features one poem a week from our online poetry collection, accompanied by interdisciplinary resources and activities designed to help teachers quickly and easily bring poetry into the classroom. The series is written by our Educator in Residence, Dr. Madeleine Fuchs Holzer, and is available for free via email.

Featured Poem

The Kiso Mountains in Snow

The Kiso Mountains in Snow

The Kiso Mountains in Snow, 1857, Utagawa Hiroshige (Japanese, 1797-1858). Medium: Triptych of woodblock prints; ink and color on paper. Dimensions: Each 14 1/4 inches by 9 3/4 inches. Credit: Rogers Fund, 1914. www.metmuseum.org.

Classroom Activities

  1. Project an image of The Kiso Mountains in Snow in class. Ask your students to jot down what they see and what questions they have about the image in front of them. How do they think the artist feels about winter? Ask them to provide evidence for their answers.
  2. Ask your students to silently read “Winter is good - his Hoar Delights (1316)” to themselves. Have them write down the words they don’t know. What questions do they have about this poem? Ask them to break into small groups and discuss what they have written down. See if they can figure out the meaning of the words that are difficult.
  3. How does Emily Dickinson feel about winter? How do your students know? How do the feelings and thoughts expressed in the Hiroshige image relate to the poem? Make sure your students give evidence for their perspectives. Have a large group discussion and/or ask them to write a persuasive essay on the subject.