Dead Poets Society & "O Captain! My Captain!"

Rated 5 out of 5, based on 4 reviews
4 Ratings
Mrs B's Brainy Bunch
Grade Levels
7th - 9th
Formats Included
  • PDF
14 pages
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Mrs B's Brainy Bunch
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This is an enrichment activity I do after reading Robert Frost’s Biography and his three poems: “Nothing Gold Can Stay”, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” and “The Road Not Taken”. I show clips from the movie Dead Poets Society which refers to Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken” and the theme of nonconformity. Then we study the poem “O Captain! My Captain!”, and lastly, the students participate in a highly-engaging class discussion on conformity (rubric included). Also included is a final assessment.

This Resource Includes:

  • Notes to the Teacher detailing what to do on each of the 4 days of the mini-unit
  • Detailed notes on the clips to show from the film Dead Poets Society
  • Analysis of "O Captain! My Captain!" (answer keys included)
  • Class Discussion (which can be done Socratic style) and Grading Rubric
  • Final Assessment (answer key included)

For more on Figurative Language, try my high-interest activity on Metaphors:

Making Metaphors

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Robin Behringer

Total Pages
14 pages
Answer Key
Included with rubric
Teaching Duration
4 days
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies or allusions to other texts.
By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, at the high end of grades 6–8 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 8 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.


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