From Electric English...
These are clear, typed notes to introduce the ideas of diction and close reading of a text. Words! Words! Words! Getting students to understand that word choice is paramount to understanding a writer's purpose should be one of the ultimate goals for English teachers. This activity asks the students to make a close reading of Poe's short story, "The Fall of the House of Usher" and analyze it for word choice using the LEAD method. This method asks students to look for low or elevated diction, abstract or concrete words, and denotation or connotation. I use this method with all of my students, from AP to co-taught classes. Some classes take longer to process the material than other classes, but ultimately I have found over the years that all students benefit from the process. Make it work for you!!
NOTE: There is a fresh, clean copy of this story posted in my store under Edgar Allan Poe. Use it for what is best for you; it is free and a great story :)
NOTE: It is up to you, of course, but I would highly recommend picking a short portion of this story that you are fond of for this particular activity. It is too long and the vocabulary too complex to do the whole thing; it becomes drudgery for the kids.... Just a short section though, is fun, and they are still learning the same skills!