"The Pedigree of Honey" by Emily Dickinson

The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.

Poems by Emily Dickinson (1891) | Emily Dickinson (1830–1886)

  • Read the poem aloud.
  • Copy the poem into a copybook.
  • If you are not familiar with the habits of honey bees, you’ll want to learn more to be able to understand the poem (see resources below).
  • Older students can study the poem:
    • Rewrite the poem substituting in brackets the meanings for the words pedigree, concern, and aristocracy.
    • Reread the poem aloud using the words in the brackets.
    • What two things are being compared? Make a compare/contrast chart to detail the differences.
    • Rewrite the poem as a single sentence that illustrates the point the author is making.
  • Observe a bee.
  • Create an author page for Dickinson, if you haven’t already.

Additional Resources

Before I Got My Eye Put Out: The Poetry of Emily Dickinson
This is an excellent video for older students from Crash Course Literature. You may want to preview:

“The Butterfly and the Bee” by William Lisle Bowles
You may want to read this poem for comparison.

Poetry for Young People Dickinson

Poetry for Young People: Emily Dickinson
We love these books. The point of the book is to introduce young students to poetry at an early age. It takes the mystery out of poetry, making it accessible. So don’t expect detailed poetical analysis. Simply read and enjoy. There is a fruitful payoff over time….

The First Book of Bees {Free eBook}
More information on bees.

Units & Lesson Plans

Free Nature Studies: The Honey Bee
Learn more about the habits of honey bees!

Printables and Notebooking Pages

Author Notebooking Paper
Create an author page for Emily Dickinson.

Online Poetry Anthology
Online Poetry Anthology

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