A Rose for Emily Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kevin Newton

Kevin has edited encyclopedias, taught middle and high school history, and has a master's degree in Islamic law.

Help students better understand the Southern Gothic writings of William Faulkner in A Rose for Emily through this video and accompanying lesson plan. Use the activity to further your students' knowledge.

Lesson Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • describe the story A Rose for Emily
  • analyze how different characters in the story each played a part in Emily's life


30 minutes then 30 minutes for the activity

Curriculum Standards


Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.

Key Terms

  • Emily Grierson
  • Protagonist
  • Narrator
  • Homer Barron
  • Necrophiliac (this could be a distraction to less mature students)

Warm Up

  • Ask the students if any of them ever have ever been inside a house where no one has lived for some time? How is that house different from one that is lived in every day?


  • Watch the lesson A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner: Summary, Theme, & Analysis, noting key terms and discussing the following questions:
    • 1:06: Discuss with students how William Faulkner's upbringing influenced his writing and writing style.
    • 6:12: Discuss with students how Emily's life leads her to what happens at the end of the story, and how the genre of Southern Gothic is evident throughout the story. Have students provide examples of this. Write them on the board.
    • 7:56: Discuss with students the different themes found in A Rose for Emily, and which one(s) they think are most important.


  • Ask students to discuss how Emily was a product of her environment.
  • Now ask students to envision being the towns people, and ask them what they would do about Emily's situation.


  • William Faulkner was known for the Southern Gothic style of writing. What other authors could be considered Southern Gothic? Mention Flannery O'Connor.
  • How do communities that we live in now compare to the town of Jefferson? What effect could this have had on what Emily did?

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