A Lesson Before Dying

Create a 4 x 4 summary of what we have read so far. A literary 4 x 4 summary is creating a literary analysis using 4 sentences that contain 4 words in each sentence.

Our literary 4 x 4 will use the following:

  • complete sentences (or really STRONG phrases)
  • effective word order
  • strong words, especially verbs and adjectives

An effective literary 4 x 4 may also use the following:

  • abstract nouns
  • contractions using “is”

A literary 4 x 4 will not use the following:

  • repeated words
  • pronouns
  • cliches

My examples:

  • A Lesson Before Dying
  • Life in the South.
  • White over Black rules
  • Death sentence for man


  • Wrong Place, Wrong Time
  • Grant is to die
  • Mr. Grope is killed
  • Death sentence for “Hog”


  • A HOG or MAN?
  • Jefferson helps Grant learn
  • Restoring dignity is key
  • Blacks are important people


  • To LIVE or die?
  • Like man or hog
  • World needs to change
  • All men are men

Put your 4 x 4 in reply box.

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on “A Lesson Before Dying
43 Comments on “A Lesson Before Dying
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  3. Grant is the Protagonist.
    teacher of a school
    Intelligent willful, but hypocritical
    Wants to escape South.

    In 1940s at Bayonne.
    South rule by whites.
    Blacks fear the whites.
    No respect for blacks.

    Dark skin and poor.
    Hog or a man?
    Treated as an animal.
    Black are people too.

    There was a case.
    Miss Emma is crying.
    Jefferson or the hog
    Is about to die.

  4. A lesson before Dying
    White over Black rules
    Black is not honored
    Power is very important

    Justice is not justice
    Life is not perfect
    Wishes don’t come true
    Live well, Die hard

    Treated like a Hog
    Not worthy to live
    Cant be like men
    Die with all honor

    Are men all equal?
    Not in the South
    Black being treated unequally
    We need to change

  5. A hog is sentenced
    Before civil rights movement
    If you were black
    You waited to die

    A teacher is helping
    Or at least trying
    But he doesn’t care
    If Jefferson is crying

    Jefferson doesn’t want chicken
    He wants his freedom
    Ms Emma cries deeply
    He doesn’t eat them.

    His friends ran away
    He decided to stay
    His friends got death
    He stayed for wealth

  6. A Lesson Before Dying
    A HOG or MAN?
    Wrong Place,Wrong time
    Jefferson Help Grant Learn
    Dying is a feeling when someone experiencing depression or negative thoughts or actions. At times I think negative and going through tough times, but what keep me going is the people that is important to me. If I give up now, everything that I accomplish would be for nothing. I would rather live and do what’s right, then do the opposite.
    A man is a person that take his responsibility very seriously. A man that act with wisdom and courage. A man that will put food on the table for his love ones. What does it take to be a man? Dedication, commitment, good character, and responsibility.
    Time is something that is precious to each and every individual. In the beginning of my senior year, I had been putting more time in my school work then I ever had, because this is the year when everything counts. What are you going to do after high school, are you going to college, or are you going to work at McDonald all your life? I am doing okay with school, but I need to look at what college I would like to attend. I like J.R.O.T.C., doing community service, or being more involve, but whats the best for me is important then everything.
    Learning is something everyone is doing everyday. In school, at work, at a restaurant, everywhere. In order to be consider educated, a person would need to learn how to read and write. If you can’t learn or willing to do so. It would be harder to learn everything no matter how hard you try. Learning is a life long experience.

  7. A Lesson Before Dying
    Louisiana in the 1940s
    A wrongfully convicted man
    Wrong place, wrong time

    White over Black people
    White humulating the Black
    Walking through the back
    Not worthy of front

    Miss Emma – Tante Lou
    loving, old, restless godmother
    controlling, demanding, rude, aunt
    forcing Grant to teach

    Grant the school teacher
    Teaching ungrateful little children
    They play with bugs
    Goofing while cutting wood

  8. Does Life Have Meaning
    Die Like A Man
    Death of Mr. Grope
    Don’t Get Any Respect

    Teach To Change Lives
    Cry After Each Visit
    Sweet Potatoes And Chicken
    Jefferson starve to death

    Corn For The Hog
    Change For The Inmates
    Irene The Substitute Teacher
    Deputies Paul And Clark

  9. Black vs. White, Racism
    Defender In Case Attempts
    Alternates Cynicism and Confidence
    Life Sentenced, Electric Chair
    Identity, Beliefs, and Convictions
    Reading, Writing, and ‘Rithmetic
    Too Late to Apologize
    There’s No Life Here
    Forget About Life Now
    Days In Committee Room
    Life In Jail Cell
    Live Life To Fullest
    Important Component Of Dignity
    Who made them God?
    The Level Of Beasts
    Was Supposed To Be

  10. A Lesson Before Dying
    Wrong Place Wrong Time
    Twelve White Men Jurors
    Black Man Convicted Guilty

    Does Life Have Meaning
    Die Like A Man
    Death of Mr. Grope
    Don’t Get Any Respect

    Teach To Change Lives
    Cry After Each Visit
    Sweet Potatoes And Chicken
    Jefferson starve to death

    Corn For The Hog
    Change For The Inmates
    Irene The Substitute Teacher
    Deputies Paul And Clark

  11. Innocent man got committed to death for something he didn’t do.
    Don’t be in the wrong place, at the wrong time.
    Never think you are worth less than someone.
    Justice can be injustice.
    Judgement based on color.
    Jefferson will be unjustly sacrificed.
    Grant the teacher gets forced by his aunt to participate in something he doesn’t want.
    White Opinion is considered true over Black opinion.
    How thankful a White can be with a Black that served his family since he has memory.

  12. – A lesson before dying
    – Down with the black
    – I’aint raise no hog
    – I raised a man
    – she is average height,
    – five four, five five
    – nearly two hundred pounds
    – white man’s been killed
    – Boy Boy Boy Boy
    – He wanted to run
    – He could not run
    – A fool is not aware
    – You see a man
    – Look at that skull,
    – His face is flat
    – Look into those eyes
    – Do you see intelligence

  13. Electric chair is death
    Die like a man
    Black teacher helps Jefferson
    Jefferson judgment was unfair

    Jefferson will be electrify
    Jefferson is a hog
    Grant’s lessons are good
    Wrong place, wrong time

    Man sentenced to death
    Whites rules over black
    white opinion is important
    sheriff helps Ms. Emma

    Grant went visit Jefferson
    Ms. Emma need help
    Sheriff accepted Grant’s visits
    Ms. Emma is sad

  14. Wrong place, wrong time.
    Liquor store shoot out.
    Three men were killed.
    Death sentence for jefferson.

    Christ knocking on door.
    Classroom was the church.
    5.5 months of school .
    Children needed in field.

    A way of life.
    Just a old hog .
    Hog don’t eat candy.
    Your a human being.

    A white man died.
    Black man is trailed.
    Told he’s a hog.
    Jefferson will be sacrificed.

  15. A Lesson Before Dying
    Death sentence for “hog”
    Segregation in the south
    Catholic School for children

    Grant’s respects his aunt
    The town of Bayonne
    Pecan Trees Down the Roads
    Jefferson day of death

    The “White Rabbit Bar”
    Brother, Bear, and Grope
    The death of Mr.Grope
    Winter’s load of wood

    Grant Higgin’s Mullato Teacher
    Mr.Henri Pichot’s House
    Dr.Joseph’s visit to school
    Grant’s love for Vvivian

  16. Grant to teach Jefferson
    Vivian love some Grant
    Racism is still active
    Black man falsely accused

    Miss Emma is Humble
    Tante Lou respects Emma
    Jefferson acts like hog
    Miss Emma sad visits

    Grant had mean teacher
    Grant is mean teacher
    Will grant become man
    Jefferson to be electrocuted

    Will Jefferson really die
    Grant demoralized during visits
    Henry Pichot respects Emma
    Grant is very educated

  17. my name is grant.
    ms emma loves jefferson.
    jefferson is very bitter.
    grant is a educator.

    i am ms emma.
    a lesson before dying.
    they have racist people.
    i am grant wiggins.

    we respect tante lou.
    guidry is in charge.
    paul listens to guidry.
    henri pichot is stubborn.

    jefferson was called hog.
    hogs are wild animals.
    wild animals are dirty
    jefferson isn’t a animal

  18. My name is Jefferson.
    I’m called a hog.
    I’m accused of murder.
    I don’t deserve this.

    Miss Emma is my godmother.
    Is in bad health.
    Visits me in jail.
    Brings her good cooking.

    Grant is the professor.
    Wants to getaway fast.
    Teaches at a church.
    Turn Jefferson into man.

    Treated as a hog.
    Acts like a hog.
    Eats food out bag.
    Ready to die now.

  19. Grant, an educated man.
    School for colored children.
    Children in the fields.
    White schools, colored schools.

    Miss Emma, protective mother.
    Tea cakes, fried chicken.
    Silent treatment from Jefferson.
    Jefferson locked up alone.

    Jefferson accused of murder.
    Three killed for alcohol.
    Wrong place, wrong time.
    Jefferson called a hog.

    Back door brings memories.
    Asks Pichot for permission.
    Jefferson doubted for education.
    Grant asks Guidry himself.

  20. Jefferson is sentenced death.
    A Lesson Before Dying.
    Miss Emma cooks Jefferson food.
    Grant is Jefferson’s teacher.

    Mr. Grope is killed.
    Is Jefferson a man?
    Is Jefferson a hog?
    Whites are over blacks.

    No justice for Jefferson.
    Sheriff lets Grant teach.
    Jefferson is really innocent.
    Jefferson’s a black man.

    Grant’s a school teacher.
    Vivian is Grant’s girlfriend.
    Vivian is a teacher.
    Miss Emma is “sick”

  21. Racism truly destroys humanity.
    Man sentenced to death
    Because of his race
    Not for his actions

    Black man white world
    Whites ready to accuse
    black ready to defend
    Whites win, white world

    They bring Jefferson food
    He wants his freedom
    They don’t deliver
    Miss Emma starts crying

    Accessory after the fact
    Could make better choices
    Then he was arrested
    Now he will die

  22. Mr. Grope’s store was robbed.
    Three people were killed.
    Jefferson got “the chair”.
    He was called a hog.

    Grant is a Teacher.
    Miss Emma wants his help.
    Make Jefferson a man.
    Grant doesn’t want to.

    Ms. Emma asks a favor.
    From a man with connections.
    He thinks it’s stupid.
    But Sheriff allows it.

    Grant doesn’t like Louisiana.
    He hates the racism.
    he feels only exists.
    he does not truly live.

    • Mr. Grope™s store was robbed.
      Three people were killed.
      Jefferson got the chair.
      He was called a hog.

      Grant is a Teacher.
      Miss Emma wants his help.
      Make Jefferson a man.
      Grant doesn’t want to.

      Ms. Emma asks a favor.
      From a man with connections.
      He thinks it’s stupid.
      But Sheriff allows it.

      Grant doesn’t like Louisiana.
      He hates the racism.
      He feels he exists.
      But doesn’t truly live.

  23. 1.Jefferson is a hog
    Death was the sentence
    He was wrongly accused
    Jefferson is in jail

    2.Grant is a teacher
    He is very educated
    Taught Jefferson in jail
    Asked to pull switch

    3.Ms Emma faked sick
    Made grant feel humiliated
    She talked to Henry
    She had to cry

    4. Grant visited Jefferson alone
    Jefferson asked him questions
    Jefferson was a accessory
    He didn’t know better

  24. All men are equal
    People show no mercy
    Death is ultimate punishment
    All men die men

    Family stands together always
    All love is patient
    Grant loves his Tante Lou
    Fight for your beliefs

    Justice system is corrupt
    Jefferson an innocent man
    Eye for an eye
    Discrimination is highly unjust

    The South is wretched
    Slavery out of control
    Discrimination is poison to all
    African Americans work harder

  25. Teacher sent to assist.
    Segregation in the south.
    Disgraced in his defense.
    Took whiskey to calm nerves.

    Two drunks kill man.
    Just wanted a ride.
    To die by the chair.
    Stuck in prison.

    Catatonic in his cell.
    Acts as a hog.
    Blacks experience hardships.
    The south is unfair.

    A Lesson Before Dying.
    Wrongly accused of murder.
    “Hog” sentenced to death.
    Learning to prove a point.

  26. 1.
    -Jefferson is a “hog.”
    -All men are equal.
    -Blacks seen as inferior.
    -Whites raised as superior.
    -Grant doesn’t trust himself.
    -Ms.Emma brings food.
    -Mr.Henri is ungrateful.
    -Vivian is getting divorced.
    -You “were” not “was.”
    -Straight sentences not slanted.
    -Leftovers for other “children”
    -Jefferson does not care.
    -Tante Lou is very strict.
    -Louis bet against Grant.
    -No justice for colored.
    -Ms.Emma brings Jefferson food.

  27. Miss Emma Jefferson’s Aunt.
    She is very old.
    She needs help.
    Asks people to help make Jefferson in a “man.”

    Jefferson convicted of murder.
    Goes to jail.
    Referred to as “hog”
    Sentenced to death.

    Grant hates the south.
    He loves the people.
    Especially Vivian.
    He wants to leave the south with her.

    Dr. Joseph is the superintendent.
    Has an inspection for the school in town.
    Picks different students.
    Lectures students about healthy habits.

  28. My name is Jefferson
    Accused of killing others
    I’m not a hog
    Will prove them wrong

    A Lesson Before Dying
    A man wrongly accused
    Death by electric chair
    Must make a change

    Educated man named Grant
    Must share his knowledge
    School for colored children
    Will change their lives

    Grant loves girlfriend, Vivian
    Vivian’s getting a divorce
    Grant stays for Vivian
    Both compromise for relationship

  29. Southern life is hard.
    Jim Crow laws enacted.
    Louisiana can be rural.
    White skin ruled 1940s.

    Ms.Emma loved her godson.
    Tante Lou raised her nephew.
    Grant left Bayonne,education.
    They all served Pichot.

    Jefferson was falsely accused.
    A man isn’t a hog.
    Electrically charged death sentence.
    He must have dignity.

    Grant and Vivian date.
    Rainbow Room is they’re getaway.
    Vivian was previously married.
    They are both teachers.

  30. 1.No blacks allowed here
    2.Black man gets life
    3.No justice for negros
    4.Use the back door

    1.Any racist white men
    2.No colored allowed here
    3.Whites rule over blacks
    4.Living in the south

    1.South needs to change
    2.A man or hog
    3.All men created equal
    4.Hog gets death sentence

    1.Caught in a shooting
    2.Didn’t pull the trigger
    3.Now sentence to death
    4.Now gets the chair

  31. Jefferson went to jail.
    Gets sentenced to death.
    He is called hog.
    should die a man.

    a teacher is called.
    to show Jefferson pride.
    grant starts to stall.
    didn’t deserve to die.

    he is a man.
    not a filthy hog.
    decides to help Jefferson.
    Grant knows the truth.

    discrimination still goes strong.
    black loses against white.
    wrongs keep coming up.
    justice is so corrupt.

  32. Three killed by drunks.
    Jefferson is discriminated against.
    Jefferson sentenced to electrocution.
    Must die a man.

    Miss Emma sobs over Jefferson.
    Grant conflicted about decision.
    Vivian helps Grant decide.
    Doesn’t want to teach.

    Grant wishes to leave.
    Grant teaches in church.
    Dating Vivian although married.
    Grant helps Jefferson’s dignity.

    South is highly segregated.
    Segregation during 1940s Louisiana.
    Education is greatly valued.
    World needs to change.

  33. Ride with the guys
    unexpected shootings came about
    jefferson did not shoot
    he stole alcohol instead

    jefferson only one alive
    police arrive at scene
    jefferson looks very guilty
    infact he was not

    police arrest him immediately
    family finds out quick
    law decided to execute
    jefferson adressed as hog

    Grant is a teacher
    jefferson is not manly
    enters chair as man
    man now not hog

  34. A MAN or HOG?
    White infer him animal
    Jefferson act like one
    Emma want him man

    A Lesson Before Dying
    Jefferson want die now
    Grant trying to help
    Jefferson lost of fate

    Wrong Place,Wrong Time
    Three men die then.
    An innocent was accuse.
    Grant is being blame.

    To Live or die?
    Grant want to runaway.
    Jefferson thinking about death.
    Emma want him man.

  35. WRONG Place, WRONG Time
    Murder put on Jefferson
    What could he do?
    To shocked to run

    Jefferson is to Die
    Miss Emma hurt and worried
    The chair awaits him
    No justice for Jefferson

    Jefferson is a HOG?
    No he’s a man.
    According to Miss Emma.
    She raised a MAN!

    Grant’s help is needed.
    Pressure put on him
    What could he do ?
    His job, to teach.

  36. Mia’s 4 x 4

    Jefferson refused to speak.
    Grant was Jefferson’s teacher.
    Emma was Jefferson’s support.
    Vivan and Grant dated.

    Visitation rights were granted.
    Grant has an education.
    Tante Lou supported Emma.
    Miss Emma loved Jefferson.

    White supremacy was present.
    Coloreds were less educated.
    Gaines wrote this book.
    Louisiana was the setting.

    1940′s was the time .
    A lesson before dying.
    Jefferson received death penalty.
    Jefferson isn’t a hog.

  37. My name is Jefferson
    Stand by can kill
    There but not there
    Jefferson needed the money

    Jefferson got pick up
    He got call hog
    Do you have corn
    Words hurts too much

    south in the 1940s
    Die like a man
    Electric chair is death
    Jefferson acts like hog

    Will Jefferson become man
    School for colored children
    Miss Emma the godmother
    Miss Emma is sick

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