Resurrecting Poe:Literature Lessons from the Master of the Macabre Pamela Carter General Ray Davis Middle School Rockdale County Public Schools
Why Poe? Poe’s works defined an entire genre of literature. He is credited as the father of the mystery story. His dark romanticism blended characteristics of the Romantic Movement (think Byron, Shelley, and Keats) with the American Transcendental Movement (think Emerson and Thoreau), thus giving us a reason to psycho-analyze characters and consider how one’s life and choices affect his salvation.
and… most importantly… His impact on popular culture has been enormous.
How can I use Poe and his works to bring life back into my classroom? • Read several Poe short stories and compare elements of plot. (See Poe vs. Poe organizer, included in this packet). • Identify characteristic elements of Poe short stories, such as repetition, rhyme, first person point of view, and the use of emdashes to divide and define text. • Discuss symbolism in “The Raven.” What might have happened had the “late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door” been something besides a raven? Rewrite the poem, maintaining the rhyme scheme, meter, and other major characteristics of the original. • After reading and discussing "The Raven," have students retell the poem in comic strip format using contemporary English. • As a technical writing activity, have students write an obituary for Edgar Allan Poe, highlighting his accomplishments and outlining important relationships and events in his life. • Using the poem “Enigma,” have students solve the puzzle of the hidden name of Poe’s poet friend while learning what makes a sonnet a sonnet.
After reading several Poe short stories and poems, have students complete the “Poe Yes or Poe No” activity in which they will examine a variety of manuscripts and determine whether or not they were authored by Poe. Allow students to use biography notes and class notes. • Working in groups of four or less, students can create a movie poster for one of Poe's short stories or poems. They should include a teaser/slogan, modern day cast members and a depiction of an appropriate scene from the selection. • Have students create Poe-inspired short stories, focusing on sensory details and concrete language to develop plot, setting, and characters. • Using Poe-related writing samples, have students participate in Extreme Essay Makeover. • Have students create Photo Story or Movie Maker productions on Poe’s works. Download Photo Story 3 for free at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/digitalphotography/photostory/default.mspx. • Work with your visual arts teacher to produce art that shows mood and tone. See attached plan for the Georgia Art Collection.
Photo Story documentaries • Power Point presentations on literary devices • Poe Yes or Poe No?
Who can read Poe? Everyone. 1220 Lexile “The Black Cat” 800L “Cask of Amontillado” 700L “Masque of the Red Death” 1180L Three Thrillers from Poe, Master of Horror (Scholastic) 450L 1350 Lexile
Contact Information • Web site: http://www.rockdale.k12.ga.us/personal/pccarter/elagrade8/default.aspx • Email: firstname.lastname@example.org • Davis Middle School:http://www.rockdale.k12.ga.us/Schools/DMS/default.aspx