A haunting and vengeful raven, a madman with ill-intent, ghosts of loved-ones past, pendulums of lethal proportions–these are just a few of the horrifying elements found in Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories. It’s October: the leaves are changing, and Halloween decorations are adorning classrooms. It’s the time of year many English language arts teachers relish: a spine-chilling unit centered around their favorite Poe stories. Here are some of our favorite Edgar Allan Poe resources from eMediaVA.
For those exploring how Poe’s life affected his writings, you have to check out the Edgar Allan Poe: Buried Alive series from American Masters and WNET. Each of these six resources includes a short video and other lesson-planning additions like teaching notes and discussion questions. These would make meaningful anticipatory sets!
The Digital Public Library of America has put together a great primary source lesson that accompanies the poem “The Raven.” “Teaching Guide: Exploring ‘The Raven’” sets the stage contextually and includes sources from Poe’s life and writings. Included in this resource are discussion questions and class activities. Advanced literature classes would benefit from this deep dive into how Poe’s writing reflects the culture of the 19th century.
In addition to lessons that directly address Edgar Allan Poe’s stories, you can also check out some of these complementary teaching activities. We love “Where did Goth Music and Fashion Come From?”, a fascinating video that explains the origin of American gothic trends.
If you teach “The Masque of the Red Death,” look into eMediaVA’s Black Plague resources. Some of our favorites include this Black Death Interactive by WHRO and John Green’s video “Disease!” in his Crash Course World History series.
There are many other resources about Edgar Allan Poe in eMediaVA and throughout the web. Join us for an upcoming webinar where we will showcase even more Poe lessons to complete your spooky unit!
Kristen Strickland is a former ELA teacher and current ITRT in Chesapeake Public Schools and an eMediaVA Ambassador.