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In this lesson, students research Edgar Allen Poe, play a fact game, and write a biographical essay


Computers & Internet, Language Arts  


9, 10, 11  

Title – Meet Mr. Poe
By – Betty Driver
Primary Subject – Language Arts
Secondary Subjects – Computers / Internet
Grade Level – 9 – 11

Topic to Teach:

      Students will be introduced to the author Edgar Allen Poe. The following lesson will be followed with the reading of

The Cask of Amontillado


The Raven


Standards Addressed:

      The standards addressed in this lesson plan come from the North Carolina Standard Course of Study.
      1. The learner will react to print and non-print text.


      2. The learner will demonstrate an understanding of various literary genres and concepts. Specifically in this lesson and later lessons theme and mood will be taught.


      3. The learner will demonstrate understanding of the affects of culture and history on literature.


      4. The learner will demonstrate the ability to prioritize and organize information.


      5. The learner will use non-print media to research and inform an audience.


    6. The learner will report in appropriate form the research he or she has done.

General Goals:

    Students will research Edgar Allan Poe. They will learn how to access search engines and take notes from the internet. They will then participate in an elimination game to share information with other class members. They will then use the facts they have learned to write a biographical essay about Poe. The information they use will further be used to show the connection between the author’s early life and the themes of his poems and short stories.

Specific Goals:

      1. Students will learn to access information using search engines on the internet.


      2. Students will learn to collect information by taking notes.


      3. Students will learn to organize data collected into an essay.


    4. Students will learn to connect theme with an author’s life.

Required Materials:

      1. Access to internet ready computer lab


      2. Notebook paper and pencil


    3. Text containing Poe stories or poems the teacher wishes to teach.

Anticipatory Set:

    Students will be given directions on computer lab policy. They will be instructed on several different search engines. These might include Goggle, and They will be briefly lectured about the life of Edgar Allan Poe. The teacher will mention key facts that students should look for to spark their interest. These facts may include asking them to find the unusual theories about the way he died including rabies and diabetic coma. Another spark would be to ask them to find out about the young women in his life who died tragically. Mention that they will be playing a game and the one with the most information about Poe will be the winner.


      1. The teacher will begin the class with a brief lecture on Edgar Allan Poe. Be sure not to give too many facts. Give them hints, but not specific information.
      2. The class will be instructed on computer lab policy and be given a list of search engines available. Some students may need to be shown how to use the search engines. Others will not need any assistance.
      3. Students will be instructed to find as many facts about Poe as they can in a class period. There will be a contest to see who can collect the most facts. They will write the facts on a sheet of notebook paper. Each fact should come on a separate line. Skip a line between each fact.
      4. Begin the contest in the next class period. All students will be instructed to stand beside their desks. Students will give one fact in turn around the room. When a student says a fact, the others in the class must mark an X beside it. No fact can be said twice. If a student does not have the fact on his or her paper, he or she can add the fact with an X beside it. When a student runs out of facts he or she is out of the game and may be seated. The last one standing is the winner. A small prize may be given to the winner.
      5. The teacher may wish to follow up on the facts which the students have gathered. Some information may not be reliable or some students may have questions about Poe’s life. Students often have questions about why he was able to marry his cousin. Be prepared to talk about this with students. There are also many theories about his life style and theories about his death which the teacher must address through lecture or discussion.
      6. The students will be asked to organize facts they have gathered into paragraphs by writing numbers beside the facts which should go in the same paragraphs. For example, facts about his birth and parents should go in the first paragraph and will receive the number 2. The number 1 should be reserved for an introductory paragraph. Students will be encouraged to combine facts into sentences.
      7. Students will be given time to write a biographical essay about Edgar Allan Poe.
      8. The teacher should follow this by studying several of Poe’s stories and poems. In each story, discuss how the theme of how sad it is for a beautiful woman to die young could have been affected by Poe’s early life. The setting and mood of his stories were also affected by his early education. This relationship may also be shown.

The Raven


To Helen


The Fall of the House of Usher

      , and

The Cask of Amontillado

    may all be used, but the follow up reading can be done with a wide range of stories or poems.

E-Mail Betty Driver !

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