Grade 11: Poe's Psychological Journey of Self

Lesson Overview

In this lesson, students will analyze American Short Stories and Informational Texts in order to determine the results of author choices

Mastery Objectives

Analyze the impact of the author's choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed)

Analyze how an author's choices concerning how to structure specific parts of a text (e.g., the choice of where to begin or end a story, the choice to provide a comedic or tragic resolution) contribute to its overall structure and meaning as well as its aesthetic impact


Today will be used as an introduction for the unit. Students will take a pre-assessment on various poetic forms to assess their mastery. Any items that are not fully mastered will be explained in further detail. Students who are still struggling will be given additional practice. Examples of ballad, ode, and sonnet will be demonstrated as well as rhythm, repetition, and alliteration. Students will be given homework to further study these items.

Students will begin class discussing the role of psychological aspects of poetry/ music/ etc., reflecting on the poetry read the day before as well as current examples that the students can produce. The question of "How can an author's life affect his or her work?" will be posed and students will be asked to write freely on a piece of work and discuss the author's work.

Continuing with the psychological aspects of literature, students will read Kate Chopins's Story of an Hour. Without discussion, students will do a quick write to evaluate plot, character development, setting, theme, mood, and point of view as they are used together to create meaning in the story. Once students have evaluated the writing using the above literary elements, they will then have a class discussion to relay their thoughts on the story and discuss the question “Can an event cause a death without physical contact?”

Introduce Poe with short biography (in the form of a Power Point). Students will work in groups and have them discuss possible reasons for Poe’s type of writing. Have each group do a character sketch of Poe. Let each group share with class.

 “The Black Cat”—Do quick read aloud using popcorn reading strategy. Have students choose critical vocabulary from story to use as bell ringers for the rest of the week.

Use QC guiding questions to increase comprehension, allow students to work with partners to complete questions. Students will share answers.

Students will complete a web-quest on the Spanish Inquisition to prepare them for the reading of “The Pit and the Pendulum”. They will then read The Pit and the Pendulum selecting critical vocabulary.

Students will rewrite the ending of the story starting with the line “For the moment at least I was free” and will share with class. They are asked to use the same style as the author.

Students will read “Masque of the Red Death” evaluating the use of figurative language as well as focusing on the literal and figurative inferences of the story.

Students will work on line with the story “The Yellow Wallpaper” and will evaluate the ways in which irony, imagery, and tone achieve the intended meaning of the passage.

Students will read several examples of responses to literature and will analyze how the authors craft and organize each of the writings. Then students will craft first and final draft of responses to literature choosing from texts that have been read during the unit.

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