Lesson Plan

Investigating Poe and Remixing The Raven

Before reading Poe's work, students will investigate his life to determine how his life events influenced his writing.
Jamie S.
Technology coordinator
Madera Unified School District
Madera, CA
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My Grades 9, 10, 11, 12
My Subjects English Language Arts

Part One - Students will be able to find information, make inferences and draw conclusions that are supported by evidence in relevant texts. Students will synthesize their information in a presentation. 

Part Two - After investigating Poe, students will read The Raven and create their own illustrated poetry in the style of Poe.

English Language Arts
reading comprehension
text analysis
using supporting evidence
writing clearly
Social Studies
cultural understanding
historical figures
Grades 9 - 10
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 The Hook - Why is Poe Important?

Activity: Reading

I project Shmoop - Edgar Allan Poe on the board and read it and discuss with the class why Poe is still important to American Literature. Once everyone understands that Poe invented the detective story, created new genres and that his writing was dark and scary, we go on to a small group activity. 


2 Group Inquiry

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In small groups students continue to search Shmoop to evaluate life events that may have influenced Poe's writing. Students read Shmoop and cite information from the site to support their theories. The small group presentation should represent Poe's entire life, his ups and downs and students should use the information cited to infer how his life events affected his behavior and work. Group presentations should include citedd evidence, student written analysis and illustrations.

3 Presentation of Findings

Activity: Presenting

Students present and discuss with the class their findings and analysis of Poe.

4 Examining The Raven

Activity: Exploring

After students understand something about Poe, I show The Simpson's version of The Raven.  The class discusses the meaning of the poem based on the video. We discuss what they think is going on with the character in the poem. After watching the video, students then read the poem on Teacher's First Interactive Raven. The Interactive Raven places emphasis on vocabulary and the literary devices used by Poe. While reading, students are to collect 30 of the "cool" vocabulary in the poem (not common language). 


5 Remixing The Raven

Activity: Creating

Once students have their 30 words, they are to remix The Raven into their own unique poem. They can add their own words, but they must also correctly use the vocabulary they selected from The Raven. Students will illustrate their poem on a single slide of slideshow software (whatever you have access to, Google Presentation, Keynote or PowerPoint, this can also be done with word processing software).  It's nice if the text of the poem can be placed on the image or artfully arranged with an image. Students take a screen shot of the poem and publish. It's nice if the teacher provides an online place to publish or share student work, such as a course management system. This allows students to browse through the poems and comment or "like" them.