Lesson Plan

Narrators are not created equal! Using text evidence to profile Poe's narrators.

Using text evidence to profile and analyze Poe's narrator's using Excel and FBI profiling.
Andrea N.
Technology Integration Specialist
Springfield Local Schools
Akron, United States
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My Grades Pre-K, K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
My Subjects English Language Arts, English Language Learning, World Languages, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts, Health & Wellness

Students will be able to find textual evidence using comprehension, inference, and analysis skills to better understand the narrators in Edgar Allan Poe's "The Black Cat,"  "The Tell Tale Heart," and /or "The Cask of Amontillado."



English Language Arts
Grades 9 – 12
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Direct Instruction

Have students read Edgar Allan Poe's the "Tell Tale Heart", "The Black Cat", and "Cask of Amontillado."  

How the stories are read and presented is up to teacher discretion.   The stories can be read together as a class, as literature circles, or individually.  Paper copies can be supplied to students, or iPoe (paid) can be used to read the stories on a mobile device.  

It is recommended that the teacher scaffold stories to model analytical skills during reading and annotation skills.  "The Tell Tale Heart" can be read as a class and discussed section by section to model annotation and depth of thinking.  "The Black Cat" can be read in literature circles, and annotated in groups.  Finally, "The Cask of Amontillado" can be read in literature circles, or individually to assess a students capacity to process and annotate text on their own. 

Student Instructions

Read and annotate the stories by Edgar Allan Poe.  

When you annotate, make sure you reach higher levels of predicting and making inferences.  Write your annotations directly on the story.

2 Character Analysis - Using the BRACE profile

Students will use the BRACE profile to analyze the narrator in Edgar Allan Poe's "The Black Cat."  Students should be required to pull and cite evidence from the text to support their answers.

Group students as deemed appropriate by the teacher.  

The teacher should upload the BRACE Excel Calculations sheet into Drive and either share with each group of students OR create an assignment in Google Classroom.  If Google is not available, a link can be posted to download for use in Excel.  Students should collaborate on one shared document. 

Students should then be given the questions from the character profile.  **The teacher should REVIEW all questions before giving a copy to the student**  For instructional purposes, some questions can be omitted and answered by the teacher in the spreadsheet or reworded, despite the fact this might slightly skew results.  ***Some questions contain statements/questions regarding sexual behavior that should be monitored based on the maturity and grade of students.*** 


Student Instructions

Students should read the instructions provided by the teacher as follows:

"INSTRUCTIONS: Rate each item by entering on the 0,1,2,3, or 4 and a solid dot (·) will appear. Attempt to rate each item, even if there is some doubt. It is important to rate each item as accurately as possible. Refer to the rating scale often. If you clearly have no knowledge about an item, rate the item X. When in doubt between two ratings, be conservative and select the lower rating

0 = Rarely, slightly or not characteristic at all
1 = Somewhat, sometimes, mildly characteristic
2 = Often or frequently or strongly characteristic
3 = Very often or very strongly characteristic
4 = Consistently, extremely, core characteristic

NOTE: Pay very close attention to the wording of each item (particularly: if, may, and, both, etc.)
PLEASE: Frequently refer to the rating scale. Over or under rating items distorts the profile.

General rating guidelines:
If an item is 100% true, it is a 4.
If there are some parts that are not true but overall the item is at least 75% true, it is a 3.
If half is 100% true but half is not true at all or only partially true, it is at least a 2.
If one or more parts is true, it is at least a 1.
If almost all of the item is false most of the time, it is a 0.

Note: Consensus input by two or more raters increases the knowledge base and allows for doubts to be “reasoned out” and alternative perspectives to be considered. However, one person who has good knowledge of the character being rated (or access to those who do) and who also has good critical thinking skills can successfully complete the input ratings."

3 Comparison Analysis - BRACE results

After students complete all questions and the correct numbers are entered in the spreadsheet, a graph will be generated automatically on a tab at the bottom of the sheet.  Students should examine their graph, and then compare their analysis graph to the personality disorder graphs.  Students should determine which graph most closely matches their analysis.  

Student Instructions

Compare your graph analysis to the personality disorder graphs.  Which one most closely resembles your narrator.  

4 Research and presentation

Activity: Presenting

Students can read an article (either self-researched or provided by the teacher) on their personality disorder.  Student groups should then determine if their BRACE analysis and identified personality disorder is accurate to their assigned narrator, and explain details of their analysis using evidence from the text.