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Abigail Wisniewski

KUDo’s Unit Assignment

Unit: Edgar Allan Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart, Annabel Lee

Grade: 8th

Analyze how differences in the points of view of the characters and the audience or reader (e.g.,
created through the use of dramatic irony) create such effects as suspense or humor.

Analyze how particular lines of dialogue or incidents in a story or drama propel the action, reveal
aspects of a character, or provoke a decision.

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and
connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone,
including analogies or allusions to other texts.

Materials: Literature, Common Core Edition 2012; copy of the poem ‘Annabel Lee’

Edgar Allan Poe
Literary terms: Irony, suspense, climax, ambiguity
Vocabulary from stories/poems:
- Acute - vex - kinsmen
- Stealthily - crevice - sepulchre
- Hypocritical - stifled
- Vehemently - audacity
Background of Edgar Allan Poe
- Orphan
- Kicked out of military school
- Poverty
- Wife died
- Contributed to his “madness and melancholy”

- Students will understand how word choices contribute to the mood, tone, and action of a
piece of literature.
- Students will understand how the tragedies in Poe’s life contributed to his dark tone and
mystery style of writing, as well as the contents of his works.
- Students will understand how life events can contribute to art.
- Students will understand that sometimes our suspicions can make us act irrationally.
- Students will understand how the point of view of the narrator contributes to building
- Students will understand that some characters are ambiguous, and we have to come to our
own conclusions based on the evidence.

- Recognize when suspense is being created through vocabulary and the point of view of
the author.
- Write using specific word choices to convey a suspicious and suspenseful tone.
- Identify moments of suspense, irony, and climax in a piece of writing.
- Hypothesize why Poe wrote the way he did based off of events from his life.
- Consider what type of writing they might produce based off of their own life (journal
- Identify the point of climax in a story or piece of writing.
- Compare the narrator’s words and actions to come to a conclusion about whether or not
he was crazy.
- Assess what they find “suspicious” and what they may obsess over in their own lives, as
well as the consequences that could lead to.

I think the best type of summative assessment for this unit would be through student
writings and reflections. To see how well they’ve grasped suspenseful language, I would have
them write their own suspenseful short story, or create a suspenseful video to share with the
class. Another summative assessment I might use is to have students decide whether the main
character is crazy or not by having them cite textual evidence to support their argument. One of
my “understands” for the unit is that they’d recognize that some characters are ambiguous and
we have to come to our own conclusions, so I’d have them do just that. In order to come up with
an argument, students will have to consider the language the narrator is using to embellish the
situation and decide whether it is “reality” or if the character is just paranoid.
As a pre-assessment (attached), I’d do a “True or False” quiz on Edgar Allan Poe’s life.
After I read all of the statements, we’d go over them as a class, which would combine
assessment and learning. We’d also do a matching vocabulary sheet to see what words students
already knew.
One formative assessment I’d use to gauge my students’ grasp of the vocabulary would
be to have them write a sentence using each of the vocabulary words. Another formative
assessment I could do would be to read aloud from the story and have students give some sort of
signal (raise a hand, raise a card, something like that) when suspenseful language is used to
create mood or tone in the story. We could also create some sort of class list that is displayed on
a bulletin board or something where we make a list of the different words and phrases that create
suspense in the story.
Edgar Allan Poe: True or False

Teacher Statements
1. Edgar Allan Poe grew up with both parents present.
2. Poe was expelled from both the University of Virginia and the U.S. Military Academy.
3. Poe’s wife, Virginia, died of a broken heart two years after his untimely death.
4. Poe spent much of his adult life living in poverty.
5. Poe was known for his light-hearted comedies.
6. As a child, Poe’s father deserted his family.

Answer Key
1. False
2. True
3. False (Explain that Virginia actually got sick and died young, Poe was the one who fell
into depression afterward and died two years later).
4. True
5. False (Ask if they know what he was known for-- mystery and suspense)
6. True
Vocabulary Matching Activity
Match each definition to a word in the word bank

Word Bank
1. Acute __c___
2. Vex __f__
3. Kinsmen _g___
4. Stealthily _a___
5. Crevice _b___
6. Sepulchre _h___
7. Hypocritical __e___
8. Stifled _i___
9. Vehemently _j___
10. Audacity _d___

a. Cautiously, secretly
b. Crack
c. Sharp; keen
d. Shameless daring or boldness
e. False or deceptive
f. To disturb; to annoy
g. Blood relative
h. Stone tomb
i. Smothered
j. With intense emotion
Vocabulary Matching Activity Answer Key
Match each definition to a word in the word bank

Word Bank
Acute __m___
Vex ____
Kinsmen ____
Stealthily ____
Crevice ____
Sepulchre ____
Hypocritical _____
Stifled ____
Vehemently ____
Audacity ____

k. Cautiously, secretly
l. Crack
m. Sharp; keen
n. Shameless daring or boldness
o. False or deceptive
p. To disturb; to annoy
q. Blood relative
r. Stone tomb
s. Smothered
t. With intense emotion