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Topic or Unit of Study


Language Arts (English)

20th Century American Literature, Edgar Allan Poe

The classes, with the exception to the group that has been chosen to
participate in the alternate Action Research Project instruction, will
effectively use web-based resources to complete information about
the life of Edgar Allan Poe. All students will become acquainted with
Poe's work and understand his importance in American canon.

How do we as a literary community decide what belongs in our
traditional canon?

Time Allotment
Assessment of Prior Knowledge

Instructional Materials

Grade 8
2 class periods. 1.25 Hrs. per class.
Students will be given a Poe pre-test that assesses their prior
experience with Edgar Allan Poe and his work.

Students will need paper and writing utensils.



The number of computers required is 1 per 2 students.

Either a laptop cart or computer lab must be reserved

before implementation.

Students will participate in a short journey into Edgar Allan Poe's life
and writing. This will include using an interactive timeline with the
exception of the Action Research group and analyzing "The Tell-Tale
Heart" in order to meet state and national standards. Following the
timeline activity, students will complete their own timeline
presentations that act as a part of their post-test.




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MD - Maryland Teacher Technology Standards

Developed from Marylands Preparing Tomorrows Teachers to

Use Technology (PT3), USDOE Catalyst Grant, May 2002.

Standard and Outcome I: Information Access,

Evaluation, Processing and Application:Access, evaluate,
process and apply information efficiently and effectively.
Indicator 2: Evaluate information critically and competently
for a specific purpose.
Indicator 4: Apply information accurately in order to solve a
problem or answer a question.

MD- Maryland College and Career Ready Standards

- Math and ELA/Literacy (2013)
Subject: English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social
Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects
Grade: Grade 8 students:
Content Area: English Language Arts
Strand: Reading Standards for Literature
Domain: Craft and Structure
4. 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
Strand: Reading Standards for Informational Text
Domain: Key Ideas and Details
3. Analyze how a text makes connections among and
distinctions between individuals, ideas, or events (e.g.,
through comparisons, analogies, or categories).
Strand: Speaking and Listening Standards
Domain: Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
6. Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks,
demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or
appropriate. (See grade 8 Language standards 1 and 3 on
page 52 for specific expectations.)

USA- Nat. Council of Teachers of English: Standards

for the English Language Arts

Standard 1.: Students read a wide range of print and

nonprint texts to build an understanding of texts, of
themselves, and of the cultures of the United States and the
world; to acquire new information; to respond to the needs
and demands of society and the workplace; and for personal
fulfillment. Among these texts are fiction and nonfiction,
classic and contemporary works.
Standard 8.: Students use a variety of technological and
information resources (e.g., libraries, databases, computer
networks, video) to gather and synthesize information and to
create and communicate knowledge.
Standard 11.: Students participate as knowledgeable,
reflective, creative, and critical members of a variety of
literacy communities.
Lesson Objective(s)

Students will identify, list, and recite pertinent information from

Edgar Allan Poe's life.
Students will apply knowledge of Poe to their own interactive
Students will clearly communicate their knowledge through unique

Students will retell events of "The Tell-Tale Heart" by creating an
alternate text from the point-of-view of secondary characters.
Students will either justify or critique Poe's position in American
literary canon.

Affective objectives
Students will discover an appreciation for 20th century literature.
Students will integrate discussion of literature into daily life.



Teaching / Activities

Students will be given a daily writing prompt that acts as an

introducer to Poe and his novel genre, the detective story.

Day One:
1. Students will complete a daily writing prompt and volunteering
students will share their answers to the prompt.
2. Students will be given a five-question pretest that assesses
students' prior knowledge of Edgar Allan Poe and his work; given that
students haven't had a "run-in" with Poe in the state curriculum, they
will not know much outside of their own special interests.
3a. One group of students will use computers to explore the
interactive Know Poe website. They will complete an organizer that
requires noteworthy information about Poe's life. Following the
completion of the organizer, students will complete critical thinking
questions that explore Poe's writing.
3b. The other group of students will be given the same information
directly from the instructor with a Prezi presentation; they will also
have to complete an organizer and critical thinking questions.
4. ALL students will be assigned their own timeline assignment that
must include 15 events from Poe's life (assignment attached) and
then present their timelines to their classmates.
Day Two: "The Tell-Tale Heart"
1. We will define an author's voice as a class; students will use a
voice organizer that includes examples of diction, imagery, figurative
language, and syntax. Students must find examples of each in our
class reading of "The Tell-Tale Heart."
2. Students will read "The Tell-Tale Heart."
3. As a class, we will discuss students' opinions on Poe's voice in the

story; each student will have time to justify their answers given the
examples they found.
4. Students will retell the events of "The Tell-Tale Heart" by creating
an alternate storyline from the point-of-view of one of the secondary
characters from the story (the Old Man or police officers).
5. Students will present their timelines orally.
6. Students will be given a restructured Know Poe post test.


Differentiated Instruction

Students will share their "The Tell-Tale Heart" alternate storylines as

well as discuss the importance of Poe in the American canon; this is
where students can either agree or disagree with inclusion of Poe as
a noteworthy author.

I have to differentiate instruction for my Block Two class that includes

several IEPs. I instituted UDL principles by scaffolding the reading of
"The Tell-Tale Heart." This included a guided reading activity as well
as several comprehension checks throughout.
This lesson was also chosen for use as my Action Research Project.
In order to fulfill the assignment, I had to choose two groups (Block
One and Two) and instruct each using a different strategy.


Students were assessed using three different strategies:

1. Traditional short-answer post-test.
2. Speaking and listening assessment through classroom
presentation of Poe timelines.
3. Comprehension assessment through alternate retelling of "The
Tell-Tale Heart."