Edgar Allan Poe
Lesson plans, biography, and teaching resources

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Lesson Plans for Specific Works
Biography and Background"The Murders in the Rue Morgue"
"The Black Cat""The Pit and the Pendulum"
"The Cask of Amontillado""The Purloined Letter"
"The Fall of the House of Usher""The Raven"
"The Gold Bug""The Tell-Tale Heart"
"Hop-Frog""The Masque of the Red Death"

"The Gold Bug"

"The Gold Bug"
Text of the story.


Text of the story.


Introduction and text of the story. Story is available in both PDF and Google Docs format.

"The Masque of the Red Death"

"The Masque of the Red Death"
Summary and analysis.

"The Masque of the Red Death"
Online text of the story with links to vocabulary support.

"The Masque of the Red Death" Study Questions
Printable handout, 2 pages. Requires word processor.

"The Masque of the Red Death" vocabulary
35 words presented in context and with definitions. Click on a word for pronunciation, synonyms, examples of use, more.

"The Murders in the Rue Morgue"

"The Murders in the Rue Morgue"
Text of the story.

"The Pit and the Pendulum"

Click here: Lesson plans for this story have been moved to their own page.

"The Purloined Letter"

"The Purloined Letter"
Text of the story.

Poetic Justice: A Study of Poe's Famous Works
Students work with "The Pit and the Pendulum," "The Purloined Letter," "The Tell-Tale Heart," a little geometry, and a brief discussion of the Fourth Amendment. This unit plan is designed for 7th grade and requires Adobe Readers or compatible application for access.

"The Raven"

Click here for lesson plans on "The Raven."

"The Tell-Tale Heart"

Click here for lesson plans on "The Tell-Tale Heart."


Text of the poem, background, and analysis.

"Annabel Lee"Text and analysis of the poem.

"Annabel Lee"
Scroll down to find the audio file of an introduction and actress Khandi Alexander reading from the beginning and end of poem.

"Annabel Lee"
Downloadable audio file of the poem (1:56).

"The Bells"
In this Web-based activity, students can hear the poem. They can select voice, music, and sound effects to determine what each adds to their understanding.

"The Bells"Text and analysis of the poem.

Onomatopoeia: A Figurative Language Minilesson
Students are introduced to the literary device of onomatopoeia and explore how the technique adds to a writer’s message. Students brainstorm a list of onomatopoeic words and then find examples of the technique in "The Bells." Once they find examples, students reflect on how the onomatopoeic words add to the poem and the writer’s message. They then apply their knowledge of the technique by choosing sound words in response to sounds they hear in an online tool. Following the lesson, students can look for additional examples of the literary device in their reading or look for places to add onomatopoeia to their writing.

Top 10 Unusually Long and Interesting Words
The last word in this slide show is tintinnabulation, and the script mentions Poe's "The Bells." This would be an unorthodox opening to a lesson, but it could be an effective one.

"A Dream Within a Dream"
In this video, contestant Daniel Troxell recites the poem as part of the Poetry Out Loud competition.

Figurative Language of Edgar Allan Poe
Printable handout with 10 quotations drawn from stories and poems. Students identify metaphor, simile, personification, or hyperbole. Requires word processor or Adobe Reader; includes answers.

The best poem Poe didn't write, "Leonainie" is a literary hoax perpetrated by Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley. This page details the poem and the plan. If Riley could write like Poe, couldn't your students, too? A great way to analyze essential elements of Poe's style.

Edgar Allan Poe Poetry Readers Theater
A fun project that serves as a good introduction to both Readers Theater and four poems by Poe: "The Raven," "The Bells," "Eldorado," and "Annabel Lee."

"The Raven"
Lesson plans and teaching resources for this poem.

Repeat After Us
Audio files of "Annabel Lee," "Eldorado," "Sonnet - To Science," "The City in the Sea," "The Raven," "To Helen." A good site for LD students, ELL students, and for those who read well and might like to record and contribute. Files are in alphabetical order by poet; scroll down.

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