The Poetry of Poe: PowerPoint Slideshow!

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SWBAT analyze how Edgar Allan Poe's structure creates mystery and suspense by contributing to a PowerPoint presentation on "The Raven."

Big Idea

Networked technology allows for collaboration across the whole class, in order to draw on each other to explicate a poem.

Intro & Welcome: It's National "I Love to Write" Day

3 minutes

As students enter the computer lab, I provide a copy of the directions for the PowerPoint slide today. I also ask them to sit with, or leave room for, their partner from yesterday. Once the students are settled, I point out to them that it is "I Love To Write Day," and they will be writing--a bit--about Poe's poem, as they craft their explication and annotation slides. 

I also let students know that the "Friday Favorite" Poll: Favorite Pizza Topping, will be continued on Monday, as we just don't have time on the half day (twenty-five minute classes) today.

Tying the Daily Holiday to the in-class assignment connects to an idea I have been pushing this year: writing should not be a punishment. My hope is that students can find joy in their writing, and not look at it as chore, even if it is an assignment. 

Pairs PowerPoint Explication Preparation*

20 minutes

*Alliteration, Assonance, AND Consonance. 

Before students start working, I read the PowerPoint Slide Directions to the students, and ask if they have any questions. Each PowerPoint slide feature a single stanza of the poem, annotated by the students in order to demonstrate understanding of how the word choice and structure create the mood of "The Raven." By contributing one slide, students will be able to build a review that addresses the key ideas of the poem, and draw from each other in building understanding. This PowerPoint review then becomes specific to the class, and something they "own."

I remind students that we are on a tight schedule, and if someone is absent, the present partner will need to complete the slide on their own. With their partner, students are to create a PowerPoint slide that explicates and annotates their assigned stanza (by number, counting off in class yesterday) of "The Raven."

In order to prepare for this assignment, I have made The Raven" Reading, Guide, and Questions available on the school's network, so students can copy and paste their stanza to the slide. Additionally, they should have all of the annotation they need to identify the figurative and connotative meaning of the diction, and how that diction influences the tone of "The Raven" CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.4), as well as analyzing how Poe's stanza and line structure creates the sense of "eerie, spooky, weird" mystery to "The Raven" (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.5). The use of the school's network and a compiled PowerPoint creates a shared writing products and links their ideas to other information (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.6).  The compiled PowerPoint will be made available for students to use to study both Poe and annotation. 

As noted yesterday, I chose for students to work in pairs partially to give them the opportunity to collaborate; as I noted, some of the language is challenging and I feel by working together, students can decipher it. Working together also allows for creative collaboration, as the students discuss and encourage each others' ideas and design.

Student samples: 

PowerPoint Stanza 5

PowerPoint Stanza 7

PowerPoint Stanza 8

PowerPoint Stanza 12



Two-Minute Warning: Wrap-Up & Reminders

2 minutes

With two minutes remaining, I ask for the students' attentions, remind them they should (please) read Poe's "The Masque of The Red Death" for Monday, and make sure they take notes on how it meets the elements of Romanticism. I also remind students to turn the slides in electronically, either via my drop box on the school's network, or via email, so that I may compile the complete set and make them available for the students via the school's network. 

(Thanks to the University of Virginia for making "The Masque of the Red Death" available in the public domain. "The Masque of the Red Death" was published before January 1, 1923; it is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.)