The Tell Tale Heart

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SWBAT explore the idea of the unreliable narrator and will compare creative reactions to Poe's classic story, "The Telltale Heart."

Big Idea

Poe inspires us...and many others...

Latin Roots Warm Up

10 minutes

This is our daily warm up, wherein students work with two or three Latin roots per day.  The resource that I use to get my roots is Perfection Learning's Everyday Words from Classic Origins.
Every day, when the students arrive, I have two Latin roots on the SmartBoard.  Their job is to generate as many words as they can that contain the roots, and they try to guess what the root means.  After I give them about five minutes, we share words and I tell them what the root means.

The students compile these daily activities in their class journals.  After every twelve roots, they take a test on the roots themselves and a set of words that contains them.

Reading the Selection

15 minutes

Since we are focusing on both mood and the concept of the unreliable narrator, I thought it would be wise to use a recording for students to listen to while they read along.  Poe has a lot of challenging vocabulary -- which my text book explains in footnotes -- that causes students to stumble when they read aloud.

Also, I use the recordings a bunch in this horror unit, because I think they evoke the feeling of listening to a spooky story around a campfire or at a sleepover.  It makes the process of navigating the story more fun.

One funny thing that I noticed was that the students really had reactions to the dismemberment scene.  It surprised me a little, because I have taught this story a dozen times and often the kids don't react at all.  I think it's interesting that these kids who seem so worldly and blase most of the time are much more innocent than we think.

If you don't have an audio version of the story, here's one you can use:

Videos in Partners

20 minutes

Due to technology limitations, I only had access to about 15 computers.  So, I had students work in partners.

The assignment had them go to YouTube and find two "Tell Tale Heart" videos to compare and review.

Most students chose this one: