At this point in the unit, I feel like I have hammered mood into my students' heads, but I decided that I should do an assessment...just...to...make...sure.
So, I gave students a short prompt related to Annabel Lee, which we read together last class. Since we basically just read the poem in class, I told the students that they could take it home and mark it up. However, considering the number of students who pulled it out of their journals (which stay in the classroom), many did not take me up on this offer.
Here is the prompt:
How do the different literary elements and poetic devices contribute to the mood of "Annabel Lee?"
I instructed the students to take about ten minutes and write a "healthy" paragraph to answer the question.
Several years ago, I came across the MPT (Maryland Public Television) site, and discovered that they had some great stuff on Edgar Allan Poe. So, I navigated through the information and created this webquest. It is pretty time-consuming, but also full of good biographical -- and fun -- information.
The only warning I would give about the assignment is that some kids are so impatient with the interactives that they skip through and miss things. I tried to talk to the kids about this being a QUEST and that the purpose is to find information, not finish the sheet. However, your less mature learners are going to look for the quick pay-off. I might recommend that students who struggle should be given two shorter time periods to complete this, or they could work in pairs.
Many students finished the assignment, but some had to take it home for homework.
Before students left for the day, I distributed copies of "Ulalume," my favorite Poe poem.
Their only assignment was to read the poem and look up any words they don't know. I predict that there will be many.
Tomorrow, we will compare "Ulalume" and "Annabel Lee."