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ALOVE_Tell Tale Heart

Page history last edited by Jan Wolfgramm 9 years, 4 months ago

Intel® Teach Program

Thinking with Technology Course


Unit Plan Template

Click on any descriptive text, then type your own.


Unit Author

First and Last Name

Annie Love

School District

Tempe Elementary School District

School Name

Gililland Middle School

School City, State

Tempe, Arizona

Unit Overview

Unit Title

The Tell Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe-“ Why will you say that I am MAD”-a unit on figurative language and real life choices

Unit Summary


In this unit students will be reading the short story, “The Tell Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe. Within this unit they will determine what impact figurative language has on the story as a whole. Point of view, theme, and style are also topics that students will explore within the unit. Additionally, students will identify homophones and use them correctly. They will determine whether or not the narrator is responsible for what he did. Students will have to back up their reasoning’s with support, evidence, and claims using the Showing Evidence Tool. This will tie into real life issues such as the shootings that occurred in Tucson. This specific incident will be used as an example to help students relate the theme of-can/should people who are mentally ill (or not mentally sane) be responsible for their actions? Why or why not? After reading and using the Showing Evidence Tool, students will then write an original extension story that takes off where the original story ends. The story must be based around what happens to the narrator as a result of what they did in the story. When students are finished writing their stories, they will use Pixie to make a movie of their story, narrated by themselves. Lastly, they will present their Pixie movies to the class.


complete a series of projects and activities. The final project will allow the students to choose from multimedia presentations, posters, PowerPoint presentations, Pixie, Inspiration, or any other format that had been approved by me. Final presentations will be based around the students creating their own ending for the story.

Subject Area

Language arts-Reading

Grade Level

8th Grade

Approximate Time Needed

3-7 reading classes, 50 minutes each

Unit Foundation

Habits of Learning Taxonomy

Investigate-explore, examine,

Evaluation-predict, assess, support, defend

Analysis-connect, compare

Identify-the specific types of figurative language being used





Targeted Content Standards and Benchmarks

2.1.3 – Character Description

Describe a character, based upon

the thoughts, words, and actions of

the character, the narrator’s

description, and other characters.

1.4.4 – Figurative Language

Determine the meaning of figurative language, including

similes, metaphors, personification, idioms, hyperbole, and

technical language.

1.6.7 – Reading Strategies

Use reading strategies (e.g., drawing conclusions, determining cause

and effect, making inferences, sequencing) to interpret text.

1.4.2 - Context of Unfamiliar Words

Use context to identify the intended meaning of unfamiliar

words (e.g., definition, example, restatement, synonym,


PO 5. Analyze the relevance of the setting (e.g., time, place, situation) to the mood and tone of the text.


Student Objectives/Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • Be able to identify specific types of figurative language that are being used

  • Infer as to what will happen next in the story

  • Summarize the text for important information and a clear summary of the story

  • Explain the impact mood and theme have on the text of a story

  • Create their own ending to the story based around their opinion that a person should/should not be held accountable for their actions on based on their mental capacity

  • Students will use the Seeing Reason Tool to rank and provide evidence backing up a claim on whether the narrator should be held accountable for his actions.

  • Use Pixie to create a visual representation of their story and present it to the class illustrating their new ending to the story


Curriculum-Framing Questions


Essential Question

Why is analyzing figurative language important to understanding a text?


Unit Questions


How does figurative language appeal to readers?

Why do readers need to draw conclusions and infer information?

How is mood created by an author?


Content Questions

What is figurative language?

What are mood and theme?

What does it mean to infer?

How do you infer information?

Assessment Plan

Assessment Timeline




Before project work begins

Students work on projects and complete tasks

After project work is completed










  • Discuss Edgar Allan Poe

  • Create an Inspiration Web about what they already know about Edgar Allen Poe and his sanity

  • Read the biography on Edgar Allan Poe (page 543)

  • Make the Connection: Create a Class Survey: Top-Ten-Terrors

  • Review specific types of figurative language

  • What does the title of this short story imply?

  • Vocabulary Development Review

  • Students will complete the Predictions for Poe worksheet prior to reading story

  • Read “The Tell Tale Heart” on pages 537-542.

  • While reading, students will answer 1-6 Reading Skills boxes

  • Use the COMIC CREATOR at

  • http://www.readwritethink.org/materials/comic/ to create a comic strip

  • with at least six blocks that summarizes a portion of the story

  • The Tell-Tale Heart.

  • Students will complete the Showing Evidence Tools

  • Class discussion on whether the narrator should be held accountable for his actions

  • Write a new ending based on what they created in Showing Evidence Tool

  • Create a Pixie presentation of new story ending

  • Project Self Reflection journal entry

  • Present presentations to class

  • Students grade each other on their presentations and provide constructive feedback



Assessment Summary


Graphic organizers, journal entries, Poe Prior to reading handout, provide feedback on prior to reading activities and inspiration webs, set due dates, quiz, final exam, and project/activities outlines, checklists, and rubrics.

Visual Ranking Elements (Complete this section if this tool will be used in the unit)

Visual Ranking Project Name (For the Visual Ranking workspace)


Project Description (For the Visual Ranking workspace)


Prompt (For the Visual Ranking workspace)


Sorting List (For the Visual Ranking workspace)


Showing Evidence Elements (Complete this section if this tool will be used in the unit)

Showing Evidence Project Name (For the Showing Evidence workspace)

Why Will you say that I am MAD?

Project Description (For the Showing Evidence workspace)

In this project students will have to determine whether the narrator of the Tell Tale Heart should be held responsible for his actions. Students will have to back up their reasoning’s with support and claims using the Showing Evidence Tool. This will tie into real life issues such as the shootings that occurred in Tucson. This specific incident will be used as an example to help students relate the theme of-Can/Should people who are mentally ill (or not mentally sane) be responsible for their actions? Why or why not?

Prompt (For the Showing Evidence workspace)

Should the narrator in The Tell Tale Heart be held responsible for his actions?

Practice Case (For your future quick reference)

Practice Team ID: Period 5

Password: abcd

Reviewing Team ID: Period 7/8

Password: abcd


The narrator in The Tell Tale Heart is crazy.

The narrator in The Tell Tale Heart is sane.



Unit Details

Prerequisite Skills

Knowledge of figurative language-be abe to define, identlfy

Students will need to be to infer and know what that means

Review of the vocbualry outlined for the short story

History and some information on Edgar Allan Poe



Instructional Procedures



The pre-lesson will begin by having a class discussion on Edgar Allan Poe. I will ask the students to write down as many things they know about Edgar Allan Poe. When students finish this they will then get on their computers and create an Inspiration Web. The web will be used to map out their pre-knowledge of Edgar Allan Poe. We will have a quick review game using Jeopardy on the different types of figurative language. This will be a great way to review the different figurative language terms.

I will go over with the students what exactly this unit will entail. Then together they will get on their computers and we will fill out the Unit Outline Inspiration Web. This gives the students the chance to visually see and hear all aspects of this unit.


The lesson will begin by students reading aloud the biography of Edgar Allan Poe from the Elements of Literature book page 543. In addition, I will share/read to the class a little more information on Poe’s life. The class will then have a discussion about if they believe that Poe was a mentally stable person. That will lead into a further discussion on what makes a person crazy as opposed to sane. I will let them share their answers with the person sitting next to them and aloud.


Next we will read as a class the “Before You Read” on page 536. We will conduct a class survey as seen in the “Make a Connection” and then the students will be given a graphic organizer. They will begin by looking at the title of the story. I will ask them what does the title of the story imply? Along with if they think that the use of first person point of view effects the theme and mood of the story. Using the graphic organizer they will make further predictions based on the pictures/images from the story, previous notions of the author, and anything else they predict will happen in the story.


Now we will read “The Tell Tale Heart” together (pages 537-542). While reading the students will answer the open book signs that appear along the text. There are 6 of these boxes. After reading the short story we will analyze and discuss how the mood and tone affect/create the overall impact that they story has on the readers. Students will next finish filling out the graphic organizer comparing their original predictions to what really happened in the story. Students will address and describe the impact that foreshadow, mood, climax, dramatic irony have on the story. Lastly the students will answer the “After You Read” questions on page 544. This will be turned in along with the graphic organizer. Both will be graded and returned to the students to provide both them and myself with feedback and assessment on the story and important elements we analyzed. Students will also discuss the role that figurative language has on appealing to readers.


After the assigned work above is completed, the students will use the Showing Evidence Tool to answer the following questions: 1. Do they think the narrator is sane? 2. Should the narrator be held accountable for his actions? They will back up their answers with reasoning, clear evidence, and support.


After making their solid claims and providing substantional evidence, the students will then use this evidence to create a story. They need to continue from where the Tell Tale Heart story ended and tell what ends up happening to the narrator. This will be done in a short 4 paragraph story that they make up and that is based on their claims from the Showing Evidence Tool. When the students have finished creating their story, they will they use Pixie to create a movie illustration and voice narrating what happens in their story. When students are finished creating their Pixie movies they will present them to the class. The students will be graded while presenting their Pixie stories on a scale of 1-5 by their peers. The criteria will be listed for them on the grading rubric sheet.



After all students have presented their Pixie stories, each student will do a quick typed 2 paragraph response/reflection on the unit. This reflection will start by focusing on the impact that figurative language has on the story and the narrator telling the story. Next they will discuss analyze the inferences and predictions they made before the story was read and then after we read the story. They will make a quick summary of their results. They will then write a few sentences reflecting on the results of using the Showing Evidence Tool and how that tool helped to shape the story they then created.


Accommodations for Differentiated Instruction


Resource Student


Oral instructions on quiz, and exam.

One on one, small group work, partner work

Continual monitoring and checking for understanding/questions


Nonnative English Speaker


One on one, small group work, partner work

Directions read aloud to them

Continual monitoring and checking for understanding/questions

Graphic organizers

More visual elements


Gifted Student


Higher level questions

More aspects to the Pixie project and more challenging requirements when creating the extended story

Materials and Resources Required For Unit


Printed Materials


Elements of Literature books, printed handouts, rubric, graphic organizer



Classroom computers, Elements of Literature books, pen/pencil, paper

Technology -Hardware


Projector, computers, printer, television, speakers, Pixie, Word, Inspiration

Technology -Software

Internet browser, Specific WebPages, computers, printers, headphones, video clips, projector and screen, in-classroom volume

Internet Resources





Other Resources

Access to other students work and responses, examples of

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*Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.





Copyright © 2008 Intel Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Page 11 of 11

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