If your students are examining how writer's create tone and mood, there is no greater writer than Edgar Allan Poe! "The Tell-Tale Heart" combines incredible use of language, punctuation, and sentence structure to create a dark story that kids will remember forever. The lesson begins with a scripted think-aloud using only the first sentence of the text. Through the think aloud, you will model for students how Poe uses language AND punctuation to create a dark, eerie mood from the beginning. This lesson then provides differentiated components that allow your students to analyze the author's craft in creating tone and mood at a level most appropriate for them. Three separate Google Doc activities are provided: one for struggling readers and beginning/intermediate ELLs that scaffolds learning while still requiring students to think critically and explain their thinking in writing; a second activity is designed for on-level students, who will annotate excerpts of the text and add commentary explaining how their selections impact tone and mood; the final level adds syntax into the mix and asks students to consider both the writer's use of language AND sentence structure decisions that impact tone/mood. Any of these activities can be done collaboratively with partners or small groups or completed individually. A short written assessment and links to the story online are also provided.
Next, links to movie versions of the story are provided along with a discussion guide and activity for students to compare and contrast how tone and mood are created in the text version and in the movie version. (Students will never watch a movie the same way again...)