POE-TENTIALLY THE BEST HORROR & SUSPENSE UNIT AVAILABLE.
This is an amazingly in-depth study on the genre of Horror & Suspense with a focus on Edgar Allan Poe.
All activities are common-core aligned. Over the several years during which I have taught this unit, I have weeded out what has fallen flat and added on to and enhanced what has worked. In short, years of dedicated analysis, research, and creative energy have gone into this unit as a whole.
This unit covers the following stories:
• “The Tell-Tale Heat” by Edgar Allan Poe (as the anchor text,
the analysis and study of this story in absolutely in-depth)
• “The Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allan Poe (this is a
recent addition to the entire unit included to bulk up studies
in Gothic Horror)
• “The Black Cat” by Edgar Allan Poe (this story is used to
deeply compare and contrast Poe’s craft as well as focus on
characteristics of the Fantastic Horror)
• “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe (I specifically focus on
allusions through the use of this poem)
• “The Landlady” by Roald Dahl (This story focuses on gathering
evidence to develop inferences)
• “The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs (This story is a great
conclusion to the overall unit and can be used to encourage
independent practice with the genre of Horror & Suspense)
• 19 pages of Guided Notes – perfectly illustrated, yet
extensive in analysis and detail—it’s also littered with textual
evidence (answer key included). Stories covered include: “The
Tell-Tale Heart (anchor text), “The Fall of the House of Usher”;
“The Black Cat”; “The Landlady”; and “The Monkey’s Paw”
• 184 PowerPoint slides - sister product of the guided notes.
More vibrant than the notes and includes 7 extension
activities. Virtually every slide includes appropriate CCSS for
o Stories covered include:
“The Tell-Tale Heart (anchor text)
“The Fall of the House of Usher”
“The Black Cat”
“The Monkey’s Paw”
o Extensions covered include:
Biography on Edgar Allan Poe
A debate on how Poe died (alcohol poisoning
A study of schizophrenia (connected to “The
Tell-Tale Heart” & “The Fall of the
House of Usher”)
“The Raven” - general comprehension
Allusions in “The Raven”
A study of Cyanide Poisoning &
Formaldehyde (connects to “The Landlady”)
A study of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
(connects to Major Morris of “The Monkey’s
• Test on Edgar Allan Poe stories: “The Tell-Tale Heart”; “The
Fall of the House of Usher”; “The Black Cat”; and “The
I have included two versions of this test.
• 10 page test includes 53 multiple choice & 3 constructed
response options + student answer sheets. All questions are
Common Core aligned with plenty of textual evidence.
Constructed response includes a rubric to help students
succeed and teachers to seamlessly and objectively score
literary analysis. (multiple choice answer key included).
• The additional version eliminates “The Fall of the House of
Usher”. This is a 9 page test which includes 45 multiple choice
questions (some of which are not included in the original test)
& 3 constructed response options.
BOTH TESTS ARE DESIGNED SO THAT THEY CAN BE GIVEN AS A CUMULATIVE ASSESSMENT (suggested) OR INDIVIDUAL QUIZZES
• Test on “The Landlady,” “The Monkey’s Paw,” and a cold read.
8 page test includes 32 multiple choice & 1 constructed
response + student answer sheet. All questions are Common
Core aligned with plenty of textual evidence.
TESTS IS DESIGNED SO IT CAN BE GIVEN AS A CUMULATIVE ASSESSMENT (suggested) OR INDIVIDUAL QUIZZES
• Creative project with rubric. For this project, students write an
illustrate a graphic novel version of the stories covered in this
unit: “The Tell-Tale Heart”; “The Fall of the House of Usher”;
“The Black Cat”; “The Raven”; “The Landlady”; and “The
Monkey’s Paw”. Project includes student template, directions,