Edgar Allan Poe Death Theory Debate
For this activity, each student selects a death theory of Poe and researches that theory only. There are 5 theories and space for you to include another if you would like. Students will participate in a Gallery Walk where they start at the theory they researched and merge with those who had the same theory. They discuss and record the information that supports the theory. As the teacher calls time, they rotate to other theories where they try to find flaws in reasoning or dispute claims with evidence they found during their individual research. After students have rotated through all theories, they have a final chance to prove their claim before the class votes on which theory they think was best supported with evidence. This is not a traditional debate of going back and forth among participants. It is in the form of a Gallery Walk and final speech, which students enjoy because it lets them do something a little different.
Specific instructions are inlcuded in the packet (more than what is explained here) along with tips and tricks to help you along the way. There is also some information about teaching students how to disagree agreeably. Finally, students fill out a self-evaluation about their partipation in this activity. The self-evaluation survey is included.
This lesson gets students researching, thinking critically, analyzing information, collaborating, moving around the room, stating claims and rebuttals, as well as presenting information in a persuasive manner. This activity definitely helps students practice 21st Century Skills.
For more Poe activities, visit these lessons:
"The Fall of the House of Usher"
"The Cask of Amontillado"