This mini-unit, suitable for AP Lit or upper high school classrooms, uses a seminal gothic short story to teach close reading, re-reading, questioning, and literary criticism. Students read the story several times for different purposes (at first guided, then in groups) and discuss hallmarks of Gothic literature and other points of entry. In the summative assessment, groups are assigned a section of literary criticism, and defend their own analysis with images and evidence in a visual literary criticism. A Gallery Walk finalizes this unique and engaging activity.
***10-slide editable PowerPoint
***8-page editable Word lessons w/student exemplar photos
***Full-text of the short story, "The Fall of the House of Usher"
***Excerpt from published literary criticism
***Step-by-step teacher and student directives
***Visual literary criticism poster activity
***Gallery Walk exercise
At least 7 days of engaging and rigorous work
This was a huge success in my AP Literature class. It is suitable for any AP Lit or upper-level English class, plus Honors and can be differentiated/adjusted to suit your styles, time frames, and class structures.
Alternate to group work: Prompts can be used in stations, where students visit 2 or more in the course of an activity.