Text Dependent Questions and the Short Response: Poe and "Fall of the House of Usher"

Danny Hollweg

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The guiding question for this lesson is as follows: How does Poe’s use of Figurative Technique, such as symbolism, personification, or Imagery establish the mood of fear or despair?

Before students are able to write effectively, utilizing textual evidence and organizing coherently, they need practice in close reading. I use text-dependent questions to help guide students through a complex piece of fiction, in this case the opening of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher". Through this lesson, I want to help students with their annotation skills, even color coding (highlighting) very specific ideas in the short piece, which helps me differentiate for my visual learners as well. 

This lesson isn't just about writing the effective and analytical paragraph, but, more importantly, helps them actively read for the specific concepts of fear and despair, how to mark up a text, and how to choose their evidence for their writing. This is the reason I've included an "Annotation Rubric"--to reinforce the reading skills. 

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Reviews

April 2018
Thank you for this lesson. It is concise and well constructed. My students also appreciate your work.
June 2018
That's awesome. It's all about engaging them in reading and thinking. Thanks.