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5.0 (2 Reviews)

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


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Grade Level Grades 9-12
Resource Type Handout
Standards Alignment

About This Lesson

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. 



Close Reading Excerpt (modified).docx

Handout, Worksheet
February 13, 2020
163.15 KB

Annotation Rubric for Closed Reading Poe.docx

February 13, 2020
127.4 KB

Reading Student A.pdf

February 13, 2020
309.83 KB

Writing Student A.pdf

February 13, 2020
283.73 KB


By the end of grade 10, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, at the high end of the grades 9–10 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.
Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
2 Reviews
That's awesome. It's all about engaging them in reading and thinking. Thanks.
Danny Hollweg
June 09, 2018
Thank you for this lesson. It is concise and well constructed. My students also appreciate your work.
April 23, 2018