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The Tell Tale Heart

The Tell Tale Heart

Author: Andrea Springer

Students will come to class prepared to discuss Edgar Allan Poe's The Tell Tale Heart with a focus on point-of-view. They will use textual evidence to draw conclusions about the protagonist of the story, which they will then use to create thesis statements about the text.  

This lesson is designed to familiarize students with Edgar Allan Poe's short story, The Tell Tale Heart, in order to prepare them for a lesson where they will practice constructing thesis statements. It consists of a "cold read" and then a guided read where students are given a specific focus. 

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Ways to read The Tell Tale Heart

There are a number of different ways to read Edgar Allan Poe's The Tell Tale Heart online. Like all works published before 1923, the story is in the public domain, which means that anyone can reproduce it without obtaining permission. As a result, The Tell Tale Heart is all over the internet in a variety of forms. Before you do any other part of this lesson, you'll need to find one to read. Here are a few suggestions:

  • To hear the full text out loud (it takes about 15 minutes), you can listen to this YouTube video or this mp3 file
  • If you'd like to read the text in a more traditional format, here's a PDF version of the story. 
  • There's an online graphic novel that you can access here
  • Finally, (and this is my personal favorite!) there's an app available for iPad and iPhone called iPoe that has the stories in a cool interactive format. If you want to spend the $1.99 on the app you certainly can, otherwise you're more than welcome to stop by after school and use my iPad to read the story. 


POV: Point of View

Watch until 3:30 for an explanation of first person narrators.

Source: mistersato411

The Annotated Tell Tale Heart

I've gone ahead and annotated a copy of the Tell Tale Heart. Please re-read the story along with the annotations. I'd like you to pay special attention to the narration, now that you have an added understanding of Point of View.


Source: public domain--PDF created by Jose Menendez

Mining Literature for Deeper Meaning

Please watch this video in preparation for discussion of the story the next day and, as you watch it, think about how to make meaning from the text.

Source: TedEd