Literature for October – Poe

06 Oct


I was looking through various books when I stumbled upon this children’s book on The Stories of Edgar Allan Poe . I love these books by Sterling, and up until now have only bought classic novels in these book formats, so I almost overlooked it. Then the black bird on the front cover caught my eye, reminding me of the poem, “The Raven”, and I thought, Why not?

At the time, it was September, and I was a bit inspired by the fact that October was coming. It seemed like the right month to introduce works by Poe. I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to approach it, but I knew it was a bit different than anything else we had done, so I accepted it as a challenge.

In my search online for things to supplement, and to fully teach¬† these works in the best way possible, I found a great site that had all kinds of literary information, not to mention resources for other subjects as well. The site is called and you can search or get more into it by looking by subject. Check out this part of the site for “The Raven”:

It has a basic summary, themes and explanations, analysis of various aspects of the work you’re reading, and more!

I figured I’d start with a poem of Poe’s, despite the fact it’s not in the book of short stories, since that’s what inspired me, and it’s a fun read-aloud.¬† YouTube is also a great source. I was able to find a number of readings of the poem by various people, as well as an animated version that I enjoyed:

And yes, even though it’s a bit iffy at times, I knew The Simpsons had done a shortened version of “The Raven” that was a bit humorous. We watched that as well.

I figure reading it numerous times, doing it different ways, hearing it, and seeing different versions of it will help it stick with my son more. It may or may not be my son’s cup of tea, but it will be there later for him to look back on, and maybe, just maybe, he’ll develop a love for various types of literature if I approach works from numerous angles. When I heard him randomly quoting a few lines from the poem here and there throughout the week, I knew I had somehow reached him in one way or another.

We’ll continue on with studies of the various stories of Poe throughout the month, using the book. I’ll just have to be sure to be careful of which ones I choose to use. “The Tell-Tale Heart” is on the agenda for sure, and I’m possibly considering doing, “The Cask of Amontillado”, but I’ll have to further research other stories to wisely choose. It’s a daunting task, in some ways, but well worth the effort.

Have you considered using any Poe or any deeper literature? What did you study? Why did you choose it?


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