Edgar Allan Poe: Biography and Background
Lesson plans and teaching resources
The Defamation of Poe's Character
This 2-page handout from the National Park Service discusses what part of Poe's reputation is accurate and what is not. Adobe Reader or compatible application required.
The Death of Edgar Allan Poe
This 2-page handout from the National Park Service discusses the facts and major theories about Poe's death. Adobe Reader or compatible application required.
Edgar Allan Poe
Biography, links to several short stories and poetry.
Edgar Allan Poe, Ambrose Bierce, and the Unreliable Biographers
Students find, examine, and attempt to explain the causes of inconsistencies in at least four Poe biographies. This standards-based lesson is extensive. Resources are present but less extensive for an investigation into the life of Ambrose Bierce.
Edgar Allan Poe, Ambrose Bierce, and the Unreliable Narrator
Students consider a variety of narrative stances as they analyze how Bierce and Poe utilize narration in "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" and "The Tell Tale Heart."
Edgar Allan Poe Collection
Portraits, letters, and other artifacts from Poe's life.
Edgar Allan Poe: Finding Stories in Ordinary Places
This YouTube video finds connections between Poe's apartment in Philadelphia and the story "The Black Cat." It reminds viewers that Poe was not only troubled but also very creative.
The Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Richmond, Virginia
Scroll down to find links to biographical and other sites.
The Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore
Links to biography and works.
An Educator's Guide to Edgar Allan Poe
Biographical information and links to online texts. (Recommended by enthusiastic students and their teacher!)
Maryland Public Television provides biography, a variety of primary sources, and classroom materials. A very impressive site!
The Life and Addictions of Edgar Allan Poe
Biographical information with emphasis on the impact of Poe's reputed substance abuse issues. Adobe Reader required for access.
Modeling Reading and Analysis Processes with the Works of Edgar Allan Poe
Designed for grades 6-8, this series of 7 lessons begins with "The Raven" and moves to individual projects using short stories. Through close textual reading that focuses on think-aloud and specific analytical goals, this lesson models reading and analysis strategies that students can later apply to other texts.
Perspectives in American Literature: Edgar Allan Poe
A good source of background information. Scroll down for a summary of themes, study questions, and more.
Poe Invents the Modern Detective Story
This 1-page handout introduces Poe, detective stories, and ratiocination.
Texts of many of Poe's short stories and poems with hyperlinked vocabulary words, a Poe timeline which lists significant world events during each year of Poe's life, more.
Poe's Literary Contributions
Information about Poe as the inventor of the detective story, a pioneer of science fiction, a master of the psychological horror story, and a literary critic.
Tales of Edgar Allen Poe
Students read a work by Poe, identify the emotions present, and write something of their own that shows the same emotions.
A great resource from the National Park Service: 58 pages of biography, background, and activities. Adobe Reader or compatible application required for access. (Just print out the pages you want to use.)
The Tell-Tale Hearts of Writers: Exploring the Lives of Authors Through Their Literature
Students use a piece of literature by and an article about Edgar Allan Poe to investigate the relationship between word choice and the readers mood and interpretation of a piece of writing. Each student then creates a visual display that examines a favorite writer through biographical information, analysis of quotations about the author and his or her works, and interpretation of a piece of the authors writing.