The Raven

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Lesson Introduction: 

This is an introduction to “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe through recitation and drama. It begins with a recitation by the teacher with the students finishing each verse either individually or as a class. The class is divided into groups of 3 and given 2 verses. Their task is to find the meanings of the challenging words and references in their verses. The class reconvenes and each group gives a synopsis of their verses and then recites. There is an option to use ipads or other technology to facilitate this step. Each group is expected to generate written definitions of the relevant words to share with all students. The next step is to research various recordings of the poem. Basil Rathborne is a fine example. There is also a version by Bart Simpson. The students are then divided into groups of 6 and tasked with performing the poem. They may choose a simple recitation or act out aspects of the poem. Following the performances, there are options to integrate the lesson with science and art. This would include a field trip to Seymour Mountain to study the behaviour of ravens in the wild and a sketching class.

Learning Objectives: 

In this lesson, students will have opportunities to:

  • Listen to “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe being recited by a variety of performers, focussing on the musical nature of the rhyming scheme terminating each stanza.
  • Expand vocabulary and find the meaning of individual stanzas while in groups and teach to the larger class.
  • Perform a choral recitation as a class.
  • Recite individually.
  • Perform “The Raven” in play format.
  • Record and edit performances.
  • Compare and contrast a traditional recitation with a modern animation.
  • Compare the raven's behaviour in the poem with real life raven behaviour.
  • Use poetry as a springboard into fine art.
Materials and Resources: 

To teach this lesson, you will need:

  • computer with Internet access (speakers or headphones and printer needed)
  • projector for youtube videos
  • good dictionaries, pens
  • art supplies
  • "The Raven" by Edgar Allen Poe

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Poetry In Voice is a charitable organization that encourages Canadian students to fall in love with poetry through reading, writing, and recitation. All of our resources are available online for free. You may also use our resources if you reside outside of Canada.