The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe

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Grade Level
High School
Length of Time
1 hour

In this lesson, students will choose one of the elements: character, theme, or setting and write an essay.

They can read the story and take notes in class and write the essay for homework if you want them to.


Students will learn:
To read for understanding
To develop an element such as character, theme, or setting
To express their viewpoint of a story

Materials Needed

The short story: The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe
Notebook Paper
Pens and Whiteouts
Paper to take notes while reading


First, you will have the students read The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe. They need to take notes while they read the story.

Then, you will have them choose an element one of the elements: character, theme, or setting and write an essay about that element.

They need to focus on their viewpoint about the element. The following are some questions for the students to think about on each element.


What was the character like? Describe the character. What kind of problem or problems did the character experience in the story? Did he/she overcome his/her problem by the end of the story? What did you like about the character? What didn't you like about the character?


What was the theme of the story? What do you think the author wanted to reveal to readers? Did the author succeed in the theme? If not, what do you think was wrong with the theme? What would you do differently in writing and revealing the theme?


What was the setting in the story? What was it like? How did the author reveal the setting? Could you visualize the setting? Do you think the author did a good job in describing the setting? Why or why not?


You can grade on how well they expressed their thoughts on the element and on how they wrote the essay. Did they use correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, and sentence and paragraph structure? Was their essay organized?

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