Knowing Poe: The Literature, Life and Times of Edgar Allan Poe... In Baltimore and Beyond



Maryland Public Television
2005 Webby Award Winner!
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My Tell-Tale Heart
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Random Raven
My Tell-Tale Heart
My Tell-Tale Heart
Click image above to launch the interactive

In this activity, you will create your own personal reading of Poe's famous short story The Tell-Tale Heart. People who read this story about an insane, murdering man often have strong reactions. They think about what is going on in his mind. They wonder when or if he will kill. They think of other stories or movies about horrible men. Hundreds of thoughts about characters, the story, and the way Poe tells it fly through their heads. But usually, those thoughts stay in your head.

This activity is about getting the weird, cool, gross, surprising, and interesting thoughts you're thinking out of your brain. Using the icons, you will add annotations, or your thoughts, questions, ideas, and observations to Poe's story. After you write them down, compare your reading with your classmates, teachers, and parents. You might be surprised what they are thinking!

When you open the interactive, you'll see part of Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart on the left. On the right, you'll see annotation marks like exclamation points for things that surprise you, question marks for questions or things that confuse you, and so on. Simply click on an icon with your mouse and drag it to the place in the story you'd like to remember or comment on. A text box will open where you can type your comment. Click the HELP button to learn what the annotation marks can be used for. When you're finished reading a section, click the NEXT button to turn the page.

As you work, you can also listen to a narrator read the text. Press the play button on the narrator bar to hear the story read to you.

When you're finished, you'll be able to:

  • Print your personal reading of The Tell-Tale Heart, complete with your annotations, or
  • Email your personal reading of The Tell-Tale Heart, complete with your annotations, to a teacher, parent, or friend


WARNING: Once you leave this activity, all your annotations will be lost. So be sure to print or email your version of the story before you explore other parts of the site or exit!



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