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

Maryland Public Television
2005 Webby Award Winner!
border border
Classroom Connections
Random Raven

Teachers: Check out this note from our advisors and Lesson Plans and Lesson Plans for strategies and printables to help you use this site with a range of readers.



Special site features

Knowing Poe contains two sections of interactive activities:

Poe the Person
Contains activities related to Poe's life, especially in Baltimore

  • Poe's Baltimore, an interactive map through which users can see Baltimore then (in Poe's time) and now.
  • 203 N. Amity Street, a visit to Poe's tiny Baltimore home (now a museum) to look at its many artifacts.
  • Interactive Timeline, a section where users can examine Poe's life and literature in context, using 19th century historical and literary timelines.
  • It'll be the Death of Me, an interactive investigation of one of the greatest mysteries of Poe's life-why did this great author die?
  • School Days, a look at a bill for Poe's schooling, with an option for users to compare those costs with their own.

Poe the Writer
Contains activities related to some of Poe's most famous stories and poems

  • Point of View, a look at Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado" through three perspectives-the protagonist, the antagonist, and an omniscient narrator.
  • "The Bells", a section where users can customize a special recitation of this famous and melodic poem.
  • The Poetic Principle, an interactive exploration of Poe's famous essay, culminating with a look at Poe' "Annabel Lee."
  • Secret Writing, a study of cryptography-what it means, how it works, and how it figures into Poe's short story "The Gold Bug."
  • Annotated Poe, a complete investigation of the poem, citing word meanings, references, poetic devices and more.
  • Poe the Perfectionist, an interactive look at ways in which Poe reworked his writing through an examination of "The Lake."
  • My Tell-Tale Heart, a chance for readers to annotate Poe's work with their own thoughts, ideas, links, and observations on the story and its style.
  • Picture This, an activity to help readers "see" Poe's short story, "The Black Cat" in a new way.

Knowing Poe also has:

Back to Top



Knowing Poe is perfect for:

  • An author study focused on this important literary figure.
  • Studies in nineteenth century literature.
  • Units focused on the short story.
  • An examination of the processes writers employ as they create great work:
  • An interdisciplinary study-work with other teachers to present different sections of the site.

Section Est. time to complete online activity Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level
Poe's Baltimore One 40-minute class period or more 8.8 - 9.1
203 N. Amity Street One 40-minute class period or more 8.1 - 8.5
Interactive Timelines One 40-minute class period or more 7.7
It'll be the Death of Me One 40-minute class period or more 4.8
School Days Less than one 40-minute class period 4.0
Point of View One 40-minute class period or more 4.5
"The Bells" Less than one 40-minute class period 7.5
The Poetic Principle Less than one 40-minute class period 6.8
Secret Writing One 40-minute class period or more 7.0
Annotated Poe One 40-minute class period or more 6/8 - 7.3
Poe the Perfectionist Less than one 40-minute class period 7.7
My Tell-Tale Heart Less than one 40-minute class period 5.5

Back to Top



  • A computer in the classroom

    If you do not have a classroom computer, you can print out and copy the pages of an activity.
    Some activities that can be used this way:

    If you have more than one computer in your classroom, consider allowing teams or groups of students to visit the site during one class period. Make sure to bookmark our site for easy access.

  • Classroom access to the Internet

    If you do not have Internet access, you can web whack site activities and use them in your classroom. (see this site if you use Internet Explorer

  • A display device that you can use to show the site to the entire class

    Ask your tech support person or department to check on availability and tips on usage. If you do not have such a device, consider printing site pages for the class or allowing teams of students to visit the site for special projects.

Back to Top