Text Box: Edgar Allan PoeText Box: The kids were dismissed to write a poem where you could hear sound:

We’re taking a trip to candy land to see the wonderful sights
Outside you hear the clanking and hissing
Of something working inside
Step inside the building to see
People, not smiling, but frowning
There was nothing to see but grey, grey
And MORE grey.  Not what I was expecting
No chocolate rivers or giant candy canes
Just machines wheezing and hissing
I always thought of endless color
Gumdrops, and bubble gum, everywhere you look
Well, that will teach me, to never believe a fictional book. 
Text Box: FiRe

CrIcKle CrAcK, cRiCkLe CrAcK
tHe FiRe Is SmOkInG bLaCk 
ReD iS tHe CoLoR oF tHe FlAmEs, BrOwN iS tHe WoOd
ThE SoUnD I hErE iS cRiCkLe CrAcK tHe WaY aLl FiRe ShOuLd
SnAp, BoOm, BaSh! Up CoMeS aLl ThE aSh, CrIcKlE, bOoM, BaNg Oh HoW tHe FiRe SaNg
AnD nOw I hEaR cRiCkLe CrAcK cRiCkLe CrAcK aNd AlL I sMelL iS tHe FiRe SmOkInG bLaCk
Text Box: In this exercise the kids not only used description to make the reader hear and feel, but also used shape to further promote the mood.  Audrey’s is in the shape of a candy, and Spencer’s is in the shape of fire.  He also used this unusual text to promote the feel of the fire.  
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The next area of poetry we looked at was the poems “The Raven” and “Annabelle Lee”.  Both poems paint pictures in our minds.  The Raven gave us some exceptional examples of literary devices, such as rhyme, alliteration, onomatopoeia, repetition, stanza, personification, assonance, and figurative language.  We listened to The Raven on YouTube:  














Afterwards we used this sight to ‘decode’ the words in The Raven.

Because my kids were so enthralled with The Raven, I had to devote an entire page to our study of The Raven and Annabelle Lee.  To see my kids interpretation through pictures and poems inspired by these poems, click HERE!

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We started with THIS interactive timeline of Poe’s life.  It was fascinating to see he grew up in a time of Bronte, Austin, Frances Scott Key, Moore, and even Dickens, who he met once.  We talked about many of these authors and even discussed how the world was at that time.  The kids decided it must have been a pretty dark place...in spite of that, hope remained.  Not so much in Poe’s writings though.  After reading about the timeline of his life, the kids decided his life was full of turmoil.  From his step father not leaving him any inheritance, to the loss of his childhood sweetheart, the death of his wife and the multiple of jobs, Poe was not a happy camper.  In many ways, his life was shrouded in mystery...and still is...which is what make it fascinating!  We took the “It’ll be the death of me…” quiz...Malena ran out of the room—but it was very cool to draw your own conclusions and see how your final answer compares with others.  We chose...

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From here, we moved on to “The Bells”.  We looked at the shape of the poem.  The way it was written seems to signify the bells moving backward and forward.  We studied the words of the poem, how they made it so you could actually ‘hear’ the bells.  Then, we looked at the different stanzas, comparing them to music we determined that the “Bell, bells, bells, bells, bells…” would be like a chorus in music.  We also discussed how the poem took you through an entire life.  How as a child you would be listening to bells joyously (silver bells, as those on Santa’s sleigh), to wedding bells (still joyful in their sound.)  As you move closer to the end of your life the bells begin to signify alarm...and finally death.  I LOVE this poem.  I also love this site, because they could listen to it without emotion, and then with emotion and sound effects, which at times were slightly hokey, still seemed to portray the mood of the entire poem.  Internet is so amazing.

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Long ago, I studied Poe in school.  I can still vividly remember watching Vincent Price in “Fall of the House of Usher” and “Pit and the Pendulum.”  Things I didn’t take away from that class was that Poe’s life largely centered between Richmond and Baltimore.  So, the kids and I are setting out on a discovery.  First, we want to learn as much about his life as possible.  We are going to study some of his poetry, starting with “The Bells” and work our way through some of his most evocative works (in my opinion) and the kids will also write their own.   At other points they will illustrate poems.  Since I am thinking Fall of the House of Usher would probably freak my kids out, I am opting for a reading on YouTube.  From here we will discuss the short story, and the detective story.  Much of what Poe wrote was very macabre.  The kids can learn a lot from his crafty way of inspiring mystery.  We plan to end our journey with a trip to the Poe Museum in Richmond, and a trip to Baltimore where we will visit his childhood home, and his grave sight.

Most of my inspiration and literary choices came from this sight: 

Knowing Poe