Welcome to The Big Read, a program from the National Endowment for the Arts designed to revitalize the role of literary reading in American culture. The Big Read hopes to unite communities through great literature, as well as inspire students to become life-long readers.
This Big Read Teacher’s Guide contains ten lessons to lead you through an introduction to the poetry and short stories of Edgar Allan Poe. Each lesson has four sections: a focus topic, discussion activities, writing exercises, and homework assignments. In addition, we have provided capstone projects and suggested essay topics, as well as handouts with more background information about the novel, the historical period, and the author. All lessons dovetail with the state language arts standards required in the fiction genre.
The Big Read teaching materials also include an Audio Guide. Packed with interviews, commentaries, and excerpts from Poe’s writing, The Big Read Audio Guide presents first-hand accounts of why the work of Edgar Allan Poe remains so compelling more than one hundred and fifty years after its initial publication. Some of America’s most celebrated writers, scholars, and actors have volunteered their time to make these Big Read Audio Guides exciting additions to the classroom.
Finally, The Big Read Reader’s Guide deepens your exploration with interviews, booklists, timelines, and historical information. We hope this guide and syllabus allow you to have fun with your students while introducing them to the work of a great American author.
Edgar Allan Poe, 1848 (Courtesy of the Poe Museum, Richmond, Virginia)
An illustration from "The Fall of the House of Usher" (Courtesy of the Poe Museum, Richmond, Virginia)
Edgar Allan Poe (Library of Congress)