The Tell-tale Heart
This advanced-level story, by Edgar Allan Poe, was first published in 1843. In it, a cold-blooded killer explains how he prepared what he believes is the perfect murder of the old man he lived with. The story is told in two parts;each part contains audio and an accompanying lesson plan written by Daniel Barber, which includes teacher’s notes, student worksheets and a full transcript and glossary. Part 1 is free to all onestopenglish users.
The Tell-tale Heart lesson plans
Part 1 of this crime story introduces us to the storyteller, who describes how he patiently waited for the right moment to kill. In this lesson, the students will: briefly discuss the topic of murder; listen to a short extract in order to find out why the storyteller decides to commit murder; study the meaning of some key vocabulary; listen extensively for gist; examine the author’s use of assonance and onomatopoeia; predict the ending.
Part 2 of this crime story concludes with the police paying a visit to the cold-blooded killer. Can he stay calm long enough to avoid suspicion? In this lesson, the students will: listen to various predictions about the story’s ending; listen for gist to check the predictions; listen for detail; explore stress timing; discuss aspects of the story in detail; debate the storyteller’s state of mind.