Guilty or not guilty?! Let your students decide the fate of the narrator from The Tell-Tale Heart!
This activity requires research, critical thinking, close reading, literary analysis, and finding textual evidence to justify responses. Students will research the different degrees of murder in the United States. Then they will take on the role of the judge for the trial against the narrator in the story “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe.
Students will use both critical thinking skills and evidence from the story to decide if the murder was premeditated, if there was motive, and if there is enough evidence that supports a plea of insanity by the narrator. Once students come to a decision, guilty or not guilty, they will then decide an appropriate punishment for the defendant.
This resource includes:
- Research guide for students to follow (PDF)
- Direct connection between the research and the short story (PDF)
- Questions about the story that require textual evidence (PDF)
- Editable copy for teachers (word document)
- Answer guide for teachers (PDF)
This is a great way to end the unit of “The Tell-Tale Heart” or it could be used as a prewriting activity for an argumentative essay on the same topic.
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