Edgar Allan Poe Project Ideas

Instructor: Maria Airth

Maria has a Doctorate of Education and over 20 years of experience teaching psychology and math related courses at the university level.

The projects in this asset allow high school students the opportunity to delve deeply into the works of Edgar Allan Poe. Students will gain a strong understanding of his work through these engaging and creative projects.

Edgar Allan Poe Projects

Why do some students struggle with Edgar Allan Poe's work? It is often quite dark with strong emotional themes. There is death and loss in quite a lot of his work and that can be uncomfortable for students.

Looking past the themes of his work, Poe wrote in a style that is unfamiliar to students of today. This makes understanding his work even more difficult than if the same themes were given in a relatable language.

Projects based on Poe's work give students time to really focus on his work and come to a deep understanding of the message he was giving. These project ideas will engage your high school students as they study Edgar Allan Poe's work.


We've all heard the phrase It isn't what you say, but how you say it that gets your message across. This project is designed to help students who struggle with the language style of Poe's work.

To Do

  • Instruct your students to choose one of Poe's poems.
  • Encourage your students to read/study the poem enough to fully and completely understand it.
  • Now, the students will need to re-write the poem in modern day language in story form.

Students should write their stories in the same person as the poem is written, but without the prose of poetry. Students should not embellish the story in any way; but should include all of the details offered in the original work.

Consider allowing class time for volunteers to share their resulting stories.

Artistic Depiction

A picture is worth a thousand words. This common phrase is the core of this project.

Students will choose a piece of Poe's work to depict in artistic expression.

Some artistic ideas for students are:

  • Drawing or painting conveying the central themes of the work.
  • Hard copy collage giving details about the action of the work.
  • Digital collage explaining the work.
  • Expressive artwork conveying the emotions of the piece.

You may wish to expand the concept of artistic depiction and allow your students to come up with their own artistic interpretations of their chosen pieces. These could include:

  • A song telling the story
  • Interpretative dance
  • Mime acting

In some cases, you may consider allowing your students to work in pairs or small groups to complete this project.

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