The Fall of the House of Usher Activities

Instructor: Christopher Muscato

Chris has a master's degree in history and teaches at the University of Northern Colorado.

These activities can help your students dive deeper into the themes and motifs of Edgar Allan Poe's Gothic short story, 'The Fall of the House of Usher'.

The Fall of the House of Usher

The Fall of the House of Usher is an 1839 Gothic short story by Edgar Allan Poe. As with most of Poe's work, the story contains multiple layers of meaning and symbolism, so it's a great option for deeper analysis with your class. The following activities can help your students explore the ideas, themes, and genre of the story in greater depth.

The Fall of the House of Usher Activities

Class Analysis

Divide the class into small groups. Give each group a theme or motif which will frame their analysis of The Fall of the House of Usher. In their groups, students will go through the story line-by-line, examining it for any instances in which this theme or motif is literally or implicitly relevant. After each group has had time to analyze the story from their perspective, ask them to present to the class. You can follow these presentations with a class discussion on the layers of meaning in this story.

  • Copies of The Fall of the House of Usher, writing supplies.

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