The Raven Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kevin Newton

Kevin has edited encyclopedias, taught history, and has an MA in Islamic law/finance. He has since founded his own financial advice firm, Newton Analytical.

This lesson plan and accompanying activity will help your students understand the role of The Raven in American Literature and also as Dark Romantic poetry.

Lesson Objectives

By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Discuss Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven
  • Analyze the themes found in the poem and identify them as being Dark Romantic.


30 minutes plus 30 minutes for the activity

Curriculum Standards


Determine two or more themes or central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to produce a complex account; provide an objective summary of the text.

Key Terms

  • Unity of Effect
  • Symbol
  • Poetic Devices
  • Meter
  • Rhythm
  • Alliteration


  • To warm up the students ask:
    • Is there a song that's lyrics make you feel like you are somewhere else, or can change your mood?
  • Discuss the responses, writing them on the board or on poster paper. Tell students they will be discussing the work the Raven and how it creates mood and dramatic effect.
  • Watch the lesson: Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven: Summary and Analysis, pausing the lesson for discussion at the following points.
    • 1:28: What professional sports team is named after The Raven?
    • 3:12: Do you think the raven in the poem is really able to talk?
    • 3:55: What is the unity of effect?
    • 4:46: What does the raven in the poem symbolize?
    • 9:21: What is an example of a poetic device?
    • 9:59: How is the raven in the poem an example of Dark Romantic writing?


  • Using the poetic devices found in The Raven, have the students compose their own poems or rap about whatever they wish. The students must use alliteration in their work. For a collaborative option, divide the students into small groups for this portion of the activity.
  • At the end, the students can present their poems or freestyle rap to you or others.


  • What was going on in the United States at the time Edgar Allen Poe wrote The Raven?
  • How does current rap relate to poetry?

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