Quoth the Raven ... Nevermore!

Contributor: Rebecca Hann. Lesson ID: 10760

What makes a story about a bird so fascinating? Edgar Allan Poe used powerful literary techniques to make The Raven the creepiest bird of all time! With videos and links, learn to write your own poem!


Literary Studies

learning style
Auditory, Visual
personality style
Lion, Otter
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Which of these creatures do you find most scary?

Edgar Allan Poe was a famous writer from the 1800s who wrote both prose and poetry.

He was well known for his works of mystery and horror, and his own death in 1849 is surrounded by mystery as well. More information about Edgar Allan Poe can be found in the Poe Biography from The Poe Museum.

Besides being mysterious, Poe's work is considered great because he used so many different literary techniques. One example of this is in his poem, The Raven, where he utilizes alliteration, assonance, and internal rhyme.

Alliteration is the repetition of consonant sounds, usually at the beginning of a word.

Example: "while I pondered, weak and weary."  The "W" sound is repeated three times within the line.

Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds, usually within a word.

Example: "purple curtain." The short "U" sound is repeated in back-to-back words.

Internal rhyme is the rhyming of words within a line of poetry, not just at the end of it.

Example: "but the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping." The rhyme is within the line.

Take a minute to think about each of these literary techniques.

  • Can you think of something else you have read that might contain alliteration, assonance, or internal rhyme?

If you can think of something, share your example with your teacher or parent.

The Raven is also known for its engaging plot, which has been illustrated and adapted in other forms hundreds of times. It was even used for the first Simpsons Halloween Special!

When writers adapt a work, they often use the major plot points of the story and then make adjustments to fit the style that best suits their work. Major plot points include Exposition, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.

Exposition is when the reader first gets to know the characters or setting. It is when the reader is first exposed to them. This usually occurs near the beginning of the work.

Rising Action are the events that happen surrounding the characters that lead up to the climax of the work.

Climax is known as the most exciting moment in the work. It is the moment in the work where the conflict reaches its most intense point, and the action comes down after this.

Falling Action are the events after the climax that lead to the conflict being resolved.

Resolution is the conclusion of the story, when the conflict is finally brought to an end.

Watch these videos to get a clear understanding of how the elements of plot play a role within a literary work:

Elements of Plot

 Aladdin Elements of a Plot Structure

After watching the videos, think about a story you have already read or a movie you have seen, and see if you can name the elements of plot as they pertain to that story or movie. Share your answers with your teacher or parent.

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