The Tell Tale Heart

Contributor: Rebecca Hann. Lesson ID: 10780

It's amazing how stories can affect your feelings! Good authors can really set an atmosphere. Watch videos, play an online game and analyze a classic to see how Poe gets to the heart of mood and tone!


Literary Studies, Writing

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

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Can the dead speak? How would you feel if they could? Edgar Allan Poe uses this idea to set the mood in his work The Tell Tale Heart!

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 at The Poe Museum.

Poe was famous for his ability to establish mood and tone with his writing. Authors establish mood and tone in many ways.

  • Mood is a literary element that evokes certain feelings or vibes from readers by using words and descriptions. It is sometimes referred to as the atmosphere of the writing. Some words that would describe mood are peaceful, calm, and even depressing. It is the feeling you get when you read the piece.
  • Tone is the manner in which writers approach a subject or theme. Their word choice and attitude through their writing set the tone. Some words that would describe tone are unhappy and upbeat. The readers infer — or make an informed guess about — the author's tone based on what they have read; their evidence is the words in the text.
  • The tone of the writing usually establishes the mood. The words used to describe the tone of a piece of writing may also be used to describe the mood of the literary work.

Take a look at these videos to help clarify the difference between mood and tone:

Mood and Tone:

Tone vs Mood Video:


Finally, try this short Quia Tone and Mood Rags to Riches game to test your knowledge on mood and tone. If it doesn't go well the first time, just start again!

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