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Lesson Plan by Lauren Martin M.Ed.

The Purloined Letter by Edgar Allan Poe

This free, printable Pixton lesson plan brings detective stories to life with comics and storyboards.

Make detective stories come to life with comics!

Including these awesome activities:
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Featured Layouts

When students complete the activities in this lesson plan, they will use the following comic layout types.

  • Comic Strip
  • Character Map
  • Mind Map
  • Plot Diagram
  • Storyboard
  • Graphic Novel

Your students will create amazing images like these in no time!

This free, printable Pixton lesson plan brings detective stories to life with comics and storyboards.
Pixton Lesson Plan on The Purloined Letter by Edgar Allan Poe
This free, printable Pixton lesson plan brings detective stories to life with comics and storyboards.

Main Characters

The Purloined Letter by Edgar Allan Poe

When you import any of the activities below, you can choose to share these ready-made characters with your students.

  • C. Auguste Dupin from The Purloined Letter by Edgar Allan Poe
    C. Auguste Dupin

    Main character, a young, French private detective

  • Narrator from The Purloined Letter by Edgar Allan Poe
    Narrator

    Dupin's unnamed friend and roommate

  • Monsieur G from The Purloined Letter by Edgar Allan Poe
    Monsieur G

    Prefect or head of the Paris police

  • Minister D from The Purloined Letter by Edgar Allan Poe
    Minister D

    Antagonist, a public official

  • The Royal Lady from The Purloined Letter by Edgar Allan Poe
    The Royal Lady

    Victim of the stolen letter

  • S from The Purloined Letter by Edgar Allan Poe
    S

    The mysterious sender of the letter

Featured Props

The Purloined Letter by Edgar Allan Poe

Student creations come alive with these themed objects – in addition to our library of over 3,000 props!

  • Book
    Book
  • Building
    Building
  • Chair
    Chair
  • Desk
    Desk
  • Fireplace
    Fireplace
  • Pen
    Pen
  • Prop Letter
    Prop Letter
  • Prop Magnifying Glass
    Prop Magnifying Glass
  • Rug
    Rug
  • Window
    Window
Print this Teacher Guide

Teacher Guide

The Purloined Letter by Edgar Allan Poe

Step 1Class discussion with students

Getting Started

As a class, read "The Purloined Letter" written by Edgar Allan Poe in 1845 (available online). Share that this is one of a series of detective or mystery stories. Therefore, students should be on the lookout for clues and foreshadowing.

Opening Discussion

Discuss the following:

  • What do you know about Edgar Allen Poe as an author and the types of stories he writes?
  • What does the word "purloined" mean?
  • What do you know about mail service and communication in the mid-1800s (when the story was written)?
  • What other mystery or detective stories have you read or viewed in film?
  • Based on the title and genre, make a prediction about what the story will be about.
Step 2Pixton comic-making activities
  • Make a Comic Strip
    Major Events

    Complete at the end of the text.

    View Activity
  • Make a Character Map
    Character Map

    Begin at the start of the short story, and make additions throughout the unit.

    View Activity
  • Make a Mind Map
    Cause and Effect in Plot

    Complete during and after class reading or discussion.

    View Activity
  • Extension / Modification
    Plot Diagram (Extension / Modification)

    Create a Plot Diagram to track major conflicts and events in the story.

  • Extension / Modification
    Storyboard (Extension / Modification)

    Create a five panel Storyboard to illustrate TWIST analysis of the story.

  • Extension / Modification
    Graphic Novel (Extension / Modification)

    Write and illustrate a Graphic Novel to create your own mystery/detective story.

Step 3Concluding discussion with students

Discuss the following:

  • What are the major themes, symbols and motifs in the story? Cite specific examples to support your claim.
  • What is the single main conflict?
  • Describe the setting.
  • Describe the point of view.
  • What is the author's purpose?
  • How would you characterize the narrator? Dupin? What about the other supporting characters? Cite evidence.
  • What are some examples of imagery, tone and mood?
  • How is word choice, tone and imagery important to enhancing the author's purpose and theme? Be specific in your reasoning.
  • How did the author use foreshadowing and suspense to enhance conflict and propel the plot?
  • Did anything surprise you about the story or resolution? Why or why not?
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Pixton Activity: The Purloined Letter 1 Major Events

Featured Layouts

  • Comic Strip

Intro

Track events throughout the text and complete this activity after reading.

Instructions

Create a Comic Strip to illustrate (in your opinion) the five most significant events in the story.

  • Include brief dialogue and/or an illustration for each event.
  • Identify the key points that are important to that specific event in the text. Think about quotes that could be used to help create meaning in each panel.

See the rubric for grading guidelines.

Example Comic Strip

Major Events in "The Purloined Letter" by Student

Here's the link to share this comic:

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Pixton Activity: The Purloined Letter 2 Character Map

Featured Layouts

  • Character Map

Intro

Determining character traits is an important skill necessary to understanding the conflicts and themes of the plot. The characteristics that make up the main character and supporting characters help shape the outcome of the narrative.

Instructions

Create a Character Map for two characters in The Purloined Letter:

  • It's important to add as many details as you can to all the parts of the map.
  • Include an appropriate illustration based on the character traits outlined in the novel.

See the rubric for grading guidelines.

Rubric: Character Map

Use this interactive rubric for easy, thorough assessment. It can even be used by students for self-assessment!

5 4 3 2 1
Overview The character map is thoughtful; descriptions are detailed and informative. The character map is fully developed; accurate details and insightful descriptions. The character map is complete; descriptions are simple and settings are accurate. The character map includes basic details, but is not fully developed. The character map does not accurately reflect the characters.
Meaning Ideas, information and use of detail • strong point of view
• summary is clear and highly detailed
• descriptions are thoughtful and highly developed
• significant details that make characters unique and dynamic
• relevant ideas with consistent analysis
• summary is clear and accurate
• logical descriptions that clarify and develop the idea
• characters are similar; includes relevant details
• relevant ideas with some analysis
• summary is short, but accurate
• descriptions are simple and consistent
• characters similar to description
• some relevant ideas
• summary has several errors
• descriptions are brief and lack detail
• characters vaguely looks like description
• often very brief
• summary is has significant errors
• descriptions are difficult to follow
• characters do not look like description
Style Clarity, variety, impact of visuals and language • language is clear, varied
• flows smoothly; variety in sentences
• images and characters are fully developed; high attention to detail
• language is clear with some variety
• includes a variety of sentence lengths and patterns
• images and characters have purpose and significance
• language is clear with little variety
• basic sentence structures with a few variations
• images and characters are basic, but have purpose
• basic language; vague at times
• repeats a few basic sentence structures
• images and characters have minimal development
• vague, incorrect and repetitive language
• poorly constructed sentences; little variety
• images and characters are poorly developed
Form Organization and sequence • proper organization
• panels are thoughtful and detailed
• all panels are organized or logical
• all panels are present
• most panels are organized or logical
• all panels are present
• some panels are organized or logical
• some panels may be missing
• panels are not organized or logical
• panels are missing
Conventions The text demonstrates standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses eloquent words, rich sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses precise words, controlled sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates standard English conventions
• uses words and phrases, telling details and sensory language to convey a vivid picture
• demonstrates some accuracy in standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • contains multiple inaccuracies in Standard English conventions of usage and mechanics
Total
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Pixton Activity: The Purloined Letter 3 Cause and Effect in Plot

Featured Layouts

  • Mind Map

Intro

Every event (cause) has a reaction or effect. Strong readers are able to make constant predictions about future events in the plot based on the likely effects of every single event. As students read, have them pay attention to cause and affect situations and potential foreshadowing.

Instructions

Create a four panel Mind Map to illustrate two cause and effect or foreshadowing scenarios form a text read and/or discussed in class:

  • Identify the number in the panel title.
  • Write a detailed description of each cause and effect in separate panels.
  • Include an appropriate illustration for each panel.

See the rubric for grading guidelines.

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