Discuss and list students’ top ten choices for scariest stories they have seen or heard in the past. What elements contribute to making a story or scene scary? Are certain elements weighted more than others?
Improvise a scary story together as a group. Sitting in a large circle, the first person starts with setting up the story. Each person in the group adds another detail to the story, but the story must have a clear beginning, middle and end so that by the time the last person adds their detail, the story has come full circle. Once completed, have students list the main characters from the story they created. Do the same activity this time, but go around the group from last the first and tell the story from the point of view of a different character.
Step 1: Read the “Tell Tale Heart” together as a group. Have students analyze the work from the point of view of the narrator, and then again from the point of view of the Old Man. How are they the same? How are they different?
Step 2:Split the class into three groups. The first group must create a dramatic representation of the story that emphasizes the point of view of the narrator. The second group must create a dramatic representation of the story that emphasizes the point of view of the old man. The third group must create a dramatic representation of the story that emphasizes the point of view of the heart itself.
Have students perform their work in front of the class. Their presentation should include the use of technical design (including set design, makeup, lighting, staging, etc) that helps to communicate their point of view. Students will be assessed with a shared rubric between the ELA and Theater Standards.