Teaching Strategies

The first short story in the 9th grade curriculum is Poe's The Cask of Amontillado. I love this story so much, probably because it's a little spooky and potentially disgusting; I don't know what's wrong with me.

Historically--and by that, I definitely mean for the three years I taught freshman English--my students have not been as excited by the story as I am; I don't know what's wrong with THEM.

Despite my own enthusiasm for the story, despite reading it to them in the closest impression of Vincent Price I can manage, despite my telling them it's all about REVENGE and DEATH and BACK-STABBING, they still moan and grumble and roll their eyes, because reading is really really hard work and why do we have to learn this stuff anyway?

In the past, I've always tried to explain it to them logically:
1. because even 150 years later, we still know what it's like to seek vengeance.
2. because Poe is a master of terror and suspense, and this is the story with the fewest hard words so you dummies precious angels can understand it.
3. because it's a classic and some day you might be on Jeopardy and there might be a question about it.

But now that I'm 32, I'm fixing to bust out the "because I'm a teacher and I said so" on them.

Anyway, because I am the type of teacher who wants the things I teach to interest my students, and because I had to take this one class about multiple intelligences, and because I wanted to, so there, I have found this video to show to my class. It sums up the story nicely, plus there's a little twist at the end that made me laugh out loud. Make sure you watch past the credits.


Jenn said...


That cracked me up.

They did a good job on the story!

Joon said...

Ninja, huh?

Believe it or not, I watched THE.WHOLE.THING. zzzzzzz lol

But that would be something the kids might enjoy so they can relate to it.


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