The Poe Poem Our Students LOVE - EB Academics

Grab Your Free Writing Guide

Become an EB Insider Today

The Poe Poem Our Students LOVE

July 6, 2017 3 min read

The Poe Poem Our Students LOVE

July 6, 2017 3 min read

Using Edgar Allan Poe in a poetry unit in your middle school classroom is pure GOLD. Take it from our own experiences when we say, you should absolutely be teaching Poe, even in middle school!

We knew we had an incredibly effective unit when our students continued analyzing and talking about the content long after we had finished the lesson in class! We just never thought it would be a poem from 1849 that our students would become obsessed with and spend recess time wanting to continue discussions and asking their for their parents’ thoughts about the poem. And yet, Edgar Allan Poe’s “Annabel Lee” does just that!

It is the PERFECT spooky poem to use around Halloween (but we’ve also taught it in April during National Poetry month, so honestly, it really doesn’t matter!)

This is the best Edgar Allan Poe poem to teach to your middle school students! They will absolutely love it!

Here’s how we teach the Poe’s poem “Annabel Lee” to our middle school kiddos: 

  1. Start off with the essential question. Ask your students, “Is true love possible at a young age?” Let them discuss/debate this question for a few minutes with partners and as a whole group.
  2. Explain to them that they will now search for evidence in “Annabel Lee” to see whether the speaker in the poem thinks true love is possible at a young age.
  3. Review poetry academic language (tone, rhyme scheme, internal/external rhyme, etc…) with them so they can feel confident discussing the technical aspects of the poem.
  4. Preview the vocabulary in the poem using synonyms, antonyms, and pictures. We guarantee most students will not be familiar with “sepulchres” and “seraphs” and it’s important to understand the word choice before reading the poem.
  5. Turn off the lights, play some creepy background music, and do a close reading of the poem. We use these close reading bookmarks to guide our students’ reading.
  6. Annotate the poem. Read about how we teach students how to annotate literature by clicking here.
  7. Have a Socratic Seminar. (Read about how to set one up here.) These questions always encourage lively discussions:
    • Are there different types of love? Identify them and explain the differences amongst these types of love.
    • How might Annabel Lee’s death have affected the speaker? 
    • Do you think he will ever be able to move on or find love again?
    • We usually have 5-6 questions to keep the discussion moving along.
  8.  Have a writing workshop where students answer the essential question, “Is true love possible at a young age?” We use this evidence tracker to help students get their ideas set up in a logical and easy way! Then, we have the kids use this essay graphic organizer before they sit down to write their first complete draft.
This is the best Edgar Allan Poe poem to teach to your middle school students! They will absolutely love it!

Check out this excerpt from one of our fifth grader’s essays (mind you, this is 5th grade!): 
“In the poem, ‘Annabel Lee’ by Edgar Allan Poe, a young man talks about his one true love, Annabel Lee. This man idolizes this woman and even after facing many obstacles, their love does not cease. In their home, a kingdom by the sea, even the angels are jealous of their love. Unfortunately, Annabel Lee is taken by the angels by the end of this poem, proving that young love is not possible.

     You may have a crush at a young age, but as both people go on in life, soon your love will be a distant memory. According to the text, ‘Yes! – that was the reason (as all men know, / In this kingdom by the sea) / That the wind came out of the cloud by night, / Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee’ (Poe 4.23-26). When you devote yourself to someone at a young age, there is more time for a danger to upset your love. If you love when you are older, you have the wisdom to prevent bad things from happening…”


Want to recreate this mini unit in your own classroom? Check out the resource we use by clicking here or on the image below!


We also have a complete Edgar Allan Poe Unit that includes “Annabel Lee” and “The Raven” – perfect for Halloween! 

This is the best Edgar Allan Poe poem to teach to your middle school students! They will absolutely love it!
Save this post for later!
This is the best Edgar Allan Poe poem to teach to your middle school students! They will absolutely love it!
EB Academic Camps

All posts

No Comments

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.



Hi there! We're two middle school ELA teachers with a mission to share ideas, tips, and tricks for effectively teaching reading and writing in the secondary classroom. We're so happy you stopped by!

Caitlin + Jessica

Your 15 Free Resources Are Waiting!

Immediately receive access to our
Free Resource Library

We promise we won't spam you.

Let’s Connect

Popular Posts

Our Latest Posts



  • What’s your go-to teacher outfit? Mine is almost always a dress because it’s SO easy! It’s one piece, and you’re done! 💕 I also love dressing up for school because it puts me in a good mood - what can I say ...? I love a cute outfit! 😘
  • Double tap if you agree 💕 ⁣⁣
I had an aspiring teacher DM me the other day to day she was second guessing her decision to go into education ...⁣⁣
The reason? ⁣⁣
That she felt like she wasn’t creative enough or that she wasn’t good enough because of all of the incredibly creative teachers that she’s seen on Instagram. ⁣⁣
And you know what? That made me really sad. ⁣⁣
Because teaching is not all that Instagram shows in any capacity whatsoever. ⁣⁣
And I told her all you really need to know that first year of teaching is that you need to love your kids and be kind to them. ⁣⁣
Above all else that is the most important.⁣
So with that ... Love your kids and be kind 😘 ⁣
Love you guys!
  • There are few things I love as much as teaching literary analysis! My kids have an in-class essay tomorrow, and these posters outline the exact framework they should follow 💕 If you’re in the FB group that @doccopteaching and I started, this is a free file in there! If not, DM me, and I’ll send you the link to join! 😘
  • HS and MS ELA teachers ... Will you be joining @buildingbooklove @readitwriteitlearnit @readingandwritinghaven and @doccopteaching and me next week?! Let me know in the comments if you’d like me to DM you the link to register!! It’s 100% free and 100% online 😘 Love you guys!!
  • Loving this collection of Sarah Dessen books from @elaclassroom ! Have you read any / do you love them? Hope you guys are having a great weekend! Love you all! 😘
  • You can never hear this enough 💕 One more day, team, one more day this week ... to make them feel loved, to show them kindness, to create memories, to impact their lives and hearts forever. Seriously 💕

Follow @ebacademics