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Activity Overview

As you read a work of literature from each movement, ask students to track the author(s) and themes. By the end of the year, students will be able to reflect on themes that endured over time and distinguish them from themes that were a direct result of the period.

In the example below, a student created an author board for Edgar Allan Poe after reading his works from the Romantic/American Gothic movement. Students can extend their storyboards to track one author from each period or to do all the authors read during class on separate storyboards. The options are endless!


Romanticism/American Gothic: 1800-1865

Edgar Allan Poe was a ​Gothic writer specializing in short stories of the macabre and bizarre. His well-known works, "The Raven", "The Cask of Amontillado", and "The Tell Tale Heart", are prime examples of Gothic literature with eerie settings and grotesque themes.

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 9-12

Difficulty Level 2 (Reinforcing / Developing)

Type of Assignment Individual or Partner

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/11-12/9] Demonstrate knowledge of eighteenth-, nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century foundational works of American literature, including how two or more texts from the same period treat similar themes or topics
  • [ELA-Literacy/W/11-12/6] Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products in response to ongoing feedback, including new arguments or information
  • [ELA-Literacy/SL/11-12/2] Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) in order to make informed decisions and solve problems, evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source and noting any discrepancies among the data
  • [ELA-Literacy/SL/11-12/5] Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Student Instructions

Create a storyboard illustrating the different authors and themes in a literary movement

  1. Use the template provided by your teacher
  2. In one cell, note the literary movement and time period
  3. In the other cell, identify an author and describe how their work fit in with the movement
  4. Add additional cells and authors as desired
  5. Create illustrations using appropriate scenes, characters, and items
  6. Save and submit your storyboard

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