The Raven Lesson Plans

Engage students with the thrilling tale "The Raven" by prolific and lauded writer, Edgar Allen Poe! One of the more well known Poe stories, "The Raven" is a well-loved favorite and chock full of symbolism, dark themes and interesting literary elements to analyze. Students will enjoy digging deeper into the story and mastering Poe's gothic themes, well-crafted language, and more using visual storyboard activities! Read on to discover “The Raven” activities and “The Raven” analysis questions brought to you by Storyboard That!

Student Activities for The Raven

Essential Questions for "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe

  1. How do great writers create a mood that readers can feel? How is this evident in The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe?
  2. How does Poe use language to create drama?
  3. What are some common Edgar Allan Poe themes in many of his works that that are also present in "The Raven"
  4. What are the parts of a poem, and how can identifying them aid analysis?
  5. How do literary elements affect readers' understanding of a literary work?
  6. How does death affect the living?

Summary of the poem "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe

Beware! This summary of the poem “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe below does contain spoilers! This "Raven" synopsis is meant to be a helpful recap for students after they have read the poem. Or, a useful refresher for teachers to help them decide if they would like to use this poem in the classroom.

What is "The Raven" about by Edgar Allan Poe

"The Raven" is one of Edgar Allan Poe's most famous works. It was published in 1845 and instantly became an overnight success. The poem takes place just after midnight on a December evening. A depressed man is sitting in his library, drifting in and out of sleep as he reminisces about his beloved Lenore, his lost love. The poem begins with one of the most iconic lines in literature: "Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary . . . "

Suddenly, he hears a knock or tapping, but sees nothing on opening his door. Startled, he convinces himself that the "silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain" was only the wind against the window. He goes to the window to let in fresh air, and a raven swoops in, who perches above the door. The raven is a symbol of death.

The narrator talks to the bird, and inquires if it has a name. The raven says, "Nevermore". Surprised by this response, the narrator continues to question the bird. The bird's only reply to questions is, "Nevermore".

The narrator fears the bird was sent to torture him. He asks a final question: will he ever hold his love, Lenore, again? The raven, of course, answers, "Nevermore". It becomes clear throughout the poems that the man is delirious and distraught over the loss of his love.

Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" is a favorite poem for teachers and students to ponder, however, it can be challenging to analyze. The Raven is permeated by the themes of grief and loss and all of the emotions that come with it, including how grief can lead one to lose touch with reality. Engage students with the dynamic and interactive activities above that focus on creating a summary, theme, visual vocabulary, literary elements and more!

Storyboard That's Customizable Lesson Plans for "The Raven"

The above lesson plans are designed for teachers to easily copy and customize to meet the needs of their students.  The focus of these standards-aligned lessons is to help students perform a close reading of the poem “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe. By the end of these lessons, students will be able to identify the rhyme scheme, meter, and stanza form of the poem as well as analyze the poem for theme and symbolism and much more! Read on to learn more about the activities above. Remember when you find one that you think your students will enjoy, all you have to do is click "copy". It will be immediately brought into your teacher dashboard to assign to your students that very day!

Plot Diagram of "The Raven"

Poe’s “The Raven" has a narrative style, many stanzas, and repetition that makes this ballad readily memorable. With the morbid obsession, eerie tone, and captivating imagery, it is hard to forget. Students can create a Plot Diagram of the events in the poem.

TP-CASTT Analysis of "The Raven"

The TP-CASTT method of poetry analysis is a great way to teach students to dissect a poem and understand its parts. The acronym stands for: Title, Paraphrase, Connotation, Attitude/Tone, Shift, Title, and Theme. It helps students to uncover the deeper meanings within poems while giving them the confidence to be self-educators.

Literary Elements in "The Raven"

When teaching poetry, it is often helpful to refresh or introduce students with technical words for literary elements. After reading the poem, "The Raven", students can conduct a scavenger hunt looking for various literary elements such as: alliteration, simile, metaphor, personification, onomatopoeia, and assonance. They can create a storyboard that illustrates and describes each element as it appears in the poem.

Themes, Symbols and Motifs in "The Raven"

Themes, symbols, and motifs are valuable aspects of any literary work. Students can visually demonstrate their understanding of these concepts by storyboarding!

Visual Vocabulary Storyboard for "The Raven"

Throughout reading, "The Raven", students may come upon many unfamiliar words. Students can storyboard their understanding of these words which will lead to better retention.

Modern Adaptation of "The Raven"

It is always useful for students to try and put themselves in the shoes of any protagonist to try to obtain empathy and a better understanding of the character. In this activity, students will go even further by adapting "The Raven" to a modern day situation. They should keep the elements of the poem in mind such as the meter and themes, but transfer the story to a modern day situation.

Movie Poster for "The Raven"

A fun way for students to express their understanding of a story, its themes, and main characters, is to create a movie poster. They can imagine that the poem is being brought to life on the big screen and they need to create an advertising poster complete with a title, casting, and an image that conveys important information from the story.

More Storyboarding Activity Ideas for "The Raven"

It is so easy to use our assignment wizard to create your own activity from scratch. All you have to do is: give your assignment a title, add directions, provide a template and send it to your students! You can even use any of the storyboards you see within our activities as examples by quickly and easily copying and customizing them for your intended purpose. Don't forget to look through our thousands of worksheet and poster templates as well! You can add as many templates to an assignment as you'd like!

  • Create an alternate ending to the poem with a storyboard that shows and tells the story from a different perspective.
  • Complete a storyboard biography of Edgar Allan Poe. (This is a great pre-reading activity!)
  • Give students the opportunity to storyboard their "The Raven" Study Guide Questions and Answers using images and text, or write their own “The Raven” summary!
  • Add a presentation to create a “The Raven” interactive project!
  • Students can find other poems that are composed of similar gothic, dark, unearthly themes like "The Raven". Students can storyboard use a Storyboard That T-chart to compare and contrast the poems
  • What happens after the end of the poem? Students can storyboard their own version of a sequel to "The Raven."

Ideas for Post-Reading Activities for "The Raven" for pairs, groups or individuals!

Storyboard That is an excellent tool for students to create fun and engaging projects as a culminating activity after finishing a novel or poem. In addition to our premade activities, here are some ideas that teachers can customize and assign to students to spark creativity in individual students, pairs, or small groups for a final project. /p>

  1. Using one of Storyboard That’s board game templates, create a game based on the poem for your classmates to play!
  2. For Groups: Divide the stanzas of the poem amongst your group members. Each member of the group creates a storyboard for their assigned stanza.
  3. Using one of Storyboard That’s biography poster templates, create a poster about the character or the author. Be sure to include important biographical features such as: place and date of birth, family life, accomplishments, etc.
  4. Create a book jacket of the poem using one of Storyboard That’s book jacket templates. Use Storyboard That art to create the cover, and write a summary of the poem on the back, just like real books have!
  5. Using one of Storyboard That’s social media templates as a starting point, create a social media page for the character or the author! Be sure to think how the character thinks while creating this page.
  6. Create a scrapbook page made by the character or the author. Storyboard That has lots of premade templates that you can use as is, or change to fit your character’s personality! Check out our scrapbook templates today!

Discussion Questions for "The Raven" to Use in Pairs or Groups

These questions on Edgar Allan Poe's poem, "The Raven" are designed to be interactive and spark meaningful discussion for pairs or small groups, however, they can also be given to individual students to write their answers in a reader's notebook. Students can benefit from hearing the different opinions and takeaways of their peers. It is always interesting to find that students can have many different perspectives, even though they are reading the same poem!

"The Raven" Analysis Questions

  1. Why do you think Poe titled this poem, "The Raven"? What is its significance? What does the title make the reader think about?
  2. The opening line of the poem is: "Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, / Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—". What mood does this opening line evoke? What pictures does it bring to mind for the reader?
  3. A rhyme scheme in poetry means: "the ordered pattern of rhymes at the ends of the lines of a poem or verse." What do you think is the purpose of the rhyme scheme in the poem, "The Raven"?
  4. What did Poe mean by this line: “Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling, By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore”?
  5. Who is Lenore? What happened to her? Why is this character that you never see so significant?
  6. What does, “Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore” mean?
  7. What is the tone of the poem, "The Raven"? How does the author convey this tone?
  8. What is, “Night’s Plutonian shore” referring to?
  9. What is the setting of "The Raven"? How does the setting assist in telling the story and conveying the tone to the reader?
  10. What are some of the themes present? Provide text evidence to support your answer.
  11. What are some symbols present in the poem? What do you think they mean?
  12. A few times in the poem, Poe uses “o’er” instead of over. One example of this is: “But whose velvet violet lining with the lamplight gloating o'er”. Why did he choose to do this?
  13. Compare this work with some of Poe's other short stories or poems. Are there any similar themes? Explain.
  14. What is the significance of the raven? What does the raven symbolize in other mythology and literature?
  15. Poe refers to the Raven as a “grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous bird of yore”. What does this mean? How does the man in the poem feel about the bird’s presence?
  16. What do you think the "tapping" symbolizes in the poem?
  17. Poe repeats the word “Nevermore” often. Some examples of this include: “Shall be lifted nevermore”, and the famous line towards the end of the poem, “Quoth the Raven, nevermore”. Why did he choose this word as the one he repeats so many times? What does it mean?
  18. Do you think the main character is suffering from delusions or insanity? Why or why not?
  19. How does death affect those left behind? Have you ever lost somebody close to you? If so, how did that make you feel? If not, how do you think you would feel?
  20. An example of the English language during Poe’s time period is his use of the word “Thy”. Some instances of this include, “Thy soul”, “Thy memories”, "Thy lordly name", “Thy God hath lent me”, and “Take thy beak from out my heart”. What does this word mean and why did he choose to use it?

Did you know that there is an Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore? Learn more about the extraordinary life of the poet at

Read more in our Picture Encyclopedia entry on Edgar Allan Poe!

Buy ”The Raven” on Amazon

How to Analyze the Themes in "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe


Identify the Themes

Identify the key themes present in "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe. Some possible themes include grief, loss, madness, the supernatural, and the power of the human mind.


Gather Evidence

Reread the poem and gather evidence and examples that support each theme. Look for specific lines, imagery, and symbols that contribute to the exploration of each theme.


Create a Theme Analysis Storyboard

Use Storyboard That's a T-chart layout to create a theme analysis storyboard. Label each column with a different theme and fill in each row with supporting evidence for each theme.


Analyze the Evidence

Analyze the gathered evidence for each theme and discuss how it contributes to the overall meaning of the poem. Consider the impact of the chosen words, symbols, and imagery on the reader's understanding of each theme.


Interpret the Themes

Interpret the themes in "The Raven" and discuss their significance in relation to the human experience. Explore how the themes resonate with readers and evoke emotions or provoke thoughts.


Reflect and Discuss

Reflect on the themes and engage in a discussion with others about their interpretations and reactions to the poem. Share insights, personal connections, and different perspectives to deepen the understanding of "The Raven" and its themes.

Frequently Asked Questions about "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe

What are some important themes in "The Raven"?

Poe's character in "The Raven" is dealing with tremendous grief from the loss of his beloved, Lenore. Overarching themes of the poem include: death, mortality, love, grief, loss and madness.

What are some examples of symbolism in "The Raven"?

  • The Raven is used as a symbol to represent bad luck and even death. In Greek mythology, ravens are seen as messengers. Perhaps this is why the speaker believes that it has come with a message from Lenore.

  • The Bust of Pallas refers to Athena, the goddess of wisdom and enlightenment. The statue shows that the narrator is a scholar which is why he is mentioned as pondering old texts.

  • The name Lenore is possibly related to "Eleanor" or "Helen", deriving from the Greek for "light". This would imply she was the light of the narrator's life, and without her, there is darkness.

What are some literary elements in "The Raven"?

  • Alliteration, which is a repetition of consonant sounds at the beginnings of words in a sentence or line. For example: "While I pondered weak and weary"

  • Simile, which is a comparison using 'like' or 'as'. This is demonstrated in the line: "Suddenly there came a tapping, as of someone gently rapping"

  • Metaphor is an implied comparison between two things as in the line: "And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor"

Image Attributions
  • Detective Comics #431 • Marxchivist • License Attribution (
  • Flash Comics #78 • Marxchivist • License Attribution (
  • The War of the Worlds • Marxchivist • License Attribution (
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