TWIST in "The Tell-Tale Heart"

This Storyboard That activity is part of the lesson plans for The Tell-Tale Heart


"The Tell-Tale Heart" TWIST

Example



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Activity Overview


A great way to help students dig into analysis is through the creation of storyboards that examine Tone, Word Choice, Imagery, Style, and Theme. This activity is referred to with the acronym “TWIST”. In a TWIST, students focus on a particular paragraph or few pages, to look deeper at the author’s meaning.


Using any paragraph of “The Tell-Tale Heart”, students can examine, depict, explain, and foreshadow what will happen in the story to asses the tone of the story.

TWIST Literary Analysis

( TWIST Lesson PlanBuy PosterBuy PDF )

TWIST Example for “The Tell-Tale Heart”

TRUE! - nervous - very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses - not destroyed - not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How, then, am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily - how calmly I can tell you the whole story.

It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain; but once conceived, it haunted me day and night. Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! yes, it was this! He had the eye of a vulture - a pale blue eye, with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees - very gradually - I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever.

Edgar Allan Poe The Tell Tale Heart

T

TONE

Delusional: The narrator states that he is completely rational, but his obsessive, manic, and homicidal behavior says otherwise.
W

WORD CHOICE

nervous, mad, disease, destroyed, Hell, “my blood ran cold”, “to take the life”, “rid myself... forever”.
I

IMAGERY

“I think it was his eye! Yes, it was this! He had the eye of a vulture - a pale blue eye, with a film over it.”
S

STYLE

The narrator attempts to use rhetoric to make the reader believe that he is not insane. In the following lines: “TRUE! -nervous - very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad?”; “Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold, I had no desire. …”.
T

THEME

The narrator states resolutely that he is not insane. However, it is clear that he is disturbed. The theme of this work is that not all narrators are reliable. Just because they present their reality, does not mean the reader has to accept it as truth.

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Template and Class Instructions

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Student Instructions

Perform a TWIST analysis of a selection from "The Tell-Tale Heart". Remember that TWIST stands for Tone, Word Choice, Imagery, Style, Theme.


  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Choose any combination of scenes, characters, items, and text to represent each letter of TWIST.
  3. Write a few sentences describing the importance or meaning of the images.
  4. Finalize images, edit, and proofread your work.

TWIST Template

Template


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Rubric

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