Tell Tale Heart

Tell Tale Heart

Tell Tale Heart (ages 13-14)

This scheme of work introduces the classic Edgar Allan Poe tale. Students will learn how lighting and sound can be used to create suspense and how dramatic pauses can be used to build tension. Abstract and documentary drama techniques are introduced and supported with the atmospheric Danse Macabre (music file included).



The scheme of work contains 6 drama lesson plans.

  • Lesson 1: Introduction To The Story. Students deconstruct the tale and produce a frozen picture of key moments linked with slow motion transitions.
  • Lesson 2: “I Was Never Kinder To The Old Man.” Introducing lighting to change atmosphere and create suspense.
  • Lesson 3: Nosy Neighbours And Police. Learn how to portray and sustain a character through body language and facial expression.
  • Lesson 4: Documentary Drama. Creating tension using studio reports, field reports and voices in the head.
  • Lesson 5: Abstract Drama. Building nightmarish dream sequences using sound effects, pauses and creepy music.
  • Lesson 6: Assessment. Students rehearse and perform a piece of drama from the module for assessment.

Supporting materials include

  • Story: The Tell Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe
  • Music: Danse Macabre and News Theme (in MP3 format)

Additional resources are included in the appendices

  • End Of Unit Self-Assessment Form

The document is supplied as a ZIP file. It contains the scheme of work (PDF, readable on most computers) along with 2 music files (MP3 format).

More Lesson Plans

Imaginative absurdist fun with Carroll, Artaud, Lear and Dali (Year 9)

Foppish frolics and bawdy humour from 17th Century England (Year 9)

Feuding Montagues and Capulets in Shakespeare's Veronan tragedy (Year 9)

Developing thoughtful drama from evocative World War One poems (Year 9)

Using artistic imagery to inspire and create dramatic pieces (Year 9)

Suspenseful drama based on the macabre Edgar Allan Poe classic (Year 9)

Seasonal street theatre, a medieval take on Good versus Evil! (Year 9)

Exploring racism from slavery to Billie Holiday and Malcolm X (Year 9)

Understanding the role of hierarchical relationships in drama (Year 9)

Classic Shakespeare with Lady Macbeth, Banquo, and three witches (Year 9)

Introduces a trio of Greek women: Medea, Electra and Hecuba (Year 9)

Creating and interpreting atmosphere and symbolism with music (Year 9)

Building drama from topical teenage problems and issues (Year 9)

Domestic violence explored through the popular TV genre (Year 9)

Using colour, costume, objects and sound in performance (Year 9)

Three theatrical giants and their influences on modern drama (Year 9)

Introduction to the three influential drama practitioners (Year 9)

This entry was posted in . Bookmark the permalink.