Edgar Allan Poe Webquest and Background

Edgar Allan Poe Webquest and Background
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Getting to Meet Mr. Poe

It is extremely important that students learn about Edgar Allan Poe before reading any of his stories or poems. Poe’s background is dark

and dreary in tone, just like his works, and his background is an effective method for teaching author’s style and motive. Instead of copying off a boring page of biographical facts about Poe, why not have the students perform a webquest on the author and discover information for themselves?

Materials Needed for this Lesson:

Edgar Allan Poe Web Quest Directions

  • The website for the Poe museum will be your home reference point for this entire quest. Go to the site and follow the directions and answer the questions completely before moving to the next quest.

  • Divide students into groups or have them do the quest individually. I prefer cooperative learning with the quest, but you may find it more manageable to have students complete the tasks on an individual level.

Quest #1: POE’S LIFE

  • Click on the subtitle “Poe’s Life” and read the page of information.

Summarize Poe’s childhood. What do you know about his parents? How did he earn the name “Allan”? Why was 1846 considered a “tragic” year for Poe? Why is Poe’s death considered a “mystery”?

Quest #2: POE’S LIFE - Timeline

  • While still in the subtitle “Poe’s Life”, click on “Timeline” to answer the questions below.

Why do you think this timeline is structured with Poe’s life events on the left and Current Events on the right? What year was “The Tell-Tale Heart” published? What are four Current Events that occurred during Poe’s lifetime that you find interesting? Why?


  • Click on the subtitle “Educational Resources”
  • In the paragraph directly below the title “Educational Resources”, click on the red words “Online Quiz”

Take the online quiz If you did poorly, reread “Poe’s Life” and take the quiz again Document your grade


  • Click on “About the Museum”
  • Click on “Exhibits”

If you were touring the museum, what exhibit would you like to see the most? Why? What is contained in the exhibit “Poeana”? Do you find anything odd or interesting about this exhibit? Using the “Poe Museum Self-Guided Tour” document, read about “The Enchanted Garden”. Why was this garden created? Read the poem “To One in Paradise” by Edgar Allan Poe. What items are probably in the museum’s garden that are referenced in this poem?

Quest #5: ONLINE STORE - Own a piece of Poe

  • Click on “Online Store”

Browse the “Online Store” If you were allowed to spend fifty dollars in the online store, which items would you purchase? Why?