I’m wondering why Tesago (and Shen) think it’s appropriate to have a 5th grade teacher have her class read the Tell Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe which is about “a person being murdered, chopped apart and buried”? That is a direct quote from my 5th grader. This seems too “mature” for 10 year olds. The recommended age range is 10-14 for this story, which means for VERY mature 10 year olds, which obviously is not that case for an 20+ kid class. My child also tells me that they have the ‘opportunity’ to read an EAP story about a person drowning in their own blood. I understand this teacher has been allowed to teach about these stories for years but I don’t understand WHY, are we really just turning a blind eye to this. Is there really NO other appropriate story that could be taught?

Written by on November 20, 2018

A.  Poe is an important and influential American writer with his works widely studied.  Questioning the appropriateness of doing in fifth grade is answered in your own identification of the age range of 10-14. The author study is used to teach theme since similar themes are presented in several of his works, both poetry and short story.  The focus of the study is on author technique and is presented in such a way that students are engaged and interested. The teacher has found it sparks students in the writing process.  Students cite this particular writing/reading unit as their favorite from 5th grade.   As for the balance of the year: the study of this author is one of many that will be examined.  My suggestion is to speak with the teacher directly and a different option could be offered for your child.