ORWELL — Grand Valley High School junior American literature students have been getting in touch with their creativity and celebrating their hard work.
This past week, Carrie Brumit’s 11th-grade American literature classes held a “Poe Party,” in honor of the famous “father of short stories,” Edgar Allan Poe, who they have been studying for the past month. After reading and analyzing various short stories by Poe, such as “The Raven,” “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Fall of the House of Usher,” students were familiarized with his writing techniques and style. The classes completed various projects to accompany each of the stories or poems they read, such as creating masks to go along with “The Masque of the Red Death.” Inspired by his material, students then completed their biggest and most detailed assignment thus far. They were to create a short story or poem of their own, emulating various elements of Poe’s signature writing trademarks. Some of these elements include the use of imagery, symbolism, allusions and extended vocabulary words.
The 11th-graders participating in this class were given a week in school to concoct their masterpieces. They were allowed to work alone or with a partner on this project. After laying out a rough draft of their stories, they had other students preview their works and make any suggestions as to how it could be improved.
On Feb. 27, the 11th grade American Literature classes hosted their Poe parties. As students streamed into their English class, the ominous dim lighting set the mood, and two giant inflatable skulls lighted from the inside flanked the head of the classroom. To the left, a black table was set with coffee and any refreshments students chose to bring in. In the middle, a lone stool sat by itself, and a lamp was angled toward it.