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For many high school readers, horror and psychological fiction are genres that maximize engagement with literature. “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe features elements consistent with both genres: a psychotic protagonist trying to rationalize his thinking, the senseless killing of an innocent man, dramatic irony, and more. This multiple choice quiz covering “The Tell-Tale Heart” helps English teachers promote homework accountability, evaluate reading comprehension, and save time at home without sacrificing quality in the classroom. An answer key and copy of the public domain narrative are included. Materials are delivered in printable Word Document and PDF formats. By completing this assessment, students will demonstrate knowledge of the following:

  • The alleged effects of the narrator’s fever the previous year
  • The narrator’s motivations
  • The narrator’s defense against claims of his being insane
  • The duration of time it took for the narrator to kill the old man
  • The reason the old man springs up in bed, awake
  • The manner of the old man’s death
  • The location of the old man’s remains
  • The reason police are alerted to the scene of the crime
  • The narrator’s initial reaction to the police’s arrival
  • The narrator’s explanation for the old man’s disappearance
  • The psychotic breakdown of the narrator
  • How the police came to learn of the old man’s murder

Materials are available for teaching a variety of texts such as: