“The Fall of the House of Usher” Movie with Lesson Plan

Halloween approaches and your students are acting more ghoulish than usual. You’re getting tired of fighting their tricks and want to give them a Halloween treat without compromising learning.

Or maybe it’s a random Friday in March, you’re completely at the end of your teaching rope, and you felt like driving your car into the side of a building this morning, so you wouldn’t have to work today?

Either way, I’ve got you covered with a “Fall of the House of Usher” movie and a lesson plan.

“The Fall of the House of Usher” Movie Lesson Plan

Fall of the House of Usher Lesson Plans


Let's get this out of the way before we take a look at these fine (and not so fine) "Fall of the House of Usher" movies.

Download this and make copies: Literary Interpretation T-Chart.

Just write one of these objectives on the board.

  • RL.9-10.7 – Analyze the representation of a subject or a key scene in two different artistic mediums, including what is emphasized or absent in each treatment.
  • RL.11-12.7 – Analyze multiple interpretations of a story, drama, or poem (e.g., recorded or live production of a play or recorded novel or poetry), evaluating how each version interprets the source text.

"The Fall of the House of Usher" Movies

Let's start with an absolutely horrible 12-minute version of Poe's classic. It's a silent movie. Your class (and you) will be stunned at its incomprehensibleness. It is a good option, however, when you have 12 minutes left of class and want to do something at least semi-productive.

(This movie is so bad, the owner has had it removed from YouTube. I'd like to think I had a little to do with that. The world is now a better place.)


This next one appeared on the NBC Matinee Theater. It's a step above the silent movie and is just the right length for a class period: 50:49.


The best "Fall of the House of Usher" movie is the one starring Vincent Price, which of course, is not available online. There are, however, clips available that you could show to enhance the reading of the story and still use with the aforementioned lesson plan.

Use the menu in the upper left hand corner of the video screen to select your video. Those pesky copyright laws have prevented me from placing individual clips here.

  • Clip 2/6 involves an introduction to Madeline, who is far hotter in the movie than one would imagine while reading the story. There is a serious amount of creepiness on many levels. It's a 3:30-clip.
  • The House of Usher is crumbling—the actual house and the family itself. Clip 5/6, lasting a little over two minutes—gives an account of Roderick's ancestors. This scene is an addendum to the story.
  • Next up is clip 4/6, involving a nightmare of the narrator. Although this scene doesn't actually take place in the book, it's not hard to imagine someone staying in this house having nightmares. It's a 3:43-clip.
  • Don't forget the movie trailer, clip 6/6.


 


 


 

Here are some additional clips you'll want to investigate.

 

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