Kids Write the Darndest Things–12th Night and Tell-Tale Heart

Before Christmas Break, my 7th graders finished reading Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. They absolutely loved it! I believe it is one of Shakespeare’s loudest, bawdiest, funniest plays ever! And, my students agreed!

After each novel or unit, I have students write reflections about what they read: what they liked, didn’t like, favorite and least favorite characters, assignments and projects they enjoyed or hated.

So, here are their reflections on Twelfth Night:

– “I didn’t like that there was no deaths in this play.”
– “I liked how Malvolio got served! I didn’t like how Malvolio didn’t stay locked away.”
– “I didn’t like how there was so much drama. The love web as just weird.”
– “My least favorite character was Maria! I didn’t like her because she always seemed like she was a pain in the butt, she never did anything good.”
– “What I didn’t like was some of the scenes that were boring, like Orsino telling his men he loves Olivia”
– “I didn’t like the drunk people because I just don’t believe in that.”
– “My least favorite character was Toby because I don’t like it when people are drunk and crazy.”
– “(But over all, it was pretty good)” Postnote to the prompt

Then, for the two weeks between break and the end of the semester, I do a suspense short story unit. My students read The Monkey’s Paw, The Tell-Tale Heart, and The Most Dangerous Game. On the day we were to discuss The Tell-Tale Heart that they had read for homework, we also had to do the written qualifying test for the spelling bee, so we ran out of time for the interactive worksheet I had for them. So, instead, I had them summarize it and then tell me what they liked and disliked.

“I didn’t like it because it was werid. I also didn’t like it because who would kill an old man.”
“I also liked how long it took for the narrator to open the door, it was funny.”
“I liked how he went whacko in the end. I liked how it sounded so funny when he flipped.”
“I disliked how he decapitated the guy. I disliked that because of the image in my head.”

I can’t wait to see their reflections after we watch some movie interpretations of these three short stories tomorrow!

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.


  1. The Tell-Tale Heart could aptly be described as "weird"…but that's mostly what I like about Poe's writing! Sometimes I think it would be really cool to do literature-based activities with my students, but at their level it's not really possible. I do get plenty of fun and funny questions and comments though. Recently, a male student asked me:"In America, are girls considered 'bad girls' if they wear silken socks?" We never know what we'll be asked from day to day?

  2. It's the best. You should do another post about it. It's so interesting to read yours because of the language and culture difference!

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