Audio Poe at its Best

Like so many other English Language Arts teachers, I am always on the hunt for  audio options for books, poems,  and short stories, BUT not just any audio will do. I, as well as many students, like to listen to a well-read narrator with inflection and/or voices. It’s highly entertaining, and it offers up a wonderful model of reading fluency.

We’ve all heard boring monotone audio tracks, but I thought I would share a personal favorite of mine: Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart” read by Mr. Matthew Gray Gubler. Some of you may be more familiar with his character on the television show Criminal Minds (Dr. Spencer Reid).

Do yourself a favor, and listen to this suspenseful tale as Gubler incorporates all of the thrill and paranoia of the narrator through his tone. You might even consider having students discuss what makes it a good read in terms of voice, pacing, and background sounds. Take a listen, and let me know what you think.


15 Replies to “Audio Poe at its Best”

  1. This is great! Back when I went to school my teachers read aloud to us or asked us to read certain sections to the class. Using audio files, especially if read by people that the kids would recognize, would be really cool. It would be a great way for your students to really get into the work of literature. But as you said, the trick would definitely be to find someone who showed inflection in their voice and enthusiasm. A monotone would certainly make it more difficult for students to stay engaged with the topic.

    1. Yes, reading aloud has been a strategy in so many classrooms, but often it can have opposite effects on weaker readers. They need to hear strong readers model, which is why audio versions are so valuable. However, the audios are not always the most exciting. This has been my all-time favorite of a Poe read. Also, audio ratings by the respective authors are great since they know EXACTLY how they want the story and dialogue to flow. I just want kids to love reading as much as I do, and hopefully, some of these samples help spark an interest.

  2. Awesome! It had me hooked from the haunting music introduction, and what a voice! I would have loved to hear this as a student. I’m going to pass this resource on. Thank you!

    1. Yes, the music definitely sets the tone, and it doesn’t hurt the voice works so well. I think it’s a great resource to share if it helps ignite an interest in reading in others. I’ve found that Poe tends to be popular in his own right, but read in the right way, it wins them all over in class.

  3. I could listen to him talk all the time! Criminal Minds is my all time favorite show and he is my favorite character. I love the idea of having students listen to a story instead of reading it. Then, you could have them pick a short story and create their own audio version. Love it!

    1. That’s a great idea. I hadn’t thought of having the students make their own recordings. I do like recordings as supports for home reading as well or if a child missed a day, too.

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