Murder, Mystery and Mayhem!

As I scampered through the windy, bleak forest the dark night drew closer and devoured every piece of light. My torchlight was a lost cause on this late November evening where great shadows stealthily crept. 

Priyanka Lalla 

Grade 8 has been studying the horror genre in English class since we returned to online learning. They have been looking at a variety of different texts, beginning in the 1800s with titles such as Frankenstein, Jane Eyre and The Tell Tale Heart. Our unit focuses on purpose and context, therefore students have been researching authors such as Edgar Allan Poe to gain a better understanding of the social and historical context of the writer, questioning why they chose the horror genre.

Analysis has been at the heart of the unit, looking at individual texts but also comparing and contrasting the elements of the horror genre found in each. We have been zooming in our focus on the creation of mood by successful writers, exploring their use of setting and language.

Using what they have learned from other writers, students are now beginning to explore the genre by experimenting with their own writing, here are a few examples:

I walked forwards a little more and I heard a door creaking and as the door opened the light germinated from that room and the same laughing voice that I heard earlier came back, it said 

“Who dares to come into my house?”

Gideon Reiber 

My room wasn’t dark; it was rather one of the lightest nights in London, with the full moon blooming into the shades of my windows. My curtains were bleak, rather hopeless as a washed out sheet was all that was hung from my windows. 

Elizabeth West

Students have embraced the unit and I’m really looking forward to reading more of their writing as the unit progresses. 

Roxanne Veck 
Middle School English Teacher