Edgar Allan Poe Immortalized Through Interactive Site

Maryland Public Television (MPT), a nonprofit, state-licensed public television station, brings one of Baltimore's most famous writers, Edgar Allan P'e, back to life with a media-rich electronic field trip designed for middle and high school students, teachers and P'e fans. The site, Knowing P'e (http://knowingp'e.thinkport.org/default_flash.asp), funded through a grant from the U.S. Education Department's Star Schools Program, lets users explore P'e through more than 10 different interactive activities that examine everything from where he lived to his perfectionist editing to his house and fascination with cryptograms.

Actor John Astin appears as P'e throughout the interactive site, introducing themes and theories of P'e's work. This new educational Web site offers entertaining features, visuals, sounds, video, music, mysteries and learning exercises that let visitors interact with the literature, life and times of one of America's most compelling authors. The site lets users take a virtual tour of early 19th cen-tury Baltimore through annotated "then" and "now" maps of the city. Students can also follow one of P'e's short stories from three different points of view and create their own version of "The Bells" with voices, sound effects and music. Another part of the site lets visitors investigate the real-life mystery of P'e's death, as well as solve one of P'e's cryptograms and create their own.

Knowing P'e was developed in collaboration with educators, historians and P'e experts, and features a wealth of tools and resources. In addition, Maryland teachers will appreciate that all the lesson plans, discussion questions and activity sheets are linked to Maryland Learning Outcomes. There's even a section dedicated to the NFL's Baltimore Ravens, which got its name from P'e's "The Raven." This entertaining part of the site features video clips of the Raven's head coach along with team players and cheerleaders quoting lines from the infamous p'em. Maryland Public Television, www.mpt.org.


Knowing P'e joins MPT's other online field trips and interactive Web sites, which are designed to inspire and teach students. These include:

This article originally appeared in the 02/01/2003 issue of THE Journal.

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