It was a Dark and Spooky Classroom

Charli Fuqua, reporter

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Every year on Oct. 1st, Chanlynn Allen [English teacher] decorates her room with a Halloween theme. Allen has decorated her classroom this way since 2009.

She did this not only because of her love for Halloween; she also uses it as a time to tie in her gothic unit in her classes.

“It just sets the scene/atmosphere, especially my Edgar A. Poe bulletin board. It is a direct tie-in because every class starts off with Poe stories, for obvious reasons. He’s the ‘father of the gothic short story’ in American literature,” Allen said.

Allen starts her gothic unit with Poe’s short stories like The Tell-Tale Heart or The Murders in the Rue Morgue. Besides Poe’s writings, Allen’s decorative room also helps students get a visual of what they are learning with the stories read in class.  

“All of the lessons that I teach during this unit revolve around being more observant, both with text and visuals. If you’re going to set the scene, you might as well do it right,” Allen said.

The visuals help with learning the meaning of symbolism and how to find it in books and even movies like “Coraline” that you watch in her class. When the class watches a movie, Allen has you pick out and depict symbolism within the movie.  

Students like Makena Kaub [11] enjoy her room being dark and decorated like it is.

“I feel that her room being dark helped a lot of the class be more calm and focused. It was something new and we all loved it. The decorations were also pretty cool to come in and look at.”

Kaub said that in her freshmen year in Allen’s class, the decorations really helped her class.

“When we were learning about gothic symbolism and how to depict it in colors or animals, the room would help me in remembering how to tie the item and its meaning together,” Kaub said.

But like all fun things it must come down. Oct. 31st is the last day you will see Allen’s room decorated, but the lights will remain off, as she likes her room this way.