Edgar Allan Poe Research Project

Edgar Poe was born in Boston, Massachusetts, January 19, 1809, and became Edgar Allan Poe after the Allan family took him in at the age of two.

During his lifetime, Poe was a self-taught author, poet, literary critic, and editor. Although his life was filled with great tragedy, Poe accomplished a great deal in his short life, and influenced many writers and genres.
He died, October 7, 1849, at the age of 40.

Did Edgar Allan Poe have any brothers or sisters?

Did Poe ever marry?

Did Poe have any children?
What did Poe write?
How were Poe’s writings inspired?

The Poe Project – This 16 page research project is written and developed by Fran Wisniewski, and is great for self-directed learners and families who enjoy learning together. It’s packed with suggestions and directions to help you create a  personalized informal study.

The following full length video may require parental supervision.
Click on the link provided to go to YouTube more videos can be found below.
Edgar Allan Poe Resources

Edgar Allan Poe – History of Poe’s life.
Edgar Allan Poe and Music – Musical compositions inspired by Poe’s works
Edgar Allan Poe in Television and Film – Films and televisions programs inspired by Poe’s works.
Edgar Allan Poe in Popular Culture – Books, comics, films and other media Poe has appeared in.

Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore
Writings and collected works of Poe and about Poe.

Gutenberg: Books by Poe
Many of Poe’s literary works can be found and downloaded here.
Poe Museum
Selection of Poe’s works such as: The Raven, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Fall of the House of Usher and others. If you go into, “About the Museum”, you can take a virtual tour. Use your arrow keys to navigate this section. There’s also an audio tour you can listen to filled with interesting info about Poe’s life.

Biography: Edgar Allan Poe
Watch a series of short videos about Poe.
Poe Stories
Information about Poe, quotes, more of his stories and poetry, and a gallery.

Baltimore Post-Examiner: Edgar Allan Poe and cryptography: Are there hidden messages in Eureka? –  Article about how Poe popularized cryptography.

LibriVox: Edgar Allan Poe
Listen to many of Poe’s Works online.
If this link does not work, put Edgar Allan Poe in the search box.

YouTube: Edgar Allan Poe Playlist: Includes:
An Evening with Edgar Allan Poe – Staring Vincent Price – In this video, Vincent Price dramatically recites some of Poe’s most famous poems/stories: ‘Tell-Tale Heart’, ‘The Spinx’, ‘The Cask of Amontillado’, and ‘The Pit and the Pendulum’. (53:49)
You can also watch Vincent Price recite, “The Raven”
This may require adult supervision.

Listen to Sir Christopher Lee as he reads ‘The Raven’
Related posts on FranW.com…

Washington Irving author of “The Leg
end of Sleepy Hollow
” &”Rip Van Winkle

Bram Stoker author of “Dracula

Mary Shelley author of “Frankenstein

Connect with FranW.com!

Edgar Allan Poe

Washington Irving – Research Project

Washington Irving was a successful writer and editor, born April 3, 1783, in New York City, New York, and is best known for his short stories which include, ‘Rip Van Winkle’, and ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’.
Irving was America’s first internationally best-selling author who encouraged American authors – Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Henry Wadsworth, Longfellow and Edgar Allen Poe, and was admired by European writers including, Sir Walter Scott, with whom he was friends, Lord Byron, Thomas Campbell, Charles Dickens and others. Irving believed writing should be considered a legitimate profession and promoted the cause. He advocated for tougher laws to protect American writers from copyright infringements, but the legislation did not pass.
Did you know…
  • Washington Irving was named after General George Washington, the first president of the United States of America.
  • Irving was privately educated in his youth and was a self-taught adult.
  • In addition to being an author, Irving was an essayist, biographer, and a historian.
  • Irving had many pseudonyms that he wrote under.
  • Irving studied law and passed the bar.
  • Irving served as an ambassador to Spain from 1842 to 1846.
  • Washington Irving died November 28, 1859.
Research Questions

  • Where did Washington Irving grow up?
  • Where did Washington Irving get his inspiration to write ‘Rip Van Winkle’ and ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’?
  • What did Washington Irving nickname New York City, and what does it have to do with Batman?
  • What pseudonyms did Irving write under?
  • How is Irving remembered? (Memorials, City’s Named after him, Stamps, etc.)
Bio: Washington Irving
Brief biography about Irving.

Wikipedia: Washington Irving

A longer biography about Irving

About: 19th Century History: Washington Irving

Long biography about Washington Irving.

Written by Washington Irving

The Literature Network 
Washington Irving
Read a brief biography about Washington Irving, and some of his works, located on the left hand side of the page.

Rip Van Winkle
Read Irving’s classic short story
Listen to this classic story on LibriVox: Rip Van Winkle

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Download and read Irving’s classic short story of the Headless Horseman & Ichabod Crane (aka The Legend of Sleepy Hollow)
Listen to one of these versions of the classic story on LibriVox: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, or The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow Part 1 by Washington IrvingThe Legend Of Sleepy Hollow Part 2 by Washington Irving

Old Christmas: From the Sketch Book of Washington IrvingThis is a LibriVox recording.

Videos to Watch and Places to Visit on the Web

Rip Van Winkle (Illustrations)

Look at images from Arthur Rackham’s illustrations to Rip Van Winkle.
Scroll down a little and click on the image you would like to look at.

The Museum of Washington Irving

Find out more about Washington Irving.

Related posts on FranW.com…

Bram Stoker author of “Dracula

Edgar Allan Poe author of “The Raven“, “Tell-Tale Heart” and others

Mary Shelley author of “Frankenstein

Connect with FranW.com!

Apple Research Project

Did you know…

  • Apples are part of the rose family!
  • There are over 7,500 varieties of apples.
  • Apples have a long history, dating back to 328 BCE! 
  • Dwarfed apples were found growing wild in the Tien Shan mountains of eastern Kazakhstan, located in Central Asia, by Alexander the Great.
  • Apples are a very versatile food because they can be eaten raw, cooked, and made into beverages; plus they offer many health benefits, and are a good source of fiber and vitamin C.
  • Apples are grown in all 50 states and all over the world.

Research Questions…

  • Have apples always been in America? If so, what kind, if not, how did they get here?
  • How are apples grown?
  • What are the health benefits of apples?
  • What medicinal qualities do apple have?
  • Why do apples turn brown and how can we stop this?
  • How is apple cider made?

Apple History

Apple Facts – 
Lots of quick facts about apples.

What’s Cooking America: Apples – A timeline history of apples and apple legends

Apple History and Pollination Video

How Apples Grow

Growing Apples:How to Grow Apple Trees

Health Benefits of Apples

Find out the medicinal qualities of apples.

Nutritional information about apples

Jen’s Reviews: 11 Health Benefits of Apples
Health facts about apples and 5 recipes.

Apple Health Benefits

Stop Apples From Turning Brown

How Apple Cider is Made

Apple Activities and Puzzles
Washington Apples offers apple related puzzles and games that can be played online such as:
Crossword, word searches, quizzes, Catch the Apple game and more.
Visit the Teacher’s Corner of the site for printable word puzzles.

Parental supervision recommended for the following videos!

Apple Puzzle

Learn how to make a puzzle out of an apple.

Apple Swan

Related Apple Activities on Funschooling & Recreational Learning!:

Fran’s World of Discovery has created an apple resource page filled with links to other apples sites, apple lesson plans, and videos about apples: How to make an apple puzzle, the health benefits of apples, and how apples grow.

You’ll find more apple related activities and projects in this ebook written and developed by Fran Wisniewski. To learn more, click on the link above. To purchase, contact me directly.
Connect with Funschooling & Recreational Learning!

Fall Leaves

Did you know…

Chlorophyll gives leaves their green color, carotenoid gives them an orange color, xanthophylls give a yellow color, anthocyanin gives a red color and tannin gives a brown color.


During the summer we see green leaves. Leaves change colors in the fall…or do they? How and why do leaves change colors in the fall? Watch this 3:11 minute video to find out.

Take a deeper look:

Collect some leaves and look at them with a magnifying glass or a microscope.

Learn more:

Fall by Fran W.

Enchanted Learning: Leaves and Leaf Anatomy
Learn about leaf function and structure and leaf terms.

Maine Foliage: How leaves reveal their fall colors
Animation of how leaves change colors.

Science Made Simple: Why do autumn leaves change colors in the fall?
This site explains what leaves are, why they change color, and offers a few leaf projects and word scrambles.

EEK! Why Do Leaves Change Color?
Why do leaves change color? Where do leaf colors come from? Does weather effect leaf color? Find the answers to these questions here!

Leaf activities on FranW.com

Experiment: Chromatography of Leaves

Leaf People and Creatures

Colorful Leaf Rubbings

Leaf Identification Activities

Leaf Prints & Leaf Stencils

Leaf Hunting


Did you know…

Owls can rotate their necks 270 degrees in either direction from a forward facing position!

Do you have any questions about owls? Is there something you find interesting about them?

Create your own research project to learn more about these fascinating creatures of the night, or just explore the sites you find the most interesting!

Write or draw your questions on a piece of paper, or record them on an audio/video device, and use the following sites to help you find answers.

Some of the the following activities and resources includeDissecting a virtual owl pellet, watching owl cams, owl anatomy and physiology, owl sounds, owl mythology and much, much more…

Here are a couple of questions to help you get started…

What is the smallest owl in the world and where can it be found?
What is the largest owl in the world and where can it be found?

You can explore the following links to learn about owls!

KidWings has a virtual owl pellet that you can dissect and offers a resource called the 12 Nests of Knowledge and other areas to explore.

Explore.org has two owl cams you can watch: The Great Horned Owl and the Long-eared Owl

Owl Institute: Owl ID Guide
The Owl Institute offers an interactive owl ID guide. Click on a picture to learn more about an owl. On the right hand side of the page you will find a list of North American Owls, click on the name of the owl you are interested in learning more about.

Sylvan Dell Publishing offers a teacher’s guide in PDF format about owls.

Listen to owl sounds, learn about owl physiology, and owl mythology on OwlPages.

Learn about different kinds of owls at The Aviary at Owls.com

How Stuff Works offers articles about how owls fly and how this has influenced aeronautics and aircraft design.

Enchanted Learning: All About Owls
Short bits of information about owl: Anatomy, flight, hunting, classification and more. Link within the site to take an owl quiz, learn about owl physiology and the smallest and largest owls in the world, learn about the spotted owl, snowy owl, the great horned owl and more.

DLTK offers owl crafts and coloring pages.

First School offers and Owl Theme for young children.

Wikipedia: Owls
Wikipedia offers general information about owls, including the smallest and largest owls in the world. This page also links up to other owls.


What you can do with the information you gather…

Create your own owl fact cards – Put a picture on one side and facts you found the most interesting on the other. Wikipedia offers pictures of owls.

Make an owl trivia game – Gather owl facts and create your own game with them. Some categories you can include are: Owl Anatomy, Owl Habitats, Owl Diets, Owl Myths and Truths, Owl Mythology, etc.

Make an owl book – As you gather pictures and facts, and do owl activities, create a book with the information. Take pictures of the activities you do to add them to your book.

Create an owl blog post – If you have a personal blog, put a post together with owl information to reference later and/or to share with others.

Make an owl match game – Make sets of cards about the owls you learn about. Put pictures on the cards or make one card with a picture and the other with a name or a fact. Play a memory game with them.

Connect with FranW.com!
Facebook  Pinterest

Barn Owl at British Wildlife Centre, Surrey, England

Author: Peter Trimming

Chewing Gum


Did you know…

Prehistoric man chewed on a lump of tree resin!

Suggested Activity: Chewing Gum Experiment

To do the following experiment, you will need:

1 package of each: 3 different brands of ordinary chewing gum (not bubble gum), stopwatch or a timer, paper and pencil
Optional: Recording device or camera

Experiment Question:  Does your gum offer longest lasting flavor?

You will need one piece of each type of gum, a stopwatch or timer, and paper and pencil for this experiment.

– Take one piece of each type of gum, write down the name of the gum and the time you started chewing it or start your stop watch.

– When your gum loses its flavor, write down the time or stop your stopwatch and write down that time.

Do this for all 3 brands of gum and compare the results.

Note: This experiment can be done in one day or over several days.

Here are some optional questions you can answer:

– Have you ever had this brand of gum before?
– What flavor is the gum?
– Do you like the flavor of the gum?
– What are you expecting to happen during this experiment?
– How did the gum taste in the beginning, in the middle and at the end?
– How did the flavor and consistency of the gum change during the experiment?
– What did the gum feel like when you first started chewing and how did the gum feel at the end of your experiment?
– What happened when the gum lost its flavor?  
– What sensations did your mouth feel when you started chewing and how did your mouth feel when the experiment ended?
– If your gum promised long lasting flavor, decide if it lived up to its promise.
– Write a review or talk about your experience: How much did you pay for each brand of gum? Was it worth what you paid for it? Would you buy it gain?  Would you recommend the gum to anyone else?
– Try this experiment with a friend, parent or sibling and compare and talk about your results.

Recoding your results…

Recording Suggestion 1: Write about your experience.

Write about each step and answer the questions above if you choose to.

Recording Suggestion 2: Record your experiment on an audio or video device.

Start the recording device, show or talk about the brand, show or say the time, talk a little bit about the gum you are about to experiment on. Answer the questions above if you choose to.

Recording Suggestion 3: Illustrate your experiment.

Draw each part of your experiment and write a brief description next to each drawing or take pictures of each step of your experiment, print or develop your pictures and write captions under each picture telling what happened.
Make or draw faces showing your feelings for the questions if you choose to do them.

Recording Suggestion 4: Dictate or talk to someone else about this experiment.

Ask someone else to write your answers for this experiment for you or talk about the results with another person.

Just for the fun of it, make an interview out of this experiment, or create a commercial or ad for the brand of gum you liked the best using the questions above.

Question of the day:

Who was Thomas Adams and what gum did he invent?

Learn more:

Chewing Gum Facts 

This site has information about the history of chewing gum, a video and the latest news about gum.


I love Gum 

A timeline history of gum

Thomas Adams 

Learn who Thomas Adams was and how he changed the gum industry

Glee Gum

Purchase a gum making kit online


Connect with FranW.com!
Chewing Gum by Fran W

Glow Worms


Glowworms are insects that can be found in sheltered places such as dense woodlands, caves and grottoes.

Research Questions

How many types of glow worms are there?

How does a glow worm produce light?

What do glow-worms eat?

Are glowworms poisonous?

Where can glow worms be found around the world?

What is the difference between the fire fly (Lampyridae) glow worm and the Arachnocampa luminosa glowworm?

Research Resources

Suzy’s World: Glow-Worms – Site offers a fact sheet about glow-worms.

A-Z Animals: Glow Worms – Where they can be found, diet, classification and history

Wise GeekWhat are Glow Worms? – Learn about their stages of life and how they produce light.

The Lure of Glow Worms – Article about a 2 year glow-worm research project performed in the rainforests, caves and abandoned gold mines of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania, Australia.

Wikipedia: Glowworms Find out what types of glowworms there are.

eHow: How Do Glow Worms Produce Light? – Short article that talks about the temperature of their light, how they use it and the chemical reaction it takes to produce the glow.

The UK Glow Worm Survey Home Page –  Information about the glow worms that can be found in the UK. Check out the gallery, a report about glow worms by John Tyler this link will take you to part 1 of the 3 part publication. Scroll to the bottom of each page to link to the next part of the report.

FranW.com: Fireflies  Research resources for learning about fireflies.

Activity Suggestions

FranW.com: Glow-in-the-Dark Fun Putty – Make a fun putty that glows when placed in the light.

The research questions above are based on the questions and things we wanted to know about glow worms. Please feel free to come up with your own set of questions or things you would like to know.

While searching, we found that glow worms was spelled out in a variety of ways: Glow Worms, Glowworms, Glow-worms. You can decide which way best suits your needs because all seem to be correct.

Waitomo.com: Watch a short video of a commercial glowworm cave – 1:17


Connect with FranW.com!

The Cathedral in Waitomo Cave photo by Karora