"The Tell-Tale Heart" is suitable for 8th graders for two reasons: 8th graders are mature enough to read it, and modern day entertainment is more violent than the story. List a third reason why "The Tell-Tale Heart" is appropriate for an 8th grade audience.
Three reasons "The Tell-Tale Heart" is appropriate for 8th graders could include:
1) 8th graders are mature enough to read it
2) 8th graders are already exposed to more violence in today's society
Both of the above points are true; however, there may be some other benefit in introducing 8th graders to "The Tell-Tale Heart" by Poe.
For one thing, some 8th graders are reluctant readers in today's society, because they are used to being exposed to things visually (i.e. video games, television, etc.) A story like "The Tell-Tale Heart" could intrigue such a reader to want to continue reading; it may even spark an interest in something the reader didn't know he/she was interested in: good, old-fashioned story-telling. Poe was a master story teller.
Furthermore, Poe was known as the "father of the detective story," as he introduced the type of "whodunit" plot we are so interested in today. Reading "The Tell-Tale Heart" and then analyzing it from a current, forensic-science perspective could generate interest in the mind of an 8th grader. It could also assist in helping the student make inter-disciplinary connections.
Lastly, reading "The Tell-Tale Heart" is appropriate for 8th graders because it teaches compassion. Most readers will be appalled at the idea of killing a person because of their appearance, and by focusing on the fact that the vulture eye was THE MAIN REASON for the murder, it may lead to a deeper inspection in the mind of an 8th grader about how they treat others.