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November 08

In 1847, Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula was born.

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In 1847, Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula was born.

Grades 5 – 12
Calendar Activity Type Author & Text





Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula, was born on this date in 1847. Dracula, originally published in 1897, has become the basis for many films, TV shows, and other novels over the more than 100 years since its publication.




In this novel, Bram Stoker depicted many of the superstitions about vampires that were prevalent in his era. Today, we have superstitions about many things besides vampires. Brainstorm with students the superstitions they know. Begin by offering some that will be familiar to many students, such as bad luck symbols (e.g., black cats, breaking a mirror, walking under a ladder) or good luck symbols (e.g., finding a penny, four-leaf clovers) and ask students to discuss how these superstitions might have had a basis in reality (for instance, it is good sense NOT to walk under a ladder, for safety's sake). Break students up into small groups and have them research one of the superstitions to determine its country of origin and its original meaning or purpose. Then, students can use the interactive Mystery Cube to write a mystery story featuring their superstition. More tips are available on how to use the Mystery Cube.



  • Dracula's Homepage

    This site provides information on Bram Stoker and brief essays on his sources and influences. The site also includes resources on vampires, Vlad the Impaler, and Van Helsing.

  • Bram Stoker

    This page provides biographical information on Stoker, links to other sources on the author, and a collection of e-texts of his writings.

  • Ghost Stories

    This page, from author S.E. Schlosser's American Folklore site, features a collection of folk tales focused on the supernatural. The stories are part of a large collection of folk tales from throughout the United States.

  • Thumbnail Images of Bram Stoker's Dracula Editions

    This site lists versions of Dracula from the original in 1897 through editions printed in the 1990s. Thumbnail images of the cover of each edition show how the depiction of Dracula has changed.


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Grades   9 – 12  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Ghosts and Fear in Language Arts: Exploring the Ways Writers Scare Readers

Students analyze scary stories to 'break the code" of horror writing and use what they learn to write scary stories of their own.


Grades   6 – 8  |  Lesson Plan  |  Unit

Thrills! Chills! Using Scary Stories to Motivate Students to Read

Students examine story elements through teacher read-alouds and independent reading and then use reader-response journals and graphic organizers to prepare for the creation of their own scary stories.


Grades   9 – 12  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Lights, Camera, Action...Music: Critiquing Films Using Sight and Sound

Movie music and magic set the scene for this lesson in which students analyze a scene from Good Morning, Vietnam and then create a scene of their own.