“A Visit of Charity” is a great short story to teach diction. It is also helpful for plot diagram reinforcement and identifying various literary elements such as hyperbole, simile, metaphor and irony.
In this lesson plan you will find an activating pre-reading assignment, and during reading questions that help the students not only follow along with the story, but analyze it as they read. Many of the questions focus on author’s diction since “A Visit of Charity” is so good to use for that skill. There is also a quiz and a post reading writing assignment that has the students either interviewing someone who has experience with dementia (this can be a family member, friend, or even you or another staff member at your school), or doing a little research and writing a brief report on how elder care has improved since Welty first published her story.
Please note: "A Visit of Charity" is written in a very eloquent and simple fashion, so there is no vocabulary to go with it as students, even struggling readers, should not have difficulty with the vocabulary level used.
To make your life simple and a little less classroom chaotic, there is an answer key for the pre-reading activity, the during reading analysis and the quiz! The final writing assignment comes with a rubric for simplified grading (both options use the same rubric).
This lesson covers the following Common Core State Standards:
Key Ideas and Details
Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.
Analyze the impact of the author's choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed).
Craft and Structure
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including words with multiple meanings or language that is particularly fresh, engaging, or beautiful. (Include Shakespeare as well as other authors.)
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
Introduce a topic; organize complex ideas, concepts, and information so that each new element builds on that which precedes it to create a unified whole; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., figures, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
Develop the topic thoroughly by selecting the most significant and relevant facts, extended definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples appropriate to the audience's knowledge of the topic.
Use appropriate and varied transitions and syntax to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships among complex ideas and concepts.
Use precise language, domain-specific vocabulary, and techniques such as metaphor, simile, and analogy to manage the complexity of the topic.
Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing.
Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented (e.g., articulating implications or the significance of the topic).
Production and Distribution of Writing
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience
Research to Build and Present Knowledge
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
Comprehension and Collaboration
Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11-12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
Conventions of Standard English
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
Keywords: A Visit of Charity, Eudora Welty, short story, Southern literature, Southern Gothic literature, mental health, short story analysis, diction, plot diagram.