AP Lit Short Fiction Lesson - Realism

AP Lit Short Fiction Lesson - Realism
AP Lit Short Fiction Lesson - Realism
AP Lit Short Fiction Lesson - Realism
AP Lit Short Fiction Lesson - Realism
AP Lit Short Fiction Lesson - Realism
AP Lit Short Fiction Lesson - Realism
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This lesson, designed for AP LIt but also appropriate for duel enrollment or any college prep course, guides students on an exploration of short fiction from the literary movement of Realism. The lesson is designed to take two 45 minute class periods or one block period. This lesson briefly introduces the Realist period, then introduces Realist fiction in a textual excerpt from Tolstoy's "How Much Land Does a Man Need?" After a quick discussion students then explore three more works of realist literature in the form of textual excerpts, including Life on The Mississippi by Mark Twain, Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, and Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw. Students then analyze Anton Chekhov's short story "The Bet," answering close reading and deeper thinking questions that run the range of Bloom's Taxonomy. After a class discussion, students write a paragraph analyzing "The Bet," for which an editable rubric is included. It pairs well with my Literary One-Pager on Realism.

This resource was created to closer align to the AP Lit Fall 2019 Course updates. The following AP Lit Essential Knowledge statements are instructed and/or assessed in these lessons:

  • Excerpt: “How Much Land Does a Man Need?” by Leo Tolstoy
    • CHR 1.A - CHR-1.K Readers can infer a character’s motives from that character’s actions or inactions.
    • SET. 2.C - SET-1.D The environment a character inhabits provides information about that character.
    • SET 2.C - SET-1.H The way characters behave in or describe their surroundings reveals an attitude about those surroundings and contributes to the development of those characters and readers’ interpretations of them.
    • NAR 4.B - NAR-1.I The outside perspective of third-person narrators may not be affected by the events of the narrative.

  • Quote Analysis: Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain
    • CHR 1.A - CHR-1.G Details associated with a character and/or used to describe a character contribute to a reader’s interpretation of that character.
    • NAR. 4.A - NAR-1.A Narrators or speakers relate accounts to readers and establish a relationship between the text and the reader.
    • NAR 4.B - NAR-1.E Narrators may also be characters, and their role as characters may influence their perspective.
    • NAR. 4.B - NAR-1.F First-person narrators are involved in the narrative; their relationship to the events of the plot and the other characters shapes their perspective.
    • NAR .C - NAR-1.O The attitude of narrators, characters, or speakers toward an idea, character, or situation emerges from their perspective and may be referred to as tone.

  • Quote Analysis: Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
    • CHR 1.A - CHR-1.B Descriptions of characters may come from a speaker, narrator, other characters, or the characters themselves.
    • NAR 4.A - NAR-1.J Narrators may function as characters in the narrative who directly address readers and either recall events or describe them as they occur.
    • NAR 4.A - NAR-1.D The point of view contributes to what narrators, characters, or speakers can and cannot provide in a text based on their level of involvement and intimacy with the details, events, or characters.
    • NAR 4.A - NAR-1.G Third-person narrators are outside observers.

  • Excerpt: Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw
    • CHR 1.A - CHR-1.A Description, dialogue, and behavior reveal characters to readers.
    • CHR 1.A - CHR-1.P Characters’ choices—in speech, action, and inaction— reveal what they value.
    • STR 3.B. - STR-1.AI Significant events often illustrate competing value systems that relate to a conflict present in the text.

  • Exit Slip - Thesis activity
    • LAN 7.B - LAN-1.D A thesis statement expresses an interpretation of a literary text and requires a defense through use of textual evidence and a line of reasoning, both of which are explained in an essay through commentary.
    • LAN 7.b - LAN-1.E A thesis statement may preview the development or line of reasoning of an interpretation. This is not to say that a thesis statement must list the points of an interpretation, literary elements to be analyzed, or specific evidence to be used in the argument.

  • Short Story - “The Bet” by Anton Chekhov
    • STR 3.A - STR-1.X Some narrative structures interrupt the chronology of a plot; such structures include flashback, foreshadowing, in medias res, and stream of consciousness.
    • STR 3.B - STR-1.Y Narrative structures that interrupt the chronology of a plot, such as flashback, foreshadowing, in medias res, and stream of consciousness, can directly affect readers’ experiences with a text by creating anticipation or suspense or building tension.
    • STR 3.B -STR-1.AJ Events in a plot collide and accumulate to create a sense of anticipation and suspense.

  • Written Analysis of “The Bet”
    • LAN 7.A - LAN-1.A In literary analysis, writers read a text closely to identify details that, in combination, enable them to make and defend a claim about an aspect of the text.
    • LAN 7.A - LAN-1.B A claim is a statement that requires defense with evidence from the text.
    • LAN 7.A - LAN-1.C In literary analysis, the initial components of a paragraph are the claim and textual evidence that defends the claim.
    • LAN 7.B - LAN-1.D A thesis statement expresses an interpretation of a literary text and requires a defense through use of textual evidence and a line of reasoning, both of which are explained in an essay through commentary.
    • LAN 7.B - LAN-1.E A thesis statement may preview the development or line of reasoning of an interpretation. This is not to say that a thesis statement must list the points of an interpretation, literary elements to be analyzed, or specific evidence to be used in the argument.
    • LAN 7.C - LAN-1.F A line of reasoning is the logical sequence of claims that work together to defend the overarching thesis statement.
    • LAN 7.C - LAN-1.G A line of reasoning is communicated through commentary that explains the logical relationship between the overarching thesis statement and the claims/evidence within the body of an essay.
    • LAN 7.C - LAN-1.M The body paragraphs of a written argument develop the reasoning and justify claims using evidence and providing commentary that links the evidence to the overall thesis.
    • LAN 7.C - LAN-1.N Effective paragraphs are cohesive and often use topic sentences to state a claim and explain the reasoning that connects the various claims and evidence that make up the body of an essay
    • LAN 7.C - LAN-1.U More sophisticated literary arguments may explain the significance or relevance of an interpretation within a broader context, discuss alternative interpretations of a text, or use relevant analogies to help an audience better understand an interpretation.
    • LAN 7.D - LAN-1.H Writers use evidence strategically and purposefully to illustrate, clarify, exemplify, associate, amplify, or qualify a point.
    • LAN 7.D - LAN-1.I Evidence is effective when the writer of the essay uses commentary to explain a logical relationship between the evidence and the claim.
    • LAN 7.D - LAN-1.J Evidence is sufficient when its quantity and quality provide apt support for the line of reasoning.
    • LAN 7.D - LAN-1.K Developing and supporting an interpretation of a text is a recursive process; an interpretation can emerge from analyzing evidence and then forming a line of reasoning, or the interpretation can emerge from forming a line of reasoning and then identifying relevant evidence to support that line of reasoning.
    • LAN 7.D - LAN-1.V Textual evidence may require revision to an interpretation and a line of reasoning if the evidence does not sufficiently support the initial interpretation and line of reasoning.
    • LAN 7.E - LAN-1.L Grammar and mechanics that follow established conventions of language allow writers to clearly communicate their interpretation of a text.
    • LAN 7.E - LAN-1.O Coherence occurs at different levels in a piece of writing. In a sentence, the idea in one clause logically links to an idea in the next. In a paragraph, the idea in one sentence logically links to an idea in the next. In a text, the ideas in one paragraph logically link to the ideas in the next.
    • LAN 7.E - LAN-1.P Writers achieve coherence when the arrangement and organization of reasons, evidence, ideas, or details is logical. Writers may use transitions, repetition, synonyms, pronoun references, or parallel structure to indicate relationships between and among those reasons, evidence, ideas, or details.
    • LAN 7.E - LAN-1.Q Transitional elements are words or other elements (phrases, clauses, sentences, or paragraphs) that assist in creating coherence between sentences and paragraphs by showing relationships between ideas.
    • LAN 7.E - LAN-1.R Writers convey their ideas in a sentence through strategic selection and placement of phrases and clauses. Writers may use coordination to illustrate a balance or equality between ideas or subordination to illustrate an imbalance or inequality.
    • LAN 7.E - LAN-1.S Writers use words that enhance the clear communication of an interpretation.
    • LAN 7.E - LAN-1.T Punctuation conveys relationships between and among parts of a sentence.
    • LAN 7.E - LAN-1.W Writers must acknowledge words, ideas, images, texts, and other intellectual property of others through attribution, citation, or reference. Note: Students are not expected to use a specific attribution style (like MLA) within the timed essays on the AP Exam, but should follow such guidelines for any extended papers they develop in class through multiple revisions.

This resource is included in my AP Lit Full Course bundle!

Total Pages
30 pages
Answer Key
Included with rubric
Teaching Duration
90 minutes
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