"After Twenty Years" by O. Henry Common Core Lesson Plans and Activites

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*Recently updated with lots added!!
"After Twenty Years" is a short story that can be read in one class period. The story lends itself for discussion of several literary elements like point of view, foreshadowing, and irony. Your students will enjoy O.Henry's trade mark surprise ending! The lessons, activities, and printables are aligned with Common Core Standards.

Included in this packet you will find the following:
Lesson plan outlining how to complete the activities included. Lesson begins with leading a discussion around an essential question.

Fun Prereading Writing Idea - will initiate excitement about reading the story and tie in a writing assignment too.

Vocabulary Preview - The vocabulary preview provides words in context so that students can determine meanings. CCSSRL4

A copy of the story is included.

Close Reading of the First Paragraph - With this activity, students are required to complete a close reading of the first paragraph. This handout asks questions to guide students in understanding what they are reading. CCSS7RL1,3

Readers’ Theater Instructions and Script - Students build fluency through reading out loud, and readers’ theater is a great way to do this in the middle school classroom. Instructions are given on two ways to do the readers’ theater. Also, the entire story is provided in “script form” for the read aloud.

How to Successfully Answer Text Dependent Extended Response Questions – Several activities and handouts are included for this. There is the R.A.C.E. acronym which students can use all year each time they have to answer an extended response text dependent question. There are handouts that students can keep to refer to all year when using this acronym.

Things to Remember About Theme- This handout is provided in two formats, one with the complete notes and one where students can fill in the blanks as you go over the important things to remember about theme.

Objective Summary -a PowerPoint is included to help you teach how to write an objective summary for a story. A handout on how to write an objective summary along with a sample are also included.

Carousel Learning Activity Instructions and Management – There are several activities for students to complete after reading the story. We have found that completing these activities “carousel” style and with a partner or in groups works wonderful! Students are engaged, helping one another, and actively working on Common Core based, meaningful activities. Complete instructions with pictures are included.

The carousel activities include the following:
• Foreshadowing, Imagery, Situational Irony – These activities will require students to analyze each of these literary devices in the story and how the author uses them. CCSS7RL1,3, CCSS7RL1

• Text Dependent Analysis Questions – There are four questions included and a chart that requires students to use the RACE acronym to restate the question, answer it, cite evidence from the text, and explain. Sample answers are provided


• Parts of Plot – With this activity, students will figure out the exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution of the plot. An answer key is provided.

• Point of View Rewrite –Students will choose one of the passages included on the handout and rewrite the passage using the first person point of view (from either Jimmy’s or Bob’s point of view). This will allow students to see just how much the point of view can alter a story.

• Determining the Theme – This activity will guide the groups in developing a theme statement for the story. A sample theme is provided. CCSS7RL-1,2

• Cinquain – This activity is fun for students. The group will work together and use the cinquain format to create a poem based on the story. A sample is provided.

• I Am Poem – This activity is fun for the groups. They follow the pattern to write an I Am poem based on a character, theme, or object from the story.

• Objective Summary – With this activity, students will write an objective summary of the story. A sample objective summary of “After Twenty Years” is provided.

*If you choose not to use the carousel learning activity, you can still pick and choose the post reading activities that you think your students need to do, or you can have them complete them all!

Two performance tasks are also included. The first is a group project in which the students work together to rewrite and modernize a readers’ theater version of the story. By modernizing the story, students will see first-hand how the setting can shape the plot in a story (CCSSRL-3). The second performance task is a text dependent analysis essay. A prompt is included along with a prewriting graphic organizer. A sample organizer is provided as well as two student essay samples. You can choose to have your students complete both performance tasks or choose one or the other.

Tableau - This bonus activity requires students to work in groups to develop a creative tableau and then perform it for the class. A rubric is provided.

Answer keys are provided for all handouts!
Purchase this teaching unit now, and use it year after year!

This teaching unit is JAM-PACKED with strategies, activities, and Common-Core based materials. This is not a generic worksheet kind of packet. You will LOVE these activities, and you will be able to use a lot of what is included with other stories that you teach as well!



Click here to see our 7th grade Short Story Bundle!
Total Pages
24
Answer Key
Included
Teaching Duration
3 Days

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"After Twenty Years" by O. Henry Common Core Lesson Plans
"After Twenty Years" by O. Henry Common Core Lesson Plans
"After Twenty Years" by O. Henry Common Core Lesson Plans
"After Twenty Years" by O. Henry Common Core Lesson Plans