As part of our narrative unit this year, my 10th graders read select stories from Junot Diaz's collection of short stories, titled "Drown." One of the narrative techniques I wanted my students to analyze was the use of flashbacks in a story, specifically as a way to develop and/or move the plot forward.
For this lesson, students had just finished reading the short story, "Fiesta, 1980." I took out the examples of flashbacks I could find in the story (total of 5) and created close-reading questions for each flashback. In groups of 2-3, students analyzed one specific flashback, and then engaged in a Jigsaw activity to analyze the remaining flashbacks.
For each flashback, students answered the following:
-What specific events or emotions does this flashback describe?
-Which literary element(s) (plot, theme, setting, character) is developed through the use of this flashback? Explain.
-How does this flashback help you understand what is going in the story? Explain.