This lesson includes a graphic organizer and an outline for a compare and contrast essay to be used after students complete the reading of "No Guitar Blues" by Gary Soto, "Thank you Ma'am" by Langston Hughes, and "The Summer of the Beautiful White Horse" by William Saroyan. Students are guided to notice similarities between the main characters in these three short stories, and to notice how characters change as a result of their experiences. The first step is to complete the graphic organizer with details and quotes from the stories. The final student product is an essay, well supported in an outline that describes the contents of each paragraph.
This lesson has been successfully used by teachers at upper elementary through tenth grade.The stories themselves are compelling, and easy for kids to relate to. There is sufficient scaffolding to support high school RSP students.