These questions are perfect for a post-reading discussion activity to invite students to think deeper about key themes and topics in O. Henry's "The Gift of the Magi."
There are four pages of thought-provoking questions:
* The Number Three (3)
* Sacrifice (option 1 - suited for a Catholic, Christian, or parochial school)
* Sacrifice (option 2 - suited for a public or charter school)
Each page features a small section that asks students to self-assign roles, or you could assign the roles ahead of time. These roles include Discussion Leader, Scribe (note-taker), Reporter (presents group's discussion whole-class), Time Keeper, and Encourager (makes sure all group members share).
Ideally, the grouping system would work best with three groups of five students each. If you have a larger class, you could have two students per role or one student taking on more than one role for a smaller class.
This activity is great for ELLs and other second language learners because it enables them to share personal thoughts in a low-risk context: small group conversation with peers.
An answer key is not provided because the questions are thought-provoking and meant to be open-ended.
It takes about an entire class period to conduct typical housekeeping duties (such as attendance), introduce and utilize this activity, and give students time to share what each group discussed. Or, you could this as a closing activity to be completed in 8 minutes or less as an exit slip.
I used these questions in an exit slip format one day, and then we revisited them the next day for class discussion. I have used these questions with ninth, tenth, and eleventh grade ELA classes with a high population of ESL learners.
Last Updated: 2/20/2017