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The Gift of the Magi reading and writing unit works really well for both a Thanksgiving Unit or a Christmas Unit for Middle School and High School students. As a Thanksgiving Unit, the larger themes of selflessness and thankfulness are discussed. As a Christmas Unit, these same themes are discussed as the story focuses around gift-giving during Christmastime. An excellent, in-depth and evidence-based unit for Middle School and High School students during the holidays!
All of the activities in this unit are meant to get students thinking more critically and logically as they provide solid evidence for any claims made. We've included plenty of fun and challenging activities, as well as a teacher annotated edition of the short story.
UPDATED to include 2 Vocabulary Preview Activities AND a Complete Unit Test and Answer Key!
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INCLUDED IN THIS UNIT:
- Teacher annotated text of "The Gift of the Magi"
- Black student copy of "The Gift of the Magi"
- Vocabulary Preview Crossword Puzzle with Answer Key: A great activity to do with students before reading “Gift of the Magi” in order to get them acquainted with some of the more difficult vocabulary terms in the short story.
- Vocabulary Preview Activity: Students preview vocabulary words from the text prior to reading - activity includes vocabulary boxes to fill in information that will help students remember the words, such as a picture or symbol and a sentence.
- Meaningful Gift Activity: Students will begin reflecting on the main theme of selflessness found in “Gift of the Magi” so they better understand the story and have personal connections to share when they later discuss the short story.
- Character Traits Worksheet: In order to have students go deeper with the theme of selflessness in “Gift of the Magi,” this activity has students looking for specific evidence to help support why Jim and Della are characterized as both selfless and generous.
- Plot Summary + Hashtag Help Activities: These activities require students to summarize “Gift of the Magi” and respond to critical thinking questions. These activities are meant to help students organize their thoughts so when they are discussing the short story at the end of the unit, it’s not so daunting!
- 10 Task Cards for Discussions: Use these task cards to review, lead whole-group or small-group discussion, or a Socratic Seminar. All questions are thought-provoking and challenging.
- Thank You Note Activity (with rubric for teacher): Students will choose to write a thank you note from either the point of view of Della or Jim, expressing their gratitude for the gift they have received.
- Essay Question (with rubric for teacher): Students will compose a response to literature focused on a challenging prompt that requires them to analyze the text in a deeper way. We've also included a complete essay graphic organizer for you as well.
- Final Unit Test and Answer Key: The test includes 30 questions: Vocabulary Sentences, True or False, Matching, and Short Answer.
OTHER CHRISTMAS / HOLIDAY RESOURCES FROM EB ACADEMIC CAMPS: