From Electric English...
These are clear, typed notes to introduce the ideas of diction and close reading of a text. Words! Words! Words! Getting students to understand that word choice is paramount to understanding a writer's purpose should be one of the ultimate goals for English teachers. This activity asks the students to make a close reading of Oates' short story, "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" and analyze it for word choice using the LEAD method. This method asks students to look for low or elevated diction, abstract or concrete words, and denotation or connotation. I use this method with all of my students, from AP to co-taught classes. Some classes take longer to process the material than other classes, but ultimately I have found over the years that all students benefit from the process. Make it work for you!!
NOTE: There is a fresh, clean copy of this story posted in my store under Short Story: Analysis Project. It's free and a great story!! I have to tell you, however, that this story is quite disturbing on many levels. Just want to give you fair warning, in case, you are not familiar with it.... That being said, every time I have ever taught this story, the students have loved it, and it has always generated some incredible conversations about a teenager's life and the story's analysis.