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Lamb to the Slaughter, Roald Dahl, Literary Analysis & Real-World Writing Task

Laura Randazzo
Grade Levels
7th - 10th, Homeschool
Formats Included
  • PDF
6-page PDF
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Laura Randazzo


Use the dark humor of Roald Dahl’s well-known short story, “Lamb to the Slaughter," to teach your students the elements of literary analysis. This one-day lesson plan includes links to the full text of the story, detailed instructions, a 9-question deep-thinking handout (with detailed answer key, of course), and a writing activity that creatively uses an official-looking police report for students to summarize the elements of the story. The lesson also includes a police sketch portion (my high school students love when I bring out the colored pencils) and a link to an Alfred Hitchcock video version of the story.

Dahl is best known for his longer works, such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, and James and the Giant Peach. This story, however, is a bit darker and intended for a slightly older audience. This lesson is best for advanced middle school or high school students.

Please note that the police report form is sold separately in my store – Click here to see Police Report form. In the “Lamb to the Slaughter” packet, I’ve included the blank form and a completed sample featuring the characters/situation of this short story. In the other version sold separately at the link above, I’ve included the blank form and a sample featuring a scene from John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men. The blank police report form can be reused with many different stories. No need to purchase it separately from my store if you buy these “Lamb to the Slaughter” materials.

Interested in more short story materials?

Click HERE for my catalog of lessons on a variety of classic short stories

Click HERE for a budget-priced FOUR WEEK short story unit

NOTE: This item is included in my English 9-10 full-year curriculum. If you already own the full-year download, please do not purchase this item here individually. If you’d like to receive this item plus everything else needed to teach 180 days of English 9 or English 10 at a deeply discounted price, click here to learn more about the full-year curriculum download.

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Lamb and police shield image credit: Pixabay, Public domain

Total Pages
6-page PDF
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
55 minutes
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Acquire and use accurately general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases; gather vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.


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