This product contains the full text of "Buried Alive", a fictional short story published at the time of the Civil War, as well as multiple close reading, text dependent questions that students will answer throughout the story to help develop an understanding of the short story. There is also an attached key for your convenience.
Students are asked to draw conclusions, make inferences, cite textual evidence, analyze complex fiction text, and to determine the meaning of vocabulary words through the use of context clues.
Synopsis: A former slave writes about what he witnessed at the brutal massacre at Fort Pillow...and what it's like to be "Buried Alive"!
I embed this close reading activity within a Civil War cross curricular unit with my 8th grade students. Throughout this unit, we participate in literature circles with a variety of Civil War novels and also read analyze primary source documents and Civil War short stories. This story is highly engaging, as it consists of fictionalized brutality of an actual historical event. Typically, each student sits with a partner with a copy of the text. I read the text out loud, but have them stop and conference with their partner to answer the questions in the margins. Then, we discuss these questions as a whole group. It''s amazing to see how much this method increases both student participation and reading comprehension!
Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to the characters, setting, and plot; provide an objective summary of the text.
Analyze how particular lines of dialogue or incidents in a story or drama propel the action, reveal aspects of a character, or provoke a decision.
Craft and Structure:
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies or allusions to other texts.
Analyze how differences in the points of view of the characters and the audience or reader (e.g., created through the use of dramatic irony) create such effects as suspense or humor
Keywords: no prep close reading activities, Civil War fiction, Civil War short stories, analyzing complex texts, close reading, close reading example, text dependent questions