WHIRL, WALTZ, and WOW your students through the world of short stories and across a COHESIVE SUITE of short story-inspired learning events. Begin with constructing a knowledge base... move into exploring and investigating the literary landscape... delve into a Big Question... pause to offer time for student-led discussions... and finish with a flourished focus on expository writing!
This unit has it all! Short stories; 4 weeks of SUPER TOP-QUALITY lesson plans; daily calendars; all assessments with keys, holistic rubrics, or analytic rubrics; a marking agenda; a final test; and MORE.
Let’s start with the stories: a mix of old favourites jazzed up with some lesser-used gems to keep everyone inspired! Here they are, by week:
Week 1: Elements of Fiction: Saki’s “The Storyteller” and Bierce’s “John Mortonson’s Funeral”
Week 2: Plot Structure: O’Flaherty’s “The Sniper”, Stockton’s “The Lady, or the Tiger?”, and Thurber’s “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”
Week 3: Setting & Mood: Bradbury’s “There Will Come Soft Rains” and Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher”
Week 4: Characterization: Chekhov’s “Indigestion” and Twain’s “The £1,000,000 Bank-Note”
EACH WEEK Includes:
1 week-at-a-view daily calendar with an integrated marking agenda and links out to media;
A pdf or a link to 2 or 3 short stories per week;
1 or 2 “My Life in Lit” glossary entries, with appropriate keys (1-3 pages per week + keys);
1, 2, or 3 literary landscape exercises with appropriate keys (1-6 pages per week + keys);
1 Big Question concept task with holistic rubric (2-3 pages per week);
1 Discussion Guide (1 page per week);
1 “Explain Away” expository writing toolkit with analytic rubric (4-5 pages per week). Download my FREE resource
Mood in Music: "Explain Away" Expository Writing Toolkit
to get an idea of the quality of my work.
IN ALL: Week 1: 21 pages; Week 2: 31 pages; Week 3: 38 pages; Week 4: 38 pages
THE FIRST WEEK also includes: a Unit Outline for students, “My Life in Lit” glossary entries cover sheet with holistic rubric, a Reading Log cover sheet with holistic rubric, an introductory Reflection, and a Diagnostic Writing task.
ALSO included: a Unit Outline, 3 quizzes with keys, and a final test (with: 4 true/false, 4 multiple choice, 11 matching, 4 fill-in-the-blanks, 2 odd-one-out; a punctuation task; and a paragraph-length expository writing task with visual prompt)
"MY LIFE IN LIT" student glossary entries explain literary terms, then prompt students to illustrate those terms with examples from their daily lives. For example, the “It’s my Life” plot structure learning event prompts students to think about and plot a day in their life.
LITERARY LANDSCAPE learning events are exercises to identify, explore, and investigate the week’s literary terms and concepts. Students might diagram plot elements in “The Sniper”, examine and reconstruct sensory descriptions in Bradbury, or make inferences about behaviour based on character traits.
BIG QUESTION CONCEPT TASKS are project-like learning events that ask students to consider big literary questions such as: How do written genres reflect life? or As well as character traits, what else might explain behaviour? Students might write a news article or generate a list of interview questions and answers to role-play a character interview as part of a social science experiment.
GUIDED DISCUSSIONS are student-led low-stakes discussions for higher-order thinking. Each week, students are prompted to use 3 or 4 higher-order skills; students might recommend stories, appraise literary techniques, or contrast characters.
"EXPLAIN AWAY: expository writing toolkits ask students to explain a quote, a musical choice, or a character’s behaviour. Preparations, content and structure planners, model sentences, as well as revision and editing checklists and an analytic rubric are included. Download my FREE resource Mood in Music: “Explain Away” Expository Writing Toolkit to get an idea of my work.
What’s the INTEGRATED MARKING AGENDA? A dead-simple, incredibly effective way to keep control of marking... or a least to know how far behind you really are. The bottom row in the calendar is the agenda, and it’s simply this: a reminder of what needs to get marked, when, and how (with rubric, key, etc).