Suspense is an element that captures an audience's attention. In this engaging common core-aligned reading unit, students will examine the various methods four authors use to make their stories suspenseful. The unit is built around four core texts: "The Highwayman" by Alfred Noyes, "The Landlady" by Roald Dahl, "The Monkey's Paw" by W. W. Jacobs, and "Sorry, Wrong Number" by Lucille Fletcher. Students will read, analyze, and write about each of the texts. The texts are not included in this unit.
This unit is designed for students to do most of the writing in a notebook. My students use composition books as their reading/writing notebooks. All work is done in the notebook with the exception of essay writing. This unit does not include student worksheets. Several of the activities have students create charts on poster paper. If you have access to larger individual whiteboards, those can be used, too.
The unit will take about 4-6 weeks. The timeframe depends on the length of your class periods, the level of your students, and how much time you spend on some of the lessons that could be extended.
I use this unit with my 7th graders; however, it is appropriate for 8th graders and higher level 6th graders.