The Cop and the Anthem by O. Henry Short Story Study Guide
The Cop and the Anthem by O. Henry is not an easy read and generally reserved for high school classrooms. This Short Story Study Guide is designed for 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. It offers specific activities and resources to help middle schoolers understand and enjoy one of O. Henry’s most famous, head-shaking tales.
The 6 different instructional components are:
1. The Cop and the Anthem—a full copy of O. Henry’s story, which is now in public domain.
2. An Author’s Biographical Sketch and 2 other Informational Texts to help students better understand important story elements. All three articles come with CCSS Aligned study questions.
3. Vocabulary Resources:
Alphabetized list of the 73 words chosen for study with story page numbers
Word lists with definition organized by their story page numbers
Dictionary Digs—for use before reading to help give students an advanced look at some of the story’s rigorous vocabulary
A Phrase Buster “cheat sheet ” for students to use as they read.
A study of O. Henry’s use of descriptive language, figurative language, irony, and humor
4. Two Quizzes, one a multiple choice test of factual comprehension and the other a group of 15 CCSS Aligned challenge questions.
5. Writing Prompts
6. Full Answer Keys
Download the sample pages for a closer look. You’ll find a full table of contents and samples from each component, except the answer keys.
Though O. Henry never mentions the word “Christmas” in The Cop and the Anthem, the reader can surmise that the action takes place between Thanksgiving and Christmas, a fact that makes this short story a good classroom addition for those happy, exciting days before holiday break.