O. Henry's classic tale of mutual sacrifice for the sake of love is a fine piece of literature to introduce to one's scholars. Depending on the age and reading level of those scholars, this great short story can be a challenge for some to see the emotional aspect through the prose. Reading aloud to one's scholars is the best way to emphasize the emotional experience of the characters; just the additional of vocal tone helps the scholars find the depth of the theme behind the words. If the scholars follow along with the text, and the instructor pauses the recording to discuss salient points, then such an introduction can be a delight; subsequent readings will be richer and the scholars' memory of the story more solid.
If one's not comfortable reading aloud, or does not wish to do so for each of four to seven classes, a recorded version is a great help.
This recording, running at 13:40, moves at a smooth pace. At more complex phrases or passages, the narrator, Ken Wolfe, slows or pauses slightly for the reader to process. He uses slight changes in his voice for Della and Jim to great effect, adding likeability and showing the characters' affection for each other.
This recording can be duplicated for scholars' digital devices for listening at home or with headphones/earbuds in the classroom.
"The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry"read by Ken Wolfe
is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License