The Lottery Distance Learning | Dystopian Distance Learning | Shirley Jackson

Zip (1 MB|28 pages + 14 slides)
Digital Download
Digital Download
Share this resource


Looking for a complete unit on “The Lottery” that will challenge and inspire your students to make a difference in today's troubled times?

By making connections among bullying, genocide, the Nuremberg trials, Stanley Milgrim’s obedience study, and a classic poem about the Holocaust, your students will be inspired to take their study of Jackson’s powerful story past the pages of the text.

When you teach “The Lottery” with this unit you will:

  • be sure that your students won’t miss any of the important elements of the story when they utilize the comprehensive handout of close reading questions

  • engage your classes in a critical thinking by using the no-prep prompts for classroom discussion

  • challenge your classes to become more aware of injustices in their own time when they make the connection between schoolyard bullying and genocide

  • easily teach the unit online using the ready-to-go instructions, links, handouts, and forms all optimized for Google Classroom.

  • add depth and breadth to your lesson plans with the paired texts including a poem and a TED Talk

  • help your students to more fully comprehend challenging literary concepts such as setting, dialogue, and point of view with the fun, creative activities

  • easily discuss the questions for close reading and discussion by utilizing the extensive answer keys

  • get your students past writers’ block with the inspiring writing prompts and creative writing activities

  • challenge your students to think about the role that they play in preventing further atrocities

  • teach a unit on “The Lottery” that your students won’t soon forget

Pairings: This unit would make a great introduction to any texts on dystopian societies, the Holocaust, or genocide including The Hunger Games, The Giver, Fahrenheit 451, 1984, Divergent, Night, or The Diary of Anne Frank.

Read on below for more detail about the engaging lessons that you will employ when you teach with this innovative unit.

First, your classes will read the story without any introduction, so they can feel the full impact of Jackson’s shocking ending.

Then they’ll complete a close reading of the story using the scaffolded questions included in this resource. With a nice combination of more straightforward comprehension questions, deeper close reading questions, and broader thematic discussions, these questions will help your classes to appreciate and understand the story better. The extensive answer keys will help you to discuss the answers with the classes as well as to point them in the right direction when they’re having trouble answering the questions.

Next, they’ll broaden and deepen their exploration of the essential questions of the story by working through 14 different bellringer freewrites about their own experiences, the poem “First They Came” by Pastor Martin Niemoller, a fascinating TED Talk about bullying, hate crimes, and genocide, and more engaging videos on scapegoating and the “following orders” defense first brought up in the Nuremberg trials.

Then, when they complete the fun, rigorous creative writing exercises focusing on setting, dialogue, and point of view, students will both understand and appreciate the story on a deeper level and improve their own close reading and writing skills.

Finally, students will bring it all together in a socratic seminar which you will easily observe and grade using the rubric.

Want to know what you’ll get when you purchase this resource? Click on the preview to see it in its entirety.

There are no lectures or power points here—students will do the work themselves, with guidance from you. Rather than telling them what the texts mean, you will be empowering them with the confidence and skills to tackle challenging work on their own.

Total Pages
28 pages + 14 slides
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
3 days
Report this Resource to TpT
Reported resources will be reviewed by our team. Report this resource to let us know if this resource violates TpT’s content guidelines.


to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that probe reasoning and evidence; ensure a hearing for a full range of positions on a topic or issue; clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions; and promote divergent and creative perspectives.
Come to discussions prepared, having read and researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence from texts and other research on the topic or issue to stimulate a thoughtful, well-reasoned exchange of ideas.
Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11–12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarize points of agreement and disagreement, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own views and understanding and make new connections in light of the evidence and reasoning presented.
Come to discussions prepared, having read and researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence from texts and other research on the topic or issue to stimulate a thoughtful, well-reasoned exchange of ideas.


Questions & Answers

Teachers Pay Teachers is an online marketplace where teachers buy and sell original educational materials.

More About Us

Keep in Touch!

Sign Up