The Lottery by Shirley Jackson Short Story Unit - DIGITAL and PRINT

Grade Levels
8th - 10th
Formats Included
  • Zip
62 pages
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This PRINT and DIGITAL resource for Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" includes EVERYTHING you need to teach this exciting and shocking short story! Six engaging activities, teacher notes, vocabulary word wall, essay question, and a complete unit test! Perfect for middle school and even high school students.

Students will use Jackson’s shocking story, “The Lottery” to evaluate vocabulary, participate in a plot prediction activity, analyze characters’ perspectives of tradition and behavior, work closely with various themes, and determine how setting can have an emotional effect on the reader and set the mood for the plot. In addition, students will identify why an author chooses to use suspense and foreshadowing and what that effect has on the story. Detailed teacher notes are provided that are sure to spark students’ discussion, including some intriguing background on Jackson herself and how she created “The Lottery.” A critical thinking Response to Literature question and a unit test are also included in the resource.

**THIS RESOURCE IS A PART OF A LARGER, SHORT STORY BUNDLE. SAVE OVER 20% BY PURCHASING THE BUNDLE BY CLICKING HERE! Our Short Story Bundle includes "The Most Dangerous Game," "Gift of the Magi," "The Necklace," and "The Lottery."**


• Instructions for Use:

Detailed instructions that walk you through exactly how to implement this unit in your classroom.

• "The Lottery" Poster:

To be hung up around your classroom in the week/days leading up to your introduction of the unit to get students excited about the story and making inferences!

• Vocabulary Word Wall Cards:

Includes 11 integral vocabulary cards with definitions to be hung up in your classroom and referenced throughout the reading.

• Vocabulary Preview Activity:

Students work with synonyms to gain further understanding of vocabulary words from "The Lottery." Additionally, students work to create groups of these vocabulary words and their relationships to one another.

• Popcorn Predictions Activity:

Introduce students to the short story in an exciting way with this predictions activity! Get students up and walking around and making inferences before you even begin reading.

• Teacher Notes:

Because we are unable to provide you with a complete version of the text (due to copyright law), we have included detailed teacher notes, including descriptions of characters, plot, symbols, etc. to help you more effectively teach this short story. No more searching online for an in-depth look at the text!

• Setting Activity:

Students work with the social environment and irony of the text with this activity, using evidence from the short story to support their claims.

• Traditions and Behavior Activity:

Students write from the perspectives of two characters from the story to answer interview-like questions.

• Suspense and Foreshadowing Activity:

Because "The Lottery" is filled with contrasts, students will prove that the author sets the reader up for false expectations through this activity.

• Focusing on Theme Activity:

Students work closely with the text to identify various themes and support their claims with justification.

• Final Unit Test:

A 30-question test with answer key has been included. Vocabulary questions, matching characters to who spoke each quote, and true or false questions.

• Essay Question:

As an additional or even alternative assessment, we've included an essay question that requires students to write a persuasive essay / response to literature. We've included the essay question in two different formats for you. One is just the essay question by itself, while the second is the essay question with a detailed outline for students to follow meant to help them organize their thoughts.

• Essay Rubric:

Finally, we've included an easy-to-use rubric to make the essay grading process easier for you!

*PLEASE NOTE: Due to copyright law, this resource DOES NOT include the text for the short story, "The Lottery."

We sincerely hope you enjoy this unit as our students have! If you have any questions at all, please feel free to email us.

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Total Pages
62 pages
Answer Key
Included with rubric
Teaching Duration
2 Weeks
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to the characters, setting, and plot; provide an objective summary of the text.
Analyze how particular lines of dialogue or incidents in a story or drama propel the action, reveal aspects of a character, or provoke a decision.
Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.


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