My students always enjoy Guy de Maupassant's "The Necklace". Of course, they'd never admit it! But I know they're engaged when I hear countless voices blurt out, "I'd be so mad!" at the end of the story!
While I love introducing students to some of my favorite short-stories simply for the enjoyment that they bring, this particular story is a one to use when teaching students to find theme.
This product is a guide that I use with my students to help them develop thematic statements based on a piece of literature. It is very scaffolded - with explanations, graphic organizers, and note takers.
Students will need to read (or have read) the short story, then will brainstorm recurring ideas found in the story. Additionally, they will locate textual evidence to support their claims about the main character. Finally, the students will use their thematic statements to develop a thesis that argues the theme based on characterization.
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