Liam O’Flaherty’s story about the Anglo-Irish Treaty conflict—The Irish Civil War—is a wonderful selection for your literary curriculum. It is short but it packs a punch. If you would like to use it to teach your students how to analyze a text and how to write a literary response complete with direct quotations, consider using my close-reading guide (key included), reading assessment (key included), and writing prompt (model included), which can be given as part of the reading assessment or assigned separately. The writing-response model could also be used for a deconstruction-writing exercise. For a pre-lesson and to help students throughout the story, I have made a PowerPoint presentation with historical background information and photos of armored cars, chimney pots, parapets, et cetera.
Note: If you like this short story, watch the film The Wind That Shakes the Barley.