Trifles by Susan Glaspell Literature Guide, Mini Unit, Activities, Poetry

Trifles by Susan Glaspell Literature Guide, Mini Unit, Activities, Poetry
Trifles by Susan Glaspell Literature Guide, Mini Unit, Activities, Poetry
Trifles by Susan Glaspell Literature Guide, Mini Unit, Activities, Poetry
Trifles by Susan Glaspell Literature Guide, Mini Unit, Activities, Poetry
Julie Faulkner
Julie Faulkner
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  1. With this set of resources, you will have a full year's worth of materials for teaching the American literature from America's beginnings to today. If you are new to an American Literature course/junior English, or if you are veteran teacher looking to make some changes, address differentiation, or
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Are your students obsessed with Serial or Undisclosed or other true crime stories? Pique their interest while exposing them to canonical literary fiction with Trifles... and it's written by a women, which is the perfect twist on this murder mystery, of sorts!

This unit plan provides an interactive plot chart review activity, a paired poetry study, two quote analysis activities, vocabulary words to note, active reading questions, symbolism activity, a narrative prompt, and an argumentative writing prompt. Many of the activities, as the essential questions suggest, focus largely on the skill of theme development and author’s choices in a drama. However, there are many ways to use this unit for a comprehensive study of this short story.

Since it's first production in 1916, Trifles has become one of the most anthologized works in American theater history and is frequently cited as one of the great masterpieces of American theater. It is now rightfully considered a masterpiece of the early feminist movement. Students will enjoy the murder mystery feel of the text while digging deeply into the layers that are provided through the rich symbolism and ironic ending.

This short drama unit is an excellent choice if you are looking for a text to quickly cover the elements of drama in place of a longer text, or it would even work well for bringing in a quick unit for Women's History Month!

No worries if you don't have a textbook with this play in it - I've included live links to the text, audio, and short film of it - all for FREE! That's the perfect solution whether you are a paper school or Google Drive school!


Teachers’ Guide

Active Reading Questions

Gender Study Analysis

Paired Poetry Study

Symbolism and Theme

Argumentative Prompt

Quote and Theme Interactive Sorts

Human Plot Chart

Creative Quilt Project for Positive Words

Reader’s Theater Mini Script

Role Play Prompts


Interested in more of my literature units?



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Fahrenheit 451

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Terms of Use: Created by Julie Faulkner, updated 2019

Please, one classroom use only. Additional licenses are sold at checkout. This license is nontransferable. Not eligible for online environments unless password protected. Posting openly online is prohibited. No part of this resource can be used for commercial purposes, altered, or resold. This work is my original work, and taking portions of it to create something else for resale is prohibited.

Total Pages
23 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
3 days
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases by using context clues, analyzing meaningful word parts, and consulting general and specialized reference materials, as appropriate.
Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.
Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.
Analyze how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.


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