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

Julie Faulkner
Grade Levels
10th - 12th, Higher Education, Homeschool
Formats Included
  • Zip
  • Google Apps™
28 pages
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Julie Faulkner
Includes Google Apps™
The Teacher-Author indicated this resource includes assets from Google Workspace (e.g. docs, slides, etc.).

Also included in

  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
    Save $43.65


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 -- the perfect twist on this murder mystery, of sorts! This easy-prep 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 as a quick unit for Women's History Month.

Student Experience: 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. This unit plan provides plenty of opportunity for discovery and differentiation. Student put on their detective cap as readers and investigators as they work through the play and this unit. 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 will engage and challenge your students. 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. 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.


  • Teachers’ Guide
  • Active Reading Questions, also in digital format for Google
  • Gender Study Analysis, also in digital format for Google
  • Paired Poetry Study, also in digital format for Google
  • Symbolism and Theme, also in digital format for Google
  • Argumentative Prompt, also in digital format for Google
  • Quote and Theme Interactive Sorts
  • Human Plot Chart
  • Creative Quilt Project for Positive Words
  • Reader’s Theater Mini Script
  • Role Play Prompts
  • 1 PDF with links to digital versions as noted above
  • 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!

Classroom success stories from other teachers who have tried this resource:

♥ "This was a great resource and I used many of the activities. Students were engaged."

♥ "Love the text connections to the poem, "Sympathy." Love having an option with movement. Great for my kid who are really active!"

♥ "Perfect guide for the story! The quilt worksheet is hanging in my classroom and the kiddos are so proud of them :)"

♥ "I did not have the time to do all of the activities included in this mini-unit, but the pieces I used were excellent. My students were challenged to analyze what they had read and make inferences to figure it out. Wonderful."

♥ "Not only is the guide through, the handouts are outstanding. I feel more confident to teach this short story for the first time because of your hard work. You are my favorite seller on TPT. "

♥ "Great resource to use with the story. My students were able to use characterization and we were able to pair it with The Landlady and have awesome discussions comparing the two."

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 2020

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
28 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
3 days
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
Analyze how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.
Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.
Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.


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