What’s Happening This Week
There is much more to explore in our calendar. Find other important events in literary history, authors' birthdays, and a variety of holidays, each with related lessons and resources.
Looking for age-appropriate book recommendations, author interviews, and fun activity ideas? Check out our podcasts.
French author Guy de Maupassant was born on this day in 1850.
|Grades||9 – 12|
|Calendar Activity Type||Author & Text|
Guy de Maupassant is often considered to be one of the greatest French short story writers. His first works, published in 1880, included Des Vers and Boule De Suif ("Ball of Fat"). De Maupassant authored hundreds of short stories, six novels, and several other books during the 1880s. Today, some of his stories would be considered horror fiction.
Have students read and then rewrite a de Maupassant short story, updating its vocabulary and setting to that of the 21st century.
- First have students use the interactive Story Mapping tool to outline the short story's plot, setting, and characters.
- Then ask students to identify elements of the story that could be updated. One example from The Necklace could be the reference to a "marriage portion," which was a collection of wealth or goods that a woman brought to a marriage, making her more attractive to potential husbands. Students should also identify archaic terms or French words in the story that they can update or translate to modern terminology or English vocabulary. Have students print out the story and highlight words they identify as they read, and then determine the appropriate meanings and more modern terms that could be used.
- Finally, have students rewrite their stories, including an updated title, if appropriate.
- Guy de Maupassant (1850 -1893)
Penn State offers a selection of de Maupassant's works in PDF format, along with an introduction that discusses de Maupassant's life and work.
- Complete Original Short Stories of Guy De Maupassant
Project Gutenberg offers downloadable versions of de Maupassant's stories. The 13 volumes of stories offered can also be read online.
- The Necklace
East of the Web provides an online version of the text of de Maupassant's well-known ironic short story The Necklace.
- The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant
This set of discussion questions is also provided by East of the Web. Literal, inferential, and evaluative thinking questions are provided, as well as three suggestions for extension work.
Grades 6 – 8 | Lesson Plan | Standard Lesson
Students keep a doodle journal while reading short stories by a common author. In small groups, students then combine their doodles into a graphic representation of the text.
Grades 9 – 12 | Lesson Plan | Unit
In this activity, students read short stories and create presentations in multiple media to share in a Short Story Fair. At the fair, students explore and respond to the displays.
Grades 9 – 12 | Lesson Plan | Standard Lesson
Students read "After Twenty Years" by O. Henry, use a word map to identify characters' qualities or traits, discuss the characters' feelings and actions, and reflect upon these in journals.
Grades 6 – 8 | Lesson Plan | Unit
Students track the elements of mystery stories through Directed Learning–Thinking Activities, story maps, and puzzles. Then they offer clues for other readers as they plan and write original mystery stories.