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HomeClassroom ResourcesLesson Plans

Lesson Plan

Analyzing Character Development in Three Short Stories About Women

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)

 
Grades 9 – 12
Lesson Plan Type Unit
Estimated Time Nine 60-minute lessons
Lesson Author

Patricia Alejandra Lastiri

Patricia Alejandra Lastiri

Villanova d'Asti, Asti

Publisher

International Reading Association

 

Student Objectives

Session 1

Session 2

Session 3

Session 4

Session 5

Session 6

Session 7

Session 8

Session 9

Extensions

Student Assessment/Reflections

 

STUDENT OBJECTIVES

Students will

  • Develop and apply specific reading comprehension strategies (e.g., note-taking, questioning, making inferences, and predicting)

  • Build text analysis skills by discussing personal responses and opinions about a text they have read

  • Develop critical thinking skills by evaluating and showing an appreciation for the relationship between the historical period of the stories and the roles of the women characters

  • Analyze the problems, motivations, and interactions of the women characters in the stories using the Character Trading Cards tool

  • Compare the three different women characters and their historical settings using a Venn diagram and illustrate these comparisons by writing scripts

  • Reflect on the different comprehension strategies used and how these might be beneficial in the future

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Session 1

1. Tell students that they will read three short stories about women, written by different authors who lived in different times. Explain that stories will be read and analyzed in different sessions. During the final session they will work on the comparison of the three stories.

2. Introduce the first text, "The Story of an Hour" by Kate Chopin. Divide the class into groups of four or five students. Distribute copies of the story.

3. Prepare students to read the text by introducing the title of the story. Then tell students they will make predictions in small groups using the following questions:
  • What do you think the story will be about? What makes you think so?

  • What does the title suggest to you about the story?
4. Have students work in their groups to make predictions about the story, write them down, and share them within the small group.

5. Tell students that to understand the story better they will be required to read about the author and her time. Ask them to read Kate Chopin's biography at Kate Chopin: A Woman Far Ahead of Her Time and a site providing historical background at French Creoles in Louisiana: An American Tale. (If class time does not allow for this task, assign the reading for homework before this lesson.)

6. After they have read the online resources, write the following questions on the board:
  • What was the role of women around 1900?

  • What personal factors influenced Chopin's writing?

  • In your opinion, what influence will this have on the story?
7. Let students discuss the questions in their groups, and then lead a whole-class discussion.

8. Have students take turns reading sections of the story, or assign students to read particular characters' parts if they are willing to do so. (Alternatively, you could read aloud to students or assign the entire reading for homework.) Ten minutes before the period ends, ask students to discuss the characters and the setting that is being introduced.


Homework (due at the beginning of Session 2): Ask students to take notes about the story in their journals, reflecting on how the characters made them feel, if they identified with the characters, and what they think about the main character's moral dilemma.

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Session 2

1. Ask students to rejoin the same small groups, and have them discuss their journal entries and thoughts about the story from the homework assignment. Answer any questions or concerns.

2. Now ask students to go to the Character Trading Cards online tool. This activity is the core of the lesson; students will apply what they have learned about the characters through their knowledge of the author, the author's historical period, and the setting of the story. For this story, students will analyze the main character, Mrs. Mallard, and then exchange cards to learn what others think about the character.

3. Students will work in the same small groups on their cards, analyzing Mrs. Mallard's character. Monitor their work, and answer any questions the students might have. Allow 15–20 minutes for this activity, and have students print their work when it is complete.

4. Once students have finished, ask them to exchange their cards with another group to compare ideas about the character they analyzed.

5. Allow five minutes for students to read what others have written on their cards, and then pass out the Question Guidelines handout. Lead a class discussion about the characters in the story.


Homework (due at the beginning of Session 3): Ask students to use reflection journals to note what they have learned from this lesson and the story. Consider the following example questions:

  • How did the study of the author and the historical context in which the story was written help you understand the story better?

  • How did the Character Trading Cards help you organize your ideas or understand the character better?

  • Do you think you will apply these strategies for other texts?

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Session 3

1. Introduce the story "A Jury of Her Peers" by Susan Glaspell. Divide the class into groups of four or five students. Distribute copies of the story.

2. Prepare students to read the text by introducing the title of the story. Then ask students to make predictions about what they are about to read by answering the following questions written on the board:
  • What do you think the story will be about? What makes you think so?

  • What in your opinion is a jury of peers?

  • Who do you think is being judged and why?
3. Have students work in their groups to make predictions about the story, write them down, and share them within the small group.

4. Ask students to read online texts of Susan Glaspell's biography and historical background at About Susan Glaspell. (If class time does not allow for this task, assign the reading for homework before this session.)

5. After students have read the online resources, write the following questions on the board:
  • What do you think were the traditional gender roles in the 1900s?

  • Why did Susan Glaspell conflict with them?

  • In your opinion, what influence will this have on the story?
6. Let students discuss the questions in their groups, and then lead a whole-class discussion.

7. Have students take turns reading sections of the story, or assign students to read particular characters' parts if they are willing to do so. (Alternatively, you could read aloud to students or assign the entire reading for homework.) Ten minutes before the period ends, ask students to discuss the characters and the setting that is being introduced.


Homework (due at the beginning of Session 4): Have students read the remainder of the story at home, taking notes about the story in their journals to reflect on how the characters made them feel, if they identified with the characters, and what they think about the main character's moral dilemma.

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Session 4

Conduct the same activities as Session 2, but use "A Jury of Her Peers" as the story and Mrs. Hale as the character.

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Session 5

1. Introduce the story "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner. Divide the class into groups of four or five students. Distribute copies of the story.

2. Prepare students to read the text by introducing the title of the story. Then tell students they will make predictions in small groups using the following questions:
  • What do you think the story will be about? What makes you think so?

  • What do roses represent for you? Why would you give a rose to somebody?
3. Have students work in their groups to make predictions about the story, write them down, and share them within the small group.

4. Ask them to read an online text of William Faulkner's biography and historical context at The Mississippi Writers Page: William Faulkner. (If class time does not allow for this task, assign the reading for homework before this session.)

5. After students have read the biography, write the following questions on the board:
  • What were the Southern traditions in Faulkner's time?

  • What do these traditions say about the kinds of male-female relationships in American society of the period?
6. Let students discuss the questions in their groups, and then lead a whole-class discussion.

7. Have students take turns reading sections of the story, or assign students to read particular characters' parts if they are willing to do so. (Alternatively, you could read aloud to students or assign the entire reading for homework.) Ten minutes before the period ends, ask students to discuss the characters and the setting that is being introduced.


Homework (due at the beginning of Session 6): Have students read the remainder of the story at home, taking notes about the story in their journals to reflect on how the characters made them feel, if they identified with the characters, and what they think about the main character's moral dilemma.

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Session 6

Conduct the same activities as Session 2, but use "A Rose for Emily" as the story and Emily as the character.

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Session 7

1. Ask students to use the Venn Diagram in groups to compare the three characters they have analyzed using the Character Trading Cards tool.

2. Tell students to concentrate on characterizing and identifying differences and similarities of the three societies presented in the stories. Use the Question Guidelines provided.

3. Lead a whole-class discussion. Questions for discussion include:
  • What are some of the similarities you found?

  • What are some of the differences?

  • What surprised you about this activity?


Homework (due at the beginning of Session 8): Ask students to reflect on what they have learned about the lesson in their journals.

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Session 8

1. Explain to students that they will form groups to write a script in which the three women from the stories (Mrs. Mallard, Mrs. Wright, and Emily) meet today and discuss the problems and conflicts of their times. A fourth character, a contemporary woman, should also be included.

2. Pass out the Script Preparation Guidelines, and have students write their scripts, which will be a conversation among the women about their roles and society's expectations of them. The women might agree or disagree with one another.

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Session 9

Have students read or role-play their scripts in front of the class. The four women should introduce themselves and then discuss their reactions to society's expectations of them.

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EXTENSIONS

Have students write an essay in which they compare two or three of the stories. You may choose to have them use the Compare & Contrast Map as a prewriting tool.

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STUDENT ASSESSMENT/REFLECTIONS

  • Observe and assess students’ participation in each group and class activity, using the Observation Checklist.

  • Review reflection journal responses, using the Teacher’s Rubric for Journal Assessment, to evaluate the students’ level of comprehension and ability to make personal connections to the stories.

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