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HomeClassroom ResourcesLesson Plans

Lesson Plan

Critical Reading: Two Stories, Two Authors, Same Plot?

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

Grades 9 – 12
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Four 45-minute class sessions
Lesson Author

Patricia Alejandra Lastiri

Patricia Alejandra Lastiri

Villanova d'Asti, Asti


International Literacy Association


Materials and Technology

Student Interactives





  • Copies of Jeffrey Archerís "The Luncheon" from A Quiver Full of Arrows (HarperTorch, 1993)

  • Copies of W. Somerset Maughamís "The Luncheon" from Collected Short Stories: Volume 1 (Penguin Classics, 1977)

  • Overhead projector or chalkboard

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Literary Elements Map

Grades   6 – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Inquiry & Analysis

Literary Elements Map

Students can map out the key literary elements of character, setting, conflict, and resolution as prewriting for their own fiction or as analysis of a text by another author in this secondary-level interactive.


Compare & Contrast Map

Grades   3 – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Compare & Contrast Map

The Compare & Contrast Map is an interactive graphic organizer that enables students to organize and outline their ideas for different kinds of comparison essays.


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Secure copies of the "The Luncheon" by W. Somerset Maugham for half the class and copies of "The Luncheon" by Jeffrey Archer for half the class.

Prepare two overheads with prereading questions or write the questions on the board. (See Session 1 for prereading questions.)

For those unfamiliar with the short stories featured in this lesson, a brief synopsis of each is provided.

  • "The Luncheon," by W. Somerset Maugham:

    The narrator, a book writer, recognizes a woman with whom he had lunch years ago. He starts remembering the unforgettable evening. He was young, living in Paris, and could barely make ends meet. She had read one of his books and wrote to congratulate him on his work. He invited her for lunch and to his horror she chose an expensive restaurant. He had only eighty francs to last him the rest of the month. She ordered one expensive dish after another and when the bill came he paid and was left with no money at all. However, in the end, the narrator feels that he has finally had his revenge when he sees that the woman now weighs twenty-one stone (approximately 300 pounds).

  • "The Luncheon," by Jeffrey Archer

    The narrator, a book writer, meets a woman whom he doesn't recognize at first, but pretends to remember because she is a famous film director's wife. He invites her to have lunch, but can only afford a cheap meal with his paltry £37.63. She chooses an expensive restaurant, far beyond his means, and proceeds to order the most exorbitant dishes on the menu. When the meal is over and the narrator is left with very little money, the woman confesses that she has divorced the film director and married another man, who just so happens to be the owner of the restaurant.

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