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					Jodi Jago
Unit
Short Stories
December 12, 2006

Prefatory Statement:
This unit is about reading and writing short stories. This unit will be beneficial for my students
because it exposes them to different short stories and teaches them how to analyze and dissect
the different aspects of a short story. This unit also requires students to write their own short
stories which give students practice with writing, and especially with being aware of word
choice. This unit will give students the opportunity to improve their writing skills, something
that they will need when they leave school. It will also provide the students with more practice
reading texts and looking at specific parts of a text. This unit will benefit all students because
they will have the opportunity to bring in their own favorite short stories, and they will also be
writing and hopefully sharing the stories that they write in class. At the end of this unit we will
have gathered a collection of short stories from the class which we will compile into a book that
will be read for the elementary students.

Class Specification:
I think that this unit could be adapted for any age group of students; however, my specific unit
with the texts I have chosen would work best for high school seniors. This is due to some of the
content within the stories, though by varying the texts this unit could be adapted for any age
group. I would like to teach in suburban Northern Minnesota, therefore the class would consist
mostly of Caucasian students, with an approximately equal mix of males and females.

Significant Assumptions:
I assume that students will have a general knowledge of the elements of short stories, and will be
able to read and develop a basic interpretation of the text. I also assume that the students know
the differences between writing fiction and writing informative essays. I also assume that the
students are used to not having strict length restrictions.

Desired Outcomes/Standards/Objectives to be Met:
By the end of this unit I want my students to be able to read and analyze short stories, as well as
write their own short stories. I want students to be aware of the various writing techniques used
in short stories, and I want my students to be especially aware of word choice and writing as
being deliberate. I also want my students to be able to use many of the aspects of writing short
stories in their own short stories.
I. Reading and Literature D. Literature
      4. Evaluate the impact of an author’s decisions regarding word choice, point of view, style and
         literary elements.
      5. Analyze, interpret and evaluate the use of figurative language and imagery in fiction and
         nonfiction selections, including symbolism, tone, irony and satire.
      6. Analyze and evaluate the relationship between and among elements of literature:
         character, setting, plot, tone, symbolism, rising action, climax, falling action, point of view, theme
         and conflict/resolution.
II. Writing B. Elements of Composition
      1. Generate, gather, and organize ideas for writing.
      2. Develop a thesis and clear purpose for writing.
      3. Make generalizations and use supporting details.
      4. Arrange paragraphs into a logical progression.
      5. Revise writing for clarity, coherence, smooth transitions and unity.
II. Writing C. Spelling, Grammar, and Usage
      1. Understand the differences between formal and informal language styles and use each
         appropriately.
      2. Use an extensive variety of correctly punctuated sentences for meaning and stylistic effect.
      3. Edit writing for correct grammar, capitalization, punctuation, spelling, verb tense,
         sentence structure, and paragraphing to enhance clarity and readability.


Possible Whole-class Activities:
As a whole class we will be reading each assigned short story out loud during class time. The
students will also be asked to share their own stories with the whole class. Students will also
bring in their own favorite short stories to read for the class (short stories can be story songs,
poems that tell a story, things like that as well) during Story Time each Friday. The class will
also be creating a class book, and will be organizing, designing, and presenting their book.
There will also be whole class discussions about the literature that we are reading and the
concepts that we are learning about. The class will also be participating in an activity called
circle writing on the first day of class.

Possible Small-Group Activities:
In small groups the students will be revising and editing each other’s short stories and analytical
pieces. The students will have to turn in the drafts of these revised works with the names of the
students that revised them. Another small group activity is going to be writing a short story as a
small group. Each group member will be assigned a specific role, such as developer of the plot,
the character, or the setting. This will be the first writing activity so that students get more
comfortable with the idea of writing without having to write a whole story on their own. It will
also introduce the different aspects of writing, such as the characters and plot and setting.

Individual Activities:
Each student will be required to read the short story individually before it will be read out loud
during class. The students will also be writing, revising, and editing their own writing
individually. They will also be responsible for any illustrations that they want to accompany
their story in the class book.

Ongoing Activities:
Throughout the unit the students will have the opportunity to bring in any stories that they want
to share with the class, whether they are just oral stories, famous short stories, or their own
stories. Another ongoing activity would be the revising of the short stories. The students will
have the opportunity to revise their own writings as many times as they want before they finally
turn them in for a final grade. This is to encourage students to work towards improvement and
also to teach them how to edit and revise their own work with help from others. Another
ongoing activity will be the creation of the class book.

Student Resources:
The students will all need a copy of Sudden Fiction, edited by Robert Shapard and James
Thomas because all of the short stories that we will be reading in class are in that book. Students
will also need access to a computer because the final draft of their writing must be typed when it
is handed in. The students will also have access to the books in the classroom which consists of
childhood story books to novels. There are also poetry books in the room where the students can
access different types of poems.

Unit Launch/Anticipatory Set/Set Induction:
In order to start this unit I would read some popular childhood stories, and have a small class
discussion about stories from childhood. What stories were our favorite and why? What does it
take to make a good story? Then I would have the students participate in circle writing, where
the students sit in one large circle and each student starts writing a story and after one minute
passes the story to the person sitting next to them who then adds on to their story. This can be a
fun activity because the stories take such drastic turns and it is interesting to see how a student’s
story ends in relation to how it began and their original ideas.

Organization of the Unit:
Attached on next page

Detailed Lesson Plans:
Attached

Supporting Materials for Teachers Who Teach the Unit:
-Handouts (attached)

Assessment:
There is a page attached that includes the requirements and assessment for each assignment.
There is also a page attached that further describes the writing portfolio and class book. This
unit grade will be determined at a conference with each student. Together we will look at their
writing portfolio, which will contain all of their assignments as well as their drafts so we can
look at progress, and we will discuss their participation in creating the class book. I do not want
to assign points for this unit because I want the students to have an active role in the grade that
they get, and I want to look at progress more than points.
         Organization of the Unit
        Monday                    Tuesday                   Wednesday                      Thursday                         Friday
-Introduction to Writing     -read Silver Arrows       - six sentence paragraph    -read Doves in class                   Story Time
Unit                         (p 284-287)               activity                    -discuss short story            -example of story time
-read stories                -write reactions          -read Flying (p 72-74)                                      -revise Assignment 1 in
-discuss favorite stories    -discuss elements of         -discuss word choice                                     small groups
from childhood               short stories             -assign Doves (p 118-                                       -assign Murder, Mystery
   -what made them your      (character, plot,         120)                        *Assignment # 1                 (p265-266)
favorite?                    setting, conflict)
-read Murder, Mystery        -read Videotape           -read The Flowers           -discuss story poems                   Story Time
-write reactions             -class discussion         -write letter to a          (listen to “Kidnapped” and      -story poem (Sarah
-discuss in small groups     -small group activity     classmate about short       “True Story” by Shel            Cynthia Stout )
-class discussion            about character           story                       Silverstein)                    -revise Assignment 2 in
-assign Videotape (p90-      descriptions              -discuss culture/short      -discuss                        small groups
96)                          -assign The Flowers       stories                     -write story poems              -assign That Changes
                             (p35-36)                  -hand back Assignment                                       Everything (p225-227)
                                                       #1
                                                       -sign up for story time
                                                                                   *Assignment # 2                 * FD Assignment
*RD Assignment # 1                                                                                                 #1 DUE
DUE
-read That Changes           -read Fun House           -read Grandma’s Tales       -introduce class project               Story Time
Everything                   -discuss Fun House        -small group discussion        -book containing stories     (student stories)
-discuss short story           -specifically           -class discussion           by students, both written in    -story songs
-short discussion on             language              -sign up for story time     and out of class                -Whiskey Lullaby
language                         and culture           (student stories)           -revise Assignment 3 in         -assign Sister Francetta
-assign Fun House (p181-     -assign Grandma’s                                     small groups                    and the Pig Baby (p111-
186)                             Tales (p28-34)                                    -time to work on stories for    113)
                                                       *Assignment #3
*RD Assignment #2                                                                  story time Friday
                                                                                                                   *FD Assignment 2
DUE                                                                                                                DUE
-read Sister Francetta and   -read Relic               -read Tergvinder’s Stone    -revise Assignment 4 in                Story Time
the Pig Baby                 -discuss                  -discuss                    small groups                    -student work time
-art responses               -small group activity     -students share their       -introduce student story        (class book,
-discuss theme               -have students            relics                      telling                         assignments)
-assign Relic (p149-155)     brainstorm about          -sign up for story time       -each student will share      -discuss cover art for
                             their own relic                                       one of their stories with the   class book
                             -assign Tergvinder’s
                             Stone (p88-89)
                                                                                   class, either reading the
                                                                                   story or telling it
                                                                                                                   *FD Assignment 3
*RD Assignment 3                                                                   -work on class book             DUE
                                                       *Assignment #4                                              *RD Assignment 4
DUE
                                                                                                                   DUE
                                                                                                                   *Assignment #5
-revise Assignment 5 in      -bring in stories for     -work time
                                                                                                                   At Elementary
small groups
-start organizing class
                             class book
                               -make sure stories
                                                         -illustrations for book
                                                         -story order                 Student                      School Reading
book (decide on format
and cover art)
                             are school
                             appropriate
                                                         -table of contents
                                                         -about the authors page       Story                           Stories
                               -start making list of
                             stories to read on
                                                       *FD Assignment 4
                                                                                      Telling
                             Friday
                 *RD Assignment DUE   *FD Assignment 5
                 5 DUE                DUE


RD-rough draft
FD-final draft
Detailed Lesson Plan

                                           Word Choice
Objectives:
The objective of this lesson is to make students aware of word choice in their writing.
            Students will participate in writing complete sentences and developing ideas
               within a paragraph.
            Students will be asked to share their paragraphs with the rest of the class.
            Students will look at word choice in a short story

Anticipatory Set:
Begin class by telling the students to pay close attention to what the teacher is about to read, then
read a paragraph of 6 sentences in which no two words are repeated (below). Ask the students
what they noticed about the paragraph. Hand out worksheet with the paragraph example at the
top and room for the students to write at the bottom. Have one student read the paragraph out
loud to the rest of the class while the other students follow along. See if any of the students now
understand what is going on in the paragraph. Tell the students that in each of the two examples
no two words were repeated and give them a minute to look over the example at their desk.

             We all stood there, ready to begin our race. The starter raised his gun high. POW! I
             was suddenly among a stampede of girls. Groups battled for good position. Elbows
             were being thrown left and right. Other competitor’s spikes tripped me up one or two
             times. Finally, pulling ahead felt great. Using all energy that remained, it was now
             time to kick in. My body ached finishing.

Materials:
-Two or three prepared paragraphs containing six sentences with no two words repeated.
-Worksheet containing example and room for student paragraphs.
-Writing utensils
-Dictionary and Thesaurus
-“Flying”

Procedure:
   1. Introduction (anticipatory set) (about 5 minutes)
   2. Explain to students that now they will be writing their own six sentence paragraphs where
      no two words can be repeated.
           Paragraphs must make “sense”, that is, there must be a topic or theme in the
             paragraph.
           Can not just be a series of sentences
           Contractions can not be repeated, such as can’t and cannot
           Paragraphs will be handed in, however, will not be graded on content but rather
             on following the guidelines
   3. Give students time to work on their paragraphs (about 30 minutes)
           Should work individually, can use resources in the room such as a dictionary or
             thesaurus
   4. Allow students to work in pairs (5 minutes)
           Have students share their paragraphs with each other
          Allow students to give each other ideas
   5. Have students share their poems with the rest of the class.

   6. Read “Flying” (pg 72-74)
          Class discussion on word choice
              What words in the short story impact our opinions of the characters? Of the
                 plot? Of the setting?
              Is word choice deliberate? What is the author trying to say by using these
                 specific words?
              How would the story be different had the author used different words

Closure:
-Ask students to share their paragraphs with the whole class. Have the class pay close attention
for repeated words.
-Ask students what kinds of difficulties they ran into while writing their paragraphs.
-5 minutes

Follow up:
Assign the short story “Doves”. Also quickly review the importance of word choice in a short
story.

Assessment:
Students will be handing in their worksheets; however, they will not be graded on content but
rather on following the guidelines. Students will be allowed to turn in their paragraphs the
following day in case they were unable to finish in class. Also class participation in the
discussion and group work.

Standards:
II. Writing B. Elements of Composition: The students will engage in a writing process with
attention to audience, organization, focus, quality of ideas, and purpose.
II. Writing C. Spelling, Grammar, and Usage: The student will apply standard English
conventions when writing.
Name: ______________

   I went to school today. My backpack was full of stuff.
   It had binders and pencils inside. They were used for
   class work. Brittany is in first period with me. She
   has a bag filled with things as well.
Detailed Lesson Plan
                                   First Story Time
Objectives:
-To demonstrate what I want from students regarding Story Time
-Students to gain practice in revising each others writing
-To review key terms learned previously in the week

Anticipatory Set: (10 minutes)
Tell the students that it is story time and have them gather on the floor in a circle. Read The
Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein as an example of what the students can bring in during story
time. Then have students listen to “Check Yes or No” by George Strait (lyrics included).

Materials:
The Giving Tree
“Check Yes or No”
Cd Player

Procedure:
-After Story Time have the students quickly discuss story songs. Do they contain the same
elements of a short story? Do story songs have to have a plot? Why? Does a story song need
characters? Does a story song need a setting? Why or why not? (5 minutes)

-Encourage students to bring in their favorite stories and story songs (but it really needs to be a
story) for Story Time next Friday.

-Divide students randomly into groups of 4-5 to edit Assignment #1. Each student in each group
needs to read, edit, and sign each draft in the group. (25 minutes)

-Have students review key terms from earlier in the week. (5 minutes)

Closure:
Have students listen to “Check Yes or No” by George Strait for one more example of a story
song (lyrics included)

Follow Up:
Have students read “Murder, Mystery” over the weekend for Monday, page 265-266

Assessment:
Students will be given participation points for the day. They need to participate in both Story
Time and peer revising of Assignment 1 in small groups.

Standards:
III. Speaking, Listening, and Viewing A. Speaking and Listening: 5. Understand the effects of
media on society and culture.
                            Check Yes Or No
                              George Strait
               For the Last Time: Live from the Astrodome


It started way back in third grade.
I used to sit beside Emmylou Hayes
A pink dress, a matching bow, and her pony tail.
She kissed me on the school bus, but told me not to tell
Next day I chased her round the playground
Across the monkey bars, to the merry-go-round
And Emmylou got caught passing me a note
Before the teacher took it, I read what she wrote.

Do you love me, do you wanna be my friend?
And if you do, well then don't be afraid to take me by the hand
If you want to.
I think this is how love goes, check yes or no.

Now we're grown up and she's my wife.
Still like two kids with stars in our eyes.
Ain't much changed, I still chase Emmylou.
Up and down the hall, around the bed in our room.
Last night I took her out in a white limousine
Twenty years later, she still gets to me
Can't believe it's been that long ago.
When we got started with just a little note.

Do you love me, do you wanna be my friend?
And if you do, well then don't be afraid to take me by the hand
If you want to.
I think this is how love goes, check yes or no.

Do you love me, do you wanna be my friend?
And if you do, well then don't be afraid to take me by the hand
If you want to.
I think this is how love goes, check yes or no.
Detailed Lesson Plan

                                    Story Poems
Anticipatory Set: (5 minutes)
Listen to Shel Silverstein read “True Story” (Where the Sidewalk Ends, pg 43) and have students
listen and follow along to the story. Then listen to Shel Silverstein’s poem “Kidnapped” (A
Light in the Attic, pg 159) and have the students again listen and follow along to the story.

Materials:
Computer (songs are downloaded on my computer) or Texts to read
Paper
Pens or Pencils
Hand Out about Assignment #2

Procedure:
Have students get into small groups and discuss the story poems that we listened to. Possible
discussion questions: (10 minutes)
    - Do they have similar elements as a short story? If so, which ones?
    - Are there any different elements to a story poem than a short story?
    - Is there more freedom in writing a story poem or more constrictions? Why?

Discuss the small group answers as a whole class. Be sure to incorporate key terms and short
story elements (such as character, plot, setting, conflict, and theme). (10 minutes)

Have the students work on writing their own story poems based on what was discussed in class.
Is a setting necessary in a story poem? A plot? Characters? If the class thinks that these things
are, then they should be included in their story poems. (15 minutes)

At the end of the hour ask if anyone would like to share their story poem with the rest of the
class. The story poems will be collected the next day; however they will only be graded based
on if they have the necessary elements.

Closure:
Ask students to bring in story poems that they have heard or read somewhere else. Also tell
students that they can write story poems to be shared during Story Time on Fridays and story
poems can be included in the class book.

Follow Up:
Hand out Assignment #2 requirements

Assessment:
Students will get points for participation in class, and will be turning in the rough draft of their
own story poems the following day. Their story poems must include the elements of a short
story, however be in poem format. The story poems will be added to the portfolio that will be
collected at the end of the unit.
Standards:
II. Writing A. Types of Writing: 1. Plan, organize and compose narrative, expository,
descriptive, persuasive, critical and research writing to address a specific audience and purpose.
           “Kidnapped”                           “True Story”
        A Light in the Attic               Where the Sidewalk Ends
         Shel Silverstein                      Shel Silverstein
             Page 159                              Page 43
This morning I got kidnapped            This morning I jumped on my horse
By three masked men.                    And went out for a ride,
They stopped me on the sidewalk,        And some wild outlaws chased me
And offered me some candy,              And they shot me in the side.
And when I wouldn’t take it             So I crawled into a wildcat’s cave
They grabbed me by the collar,          To find a place to hid,
And pinned my arms behind me,           But some pirates found me sleeping there,
And shoved me in the backseat           And soon they had me tied
Of this big black limousine and         To a pole and built a fire
Tied my hands behind my back            Under me—I almost cried
With sharp and rusty wire.              Till a mermaid came and cut me loose
Then they put a blindfold on me         And begged to be my bride,
So I couldn’t see where they took me,   So I said I’d come back Wednesday
And plugged up my ears with cotton      But I must admit I lied.
So I couldn’t hear their voices.        Then I ran into a jungle swamp
And drove for 20 miles or               But I forgot my guide
At least for 20 minutes, and then       And I stepped into some quicksand,
Dragged me from the car down to         And no matter how I tried
Some cold and moldy basement,           I couldn’t get out, until I met
Where they stuck me in a corner         A water snake named Clyde,
And went off to get the ransom          Who pulled to some cannibals
Leaving one of them to guard me         Who planned to have me fried.
With a shotgun pointed at me,           But an eagle came and swooped me up
Tied up sitting on a stool…             And through the air we flied,
That’s why I’m late for school!         But he dropped me in a boiling lake
                                        A thousand miles wide.
                                        And you’ll never guess what I did then—
                                        I DIED.
                                    Assignment # 1
                                       Short Story
                                 2 pages maximum length

You will be writing a short story about love. The story must be less than 2 pages in length and
must contain at least one line of dialog or monolog. The story can be about any aspect of love,
but remember to consider the elements of a short story. Please have a rough draft ready on
Friday to revise in small groups. You also need to include a title to your short story.

You will be graded on MUG (mechanics, grammar, and usage), however I am more concerned
with reading your short story and having it be something that you are proud of. After turning in
your final draft you will have the option to revise as many times as you want before your grade is
final and your story is placed into your portfolio.
                                    Assignment #2
                                    Informative Essay
                                 1 page maximum length

After reading “The Flowers” choose one paragraph from the short story and analyze how that
paragraph affects your cultural understanding of the story. In what ways does language, dialog,
or word choice affect how you interpret the story? How does this paragraph influence our
understanding of the whole short story? Would we interpret the story differently had the
paragraph been written differently? Remember to focus on language and culture in your paper.
Please provide a title and have a rough draft ready to revise for Monday.

You will be graded on MUG (mechanics, usage and grammar), as well as on the information
presented in your paper. Evidence from the text is necessary, and a strong argument and sense of
direction is important. Once again, after your final draft has been turned in you are allowed to
revise as many times as you would like before this paper is added to your writing portfolio.
                                    Assignment #3
                                       Short Story
                                 1 page maximum length

Please write a short story about a family member. The story may be true or false. This short
story must contain a moral and a central theme related to what we have read in “Grandma’s
Tales”. Please include descriptive language and pay attention to word choice. Please include a
title, and have a rough draft ready to revise for Thursday.

You will be graded on your moral and central theme in this paper. I will be looking at MUG
(mechanics, usage and grammar), however, I want the focus mainly on the short story. If
appropriate, use dialect and slang to enhance the short story (therefore do not pay as much
attention to MUG). You will be allowed to revise as many times as you would like before this
short story goes into your portfolio.
                                    Assignment #4
                                        Short Story
                                  1 page maximum length

Please write a short story about an object, based on what we read in “Relic” and “Tergvinder’s
Stone”. Focus on the relationship between that object and something else around it, whether that
be a person or a thing. Feel free to be creative when portraying this relationship, show rather
than tell. Please include a title for this paper, and be ready to peer revise on Thursday.

You will be graded on the relationship portrayed in your short story. Please pay attention to
MUG (mechanics, usage, and grammar) if appropriate. You will be given the opportunity to
revise until you are satisfied and want your final copy in your writing portfolio.
                                     Assignment #5
                                    Informative Essay
                                 2 pages maximum length

Looking back over the course of the writing unit, do you think that short stories are important?
Why or why not? Please include ideas, concepts, and terms learned in class throughout the last
month to support your beliefs. Are there any benefits to reading and writing short stories, and if
so what are they? Please provide a title, and feel free to portray strong voice because this paper
is about your personal opinion. Please have a rough draft ready for revision for Monday.

You will be graded on MUG (mechanics, usage, and grammar). I will also be looking at voice
and relevant terms from class used. You will not be graded on whether or not you think that
short stories are important, rather you will be graded on your argument and supports for why you
feel the way that you do. You may write this informative essay in either a formal or informal
voice (because I am asking for an opinion) however, do pay attention to MUG.
                                    Unit Projects

Writing Portfolio
Part of your grade from this unit comes from your writing portfolio. For each of the 5 writing
assignments that you have you will be getting a letter grade, however, that letter grade is not
final. You have the ability to revise your paper as many times as you want before putting a final
copy into your writing portfolio. At the end of this unit your writing portfolio must include the
following:
________ Assignments 1 through 5 (all drafts)

________Story Poem (all drafts)

________Any illustrations that you are contributing to the class book (can be a photo)

________Any lyrics or poems that you share with the class

At the end of this unit I will meet individually with each student to review the contents of the
writing portfolios. Together we will determine a grade for the entire unit based on drafts, final
grades, and anything else that has been included. This is somewhat like contract grading, which
we have done in the past.



Class Book
As a class we will be making a class book at the end of this unit. It is required that each student
submit one short story to be included in the class book, however, I encourage all students to
submit more than one short story. Both short stories required for class and short stories written
outside of class may in included, however, they must be appropriate for school. Our book is
going to include:

       A title page
       A table of contents
       Short stories
       Illustrations
       And an “About the Authors” Section

We will be developing this book together as a class and will make all decisions together as a
class. You will be graded on participation, as well as what you submit. Submitting more than
one short story, however, does not guarantee a better grade. When we are finished with the book
we will be going to the elementary school to share some of our short stories.

				
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