Unit 2 Short Stories by VlFb8K9


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Unit Title: Unit Two: The Short Story                          Course or Grade: English II

Subject/Topic Areas: Literary elements, reading skills, vocabulary, written response

Designed by: Sophomore English Team

Time Frame: Seven weeks

Brief Summary of Unit (including curricular context and unit goals)
What is the purpose of this unit? What should students learn in this unit? How does it relate to units that precede it, and those that
come after? What are the most important understandings that students should take away from the unit? What are the themes,
essential questions, big idea or concepts? What will the major performance assessment be?

The purpose of this unit is to understand how authors use literary elements such as plot, conflict, theme, etc., by reading
short stories which explore various ways in which people, relationships, places, and societies change over time. Through
Active Reading and Literary Analysis Skill Builders, students will draw generalizations and conclusions about the effects
of progress and change on characters and their relationships with themselves, society and/or nature. Students will use
their knowledge of short stories and literary elements to write their own narrative.

        The teacher is at liberty to select short stories according to individual class needs.

                                                   Stage 1—Desired Results
Established Goals: State Standards or goals addressed in this unit

IL State Goal 1: Read with understanding and fluency.
IL State Goal 2: Read and understand literature representative of various societies, eras and ideas.
IL State Goal 3: Write to communicate for a variety of purposes.
IL State Goal 4: Listen and speak effectively in a variety of situations.

ACT Standards:
Identify clear relationships between characters, ideas, and so on in challenging literary narratives.

Use context to determine the appropriate meaning of some figurative and nonfigurative words, phrases, and statements in more
challenging passages.

Use context to determine the appropriate meaning of virtually any word, phrases, and statement in uncomplicated passages.

Draw subtle generalizations and conclusions about characters, ideas, and so on in uncomplicated literary narratives.

Draw generalizations and conclusions about people, ideas, and so on in complicated passages.

Understand the overall approach taken by an author or narrator (e.g., point of view, kinds of evidence used) in more challenging

Understandings:                                                       Essential Questions:
Students will understand that. . .                                    Appropriate Overarching Essential Questions from the Course
Appropriate Overarching Understandings from Course                    Frameworks or broad state standards
Frameworks or broad state standards

                                                                      What makes great literature great?
Literary techniques add to understanding and appreciation of
                                                                      How do different literary techniques, structures, modes, or
                                                                       genres chosen by the authors of texts improve the way we
                                                                       understand and appreciate those texts?

                                                                      What can we learn from literature about ourselves and the
Literature transmits ideas, reflects societies and eras, and           human condition?
expresses the human imagination.                                      Does literature primarily reflect culture or shape it?

                                                                      How can the main idea help us better understand the
Structure and intent of a literary work enhances its meaning.          message of the text?
                                                                      How do I read between the lines?

                                                                      To what extent does what we read reflect our own
Good readers connect their own experiences and relate their            experience?
lives to literary works.
                                                                      To what extent does it reveal experiences of others?
                                                                      Why are these connections important?

 Topical Understandings that are specific to the unit topic:   Topical essential questions that are specific to the unit topic
 Students will understand that….

       Authors use literary elements and tools to                     What literary techniques do authors use to convey
        construct narratives.                                           change in characters, setting and point of view?

       Short stories offer insights into human nature.                How does the structure or organization of the text
                                                                        convey the theme(s) and/or author’s purpose?
       People can relate to ideas and characters in short
        stories and learn and grow from them.                          How does literature reflect society?

       Science fiction can illustrate how human actions               How can the reader connect personal experiences
        can have negative or positive effects on society.               to the text?

       The author has multiple purposes in writing a
        short story that can be discovered by the reader
        through the various means.

Students will know. . .                                        Students will be able to. . .
  What key knowledge and content will students acquire as a     What skills will students acquire as a result of this unit?
    result of this unit? (key concepts, processes, formulas,       What should they eventually be able to do as a result of these
    vocabulary)                                                    new skills?(see performance indicators or sub standards in
                                                                   state standards)
Literary Elements:
      Setting
      Plot                                                             Identify literary elements used in stories and apply
      Conflicts                                                         those elements to an original work
      Point-of-View
      Theme                                                            Evaluate the effectiveness of various literary elements
      Protagonist                                                       in different stories
      Antagonist
      Characterization                                                 Use reading strategies to improve comprehension and
      Dynamic Character                                                 fluency
      Static Character
      Symbolism
      Suspense
      Foreshadowing
      Irony
      Dialogue
      Mood
      Tone
      Style
      Author’s purpose/perspective

Reading Strategies:
     Inference
     Prediction
     Comparison/ contrast
     Cause/ effect

                                                Stage 2—Assessment Evidence
Authentic Performance Tasks Using Grasps Format:
Through what authentic performance tasks (using GRASPS) will students demonstrate the desired understandings?

Goal of task related to understandings:
Students will write an original narrative that demonstrates understanding of literary elements such as plot, conflict,
theme, etc.

Students will be the creator of a superhero or other larger-than-life protagonist.

Students will write a narrative to be read by peers, teachers, and family.

Situation or Context of Scenario:
Students will be presented with a scenario such as, “the sun is going to crash into the earth,” and they must develop a plot
in which impending disaster either occurs or is averted. The narrative will tell the story of how the protagonist overcomes
both conflicts and an antagonist to reach a resolution. (Teachers should adapt the prompt to suit the needs and interests of
their students.)

Product(s) or Performances for evaluation:
Students will produce an original narrative that follows a plot structure and includes various literary elements: characters,
conflicts, themes, suspense, symbolism, etc.

Standards for evaluation (see below)
The district rubric for narrative writing should be used in conjunction with a teacher-developed rubric.

Key Criteria or Rubric:
By what criteria will performances of understanding be judged? (S of GRASPS)

       Focus
       Organization
       Development
       Conventions
       Logical plot structure
       Incorporation of literary elements

Other Formative and Summative Evidence:
What diagnostic or pre-assessment about the unit concepts, content, or skills will guide teacher instruction based on students’ prior
learning? This assessment should be completed prior to beginning the unit.

        Students will be given basic stories such as fairy tales and asked questions about literary elements. Students will
         work in groups to identify how the literary elements are used in the stories. They will also demonstrate their
         knowledge of reading skills and strategies such as inference and questioning.

 Through what other evidence (e.g., quizzes, tests, academic prompts, observations, homework, and journals) will students
 demonstrate progress or achievement toward the desired results? How will the teacher use this formative assessment to guide
 instruction and students?

         Students will answer comprehension questions.
         Students will complete graphic organizers as they read.
         Students will use vocabulary words found in the stories they read.
         Students will have a quiz at the end of each story when the teacher sees the students are ready.

How will students reflect upon and self-assess their learning?

        Students will answer comprehension questions.
        Students will write responses to stories and characters.
        Students will participate in discussions.

                                                  Stage 3 – Learning Plan
Learning Activities Organized by Daily Lessons. Lessons and Activities should be aligned with Stages 1 and 2 best outlined in
the order they are to be taught.

These lessons are models and should not be considered prescriptive or restrictive especially within the daily time frames or in the
number of days outlined in the unit. Teachers may modify lessons or activities to meet the needs of diverse classrooms.
Modifications should follow the prescribed format of lesson design and address a balance of the learning principles:
acquisition, meaning making, and transfer.

        Acquire (A): Activities that promote acquisition of defined knowledge and skills in Stage 1

        Meaning Making (M): Activities that help students actively process information and guide their inquiry into
         complex problems, texts, projects, cases, or simulation to achieve understanding

        Transfer (T): Activities that require students to apply understanding, knowledge, and skills in new, unique, and
         authentic situations

In addition, all units must provide activities within the first 3 days to introduce the students to the unit’s purpose, context, relevance,
big ideas, essential questions, and performance expectations for assessment.
Please also label at the end of the activity the appropriate learning principle AMT. (label with capital A, M, or T) How will activities
within the unit provide a balance of transfer, meaning making, and acquisition activities to guide students toward understanding?
Day 1-2: Lesson Focus: Pre-Assessment of Literary Elements
Question: What do you know about how literary elements are used in short stories?

Students will work in groups to read basic short stories such as fairy tales or comic books. They will identify elements such as plot,
conflicts, types of characters, themes, etc. Students should present their findings through an oral presentation or a written presentation
(such as a poster board). (A)

Day 3: Lesson Focus: The parts of the plot
Question: How do the parts of the plot resemble a roller coaster ride?

Students will define plot, setting, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution. They will compare the five elements to a roller
coaster ride. Before reading the story, introduce the concept of Science Fiction and explain how science fiction often comments on
society. Students will begin a story that provides a clear plot structure such as “Harrison Bergeron.” (A)

Day 4: Lesson Focus: Using context clues to determine word meanings
Question: How can the context of a sentence or passage help you understand what a specific word means?

Students will complete the Vocabulary in Action exercises at the end of the story, “Harrison Bergeron,” finish reading “Harrison
Bergeron” and answer comprehension questions. Use the Vocabulary Skill Builder to supplement in this lesson or in a later lesson.

Day 5: Lesson Focus: Theme and Characters, Science Fiction
Question: How do the characters in the story portray the theme the author wants to convey?

Students will define theme, dynamic character, static character, and characterization and then identify these literary elements in the
story and analyze their effectiveness. What is the theme? How do the characters teach us this theme? How does the futuristic setting
comment on today’s society? Complete the literary analysis skill builder corresponding to the story. (T)

Day 6 : Lesson Focus: Writing in response to literature
Questions: What does a well-constructed paragraph look like? How can I respond to literature using writing?

Students will write about the theme of “Harrison Bergeron.” A suggested prompt is, “Should people celebrate their differences?”
Another prompt might be, “Should sports teams require try-outs?” Review the elements of a good paragraph including topic sentence,
supporting details, and transitions. Students should use examples from the literature to support their responses. (T)

Day 7: Lesson Focus: Literary Elements – Internal and External Conflicts, Foreshadowing and Predicting events in a story
Questions: How do conflicts in a story propel the plot? How can predicting events help you identify instances of

Students will define internal conflict and external conflicts. Students should identify the different types of conflicts: character vs. self,
character, nature, and society. Begin reading, “A Sound of Thunder,” or another short story that incorporates major conflicts. As
students read they should complete Active Reading Skill Builder for “A Sound of Thunder” and make predictions while they read.
Students should complete the Literary Analysis Skill Builder on foreshadowing in “A Sound of Thunder.” Students will then identify
major conflicts in the story and discuss how those conflicts propelled the plot or contributed to the foreshadowing. (A)

Day 8: Lesson Focus: Using vocabulary words in context
Question: How can synonyms help you determine a word’s meaning?

Students should complete the Vocabulary in Action exercise at the end of the story as well as the Vocabulary Skill Builder for “A
Sound of Thunder.” Students should finish reading the story and answer comprehension questions. (M)

Day 9: Lesson Focus: Responding to Literature in Writing
Questions: How can I use examples from the story to support my ideas about a topic?

Students should write in response to the story. A suggested prompt is, “Why might someone want to visit the past?” Another prompt
could be, “If you could travel in time, where would you go—the past or the future—why?” (T)

Days 10 - 11: Lesson Focus: Suspense, Point-of-View, Setting, and Sequence of Events
Question: How does the narrator’s point-of-view affect the audience’s knowledge? How can the events of the story build
suspense? Does knowing a story’s setting affect the reading of the story?

Students will define suspense, point-of-view, and setting and add them to their list of literary terms. They will discuss how a setting
affects the story. What if you do not know the setting? Introduce “By the Waters of Babylon” and explain how the story’s suspense
leads to the revelation of the actual setting. While students read, they should keep track of events in a graphic organizer such as the
Active Reading SkillBuilder that accompanies the story. The selection quiz or other comprehension questions will also help to guide
the students’ reading. (A, M)

Day 12: Lesson Focus: Personal response to literature
Question: How can I respond to literature and convey my thoughts and ideas? How can the literature help support my
thoughts and ideas?

Students will write a response to the story. A suggested prompt is, “Should mankind pursue advanced weapons?” Students must
engage the literature as they respond and use evidence from the text to support their ideas. (T)

Day 13: Lesson Focus: Review plot, conflicts, theme, and characters
Question: How can one story demonstrate multiple literary elements? How do literary elements contribute to the story’s

Students will review the literary terms learned thus far in the unit by creating a poster or other project that identifies the plot, conflicts,
characters, and themes of “By the Waters of Babylon.” Students will consider science fiction and review how each of the stories read
thus far comments on today’s society. (An alternative project might be to have students choose their own story to identify the literary
elements or to watch a movie and identify how literary elements are conveyed in film.) (T)

Day 14: Lesson Focus: Formal Assessment
Questions: How well do you understand the literary concepts that were introduced during this unit?

Students should take a test that assesses them on their knowledge of the literary terms and how literary terms are used in literature. (T)

Day 15: Lesson Focus: Protagonist and Antagonist
Questions: How does the relationship between the protagonist and antagonist further the plot?

Students will define protagonist and antagonist and identify popular hero/villain relationships. Discuss the idea that the antagonist is
not always a villain. Introduce the story, “Marriage is a Private Affair,” or another story that includes a non-villainous antagonist.
Students will read to examine the actions of both the protagonist and antagonist and how each resolves conflicts. (A, M)

Day 16: Lesson Focus: Author’s purpose
Questions: How does the reader identify the author’s purpose? Why does it matter?

Students will examine “Marriage is a Private Affair” for evidence of the author’s purpose in writing it. They should consider the
setting, the characters’ relationships, the religion of the father, etc. (M)

Day 17: Lesson Focus: Using context clues
Questions: How do context clues help a reader determine the correct meaning of a vocabulary word?

Students will complete the Vocabulary SkillBuilder for “Marriage is a Private Affair” or another story. Students should focus on
using context clues to help them determine the word’s meaning. (M)

Day 18: Lesson Focus: Drawing conclusions
Questions: How do your personal observations help you draw conclusions in a story?

Students will complete an Active Reading SkillBuilder to help them draw conclusions in the story, “The Witness for the Prosecution.”
Students should make a prediction about the resolution of the story based on their conclusions. (M)

Day 19: Lesson Focus: Dialogue
Questions: How does conversation reveal details about the plot, characters, and setting in a story?

Students will define dialogue. Students may watch a clip of excellent dialogue or read excerpts from a script in order to recognize
dialogue and discuss what benefits dialogue has to a story. Introduce the story, “The Witness for the Prosecution,” or another story
that incorporates excellent dialogue. Students will read the story, answering comprehension questions. They will complete a graphic
organizer such as the Literary Analysis SkillBuilder to help them keep track of how dialogue reveals details throughout the story.
Revisit protagonist and antagonist and have students evaluate each role in the story. (A, M)

Day 20: Lesson Focus: Synonyms and Antonyms
Questions: How do a word’s synonyms and antonyms help deepen your understanding of the word’s meaning?

Students should find synonyms and antonyms for the vocabulary words found in “The Witness for the Prosecution.” They will then
complete the Vocabulary SkillBuilder for the story. (M)

Day 21: Lesson Focus: Writing a two to three paragraph response
Questions: How can I develop several ideas to support a topic?

Students will write a response to the story in which they should focus on expanding their ideas into several paragraphs. A writing
prompt for this story might be, “Why is it easy to accept a person’s appearance as reality?” (T)

Day 22: Lesson Focus: Style, Mood, and Tone
Questions: How does the author’s style affect the meaning of the story? What effects do mood and tone have in a story?

Students will define style, mood, and tone. They will read the story, “Everyday Use,” or another story that conveys a unique style and
that conveys different moods and tones. Students should read to find examples of each. (A,M)

Day 23: Lesson Focus: Symbolism
Questions: How are symbols used in literature? Why are they important?

Students will define symbolism and identify common symbols in everyday life. They will discuss the symbolism in the story,
“Everyday Use.” (A, M)

Day 24: Lesson Focus: Responding to literature
Questions: How can my opinions connect to literature?

Students will write a response to the story. A possible prompt is, “With which character do you identify more? Why?” Use specific
examples from the story to support your ideas. (T)

Day 25: Lesson Focus: Review literary terms
Questions: How do literary elements build on one another?

Students will identify literary elements throughout the stories they have read and discuss how each one works with the others. Use
this lesson to review the literary terms and definitions, examples from different stories, and examples from movies or real life.
Review worksheets are available on the G: DRIVE. (T)

Day 26 - 28: Lesson Focus: Comparing and Contrasting in Writing
Questions: How can writing help someone compare and contrast two different elements?

Students should pick two concepts or characters from any of the stories they have read thus far to compare and contrast. Students will
review what makes a good essay: focus, organization, development, and conventions. Students will write a formal essay comparing
and contrasting two elements from the stories. They might draw on their writing from the unit. Emphasis should be made on using
evidence from the story to support their ideas. (T)

Day 29: Lesson Focus: Peer editing and Revising
Questions: How can my peer help me revise my writing?

Students will peer edit each other’s papers and make positive suggestions for improvement. (T)

Day 30: Lesson Focus: Formal Assessment
Questions: How well do you understand the literary concepts that were introduced during this unit?

Students should take a test that assesses them on their knowledge of the literary terms and how literary terms are used in literature. (T)

Day 31 - 33: Lesson Focus: Writing a Narrative
Questions: How can I create a narrative that incorporates multiple literary elements?
Students will begin work on their GRASP assessment project. Students may work in pairs, groups, or as individuals. (T)

                        Stage 3—Learning Plan (Continued)

Monday        Tuesday             Wednesday                 Thursday        Friday
          1              2                          3                   4             5

          6              7                          8                   9            10

         11             12                        13                   14            15

         16             17                        18                   19            20


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