Short Stories- honors English 9 Lamb to Slaughter and Story of an Hour Authors Purpose

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Short Stories- Honors English 9

Lamb to Slaughter and Story of an Hour

Authors Purpose

Class Description:

A1: This class consists of twenty eight students including twenty girls and eight boys. This class has one African American student, the majority of the class is Caucasian.

B1: This class consists of twenty sever students including nineteen girls and eight boys. This class has two African American students, the majority of the class is Caucasian. This group tends to be very quiet and requires some pressure to respond to questions.
In order to get into the Honors program at Bel Air High School, students are give a score based on their previous grades, OLSTAT scores, and a graded application essay. In order to be accepted in to the honors program, students needed a combined score of at least eighteen out of twenty one. There are four students who scored slightly below this mark, but were accepted in to the program. There are six students who are new to Bel Air High School this year; however they are adjusting well to their new environment.

Unit Title

Short Stories

Lesson Topic

SIFT and Author’s Purpose

Type of Lesson


National Content Standard

6.) Students apply knowledge of language structure, language conventions (e.g., spelling and punctuation), media techniques, figurative language, and genre to create, critique, and discuss print and non-print texts.

MD Core Curriculum Goals

1.2.3 The student will explain the effectiveness of stylistic elements in a text that communicate an author's purpose.

1.2.2 The student will determine how the speaker, organization, sentence structure, word choice, tone, rhythm, and imagery reveal an author’s purpose.

Judges Prior Knowledge: Students have had experience both analyzing and writing with stylistic elements. This will be their second time using the SIFT Method to analyze writing to find deeper meaning in the text.

Lesson Objective(s):

Objective 1- Students will analyze literary elements such as symbols, imagery, figurative language, and tone in order to decipher the theme and authors purpose in a short story.



SIFT partially graded in class

SIFT collected and graded for accuracy

Materials Needed for Lesson


-The Story of an Hour

-Lamb to Slaughter

-SIFT handout

-Q&A Graphic Organizer

Lesson Development

Warm-up– Theme and Authors Purpose

Brainstorm: What are some qualities of a good theme statement?

Follow up: Why do you go to the movies?

-What is your purpose for going to the movies?

-What if it’s a documentary?

- What about TV? Why do you watch the news (or E! News)?

-Why do people watch the debates around election? What was Obama and Romney’s purpose for participating in televised debates?
What are we doing today?

  • Obj. - Students will analyze literary elements such as symbols, imagery, figurative language, and tone in order to decipher the theme and authors purpose in a short story.

Before we move on with today’s lesson, I would like to take a minute to discuss The Sniper SIFT. This was your first time using SIFT- how did it go? (make note of areas of difficulty)

Activity 1- The Sniper S.I.F.T Review

Review each part of The Sniper SIFT by calling on students to explain their responses. Use my notes (The Sniper SIFT Answer Key) to clarify each section. Answer any questions students may have about S.I.F.T analysis before they perform another S.I.F.T.

Transition: Today you are going to have another chance to practice SIFT. Half the class will be reading the short story “Story of an Hour” while the other half reads the story “Lamb to the Slaughter.” You will then explain your SIFT to a partner who read the story you did not read. Here’s the catch- We will then engage in a class discussion/ interview session where I will be quizzing you on the SIFT of the story you did NOT read. Therefore, you need to be as through as possible when explaining your SIFT to your partner. You should not be simply reading them your entries, but explaining WHY they are important to the overall theme.
-Count student off (1 and 2)

-1’s will read Story of an Hour

-2’s will read Lamb to the Slaughter
Activity 2SIFT of a Short Story

Students will read and perform a SIFT of their assigned story.

Transition – Please finish up your last sentence, it is time to move on and share your SIFT with a partner who read the story you did NOT read. Remember to be as through as possible and explain the reason WHY you chose to include this entry in your SIFT.
Activity 3 – TPS of SIFT

-While students are working, go around and check off good answers.

-Listen in on conversations keeping an ear out for exceptional comments or observations to share with the class later.

-After giving students time in pairs, review the main events in each story as a class.

Transition – Alright ladies and gentleman, now that you have a better understanding of each story we are going to analyze the stories for author’s purpose and literary mode.

Activity 4- What’s the Connection? (Handout)

-Students will work through the five questions on the handout with their partner. Students should be able to determine that both of these stories fit into the Feminism literary mode even though they are very different. They will then use this information and their SIFT to determine the author’s tone and theme.

Transition: Great job. It seems like you all are really getting the hang of the S.I.F.T analysis. Please go back to your original seats.
Summary/Closure/Revisit Objective:

Answer on a sheet of scrap paper.

  • What do you think it’s the literary mode of your story?

  • How might this inform the author’s purpose for writing?

Safety Valve:

Short: Study for Vocab 4.

Long: Cut the closer question.

Confusion: Answer questions and model as needed.










5 (9:00)

Differentiation –

Students in this class have very similar MSA and OLSTAT scores. Most students are capable of performing activities independently and will ask if they need help. There are a few students who consistently struggle. I will be conferencing with them at least once during peer editing to ensure that they understand the materials.


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