short stories

Lottery and a Brawl

English I Honors students,  after going over the end of yesterday’s lesson and why it was so vulgar compared to what they were expecting (it has something to do with the audience gathering in the Globe Theater),

The Globe Theater

went over the next portion of 1.1, with the brawl and the prince’s proclamation about the consequences for further disruptions.

English 8 students, after going over the article of the week a bit,

finished “The Lottery” and discovered how the mood was setting them up for a little surprise ending.


  • English 8 Studies: complete “The Lottery” as necessary.
  • English I Honors: re-read 1.1, making sure you can answer the following  questions:
    • Where exactly was Romeo when all of this was happening?
    • Why was he there?
    • How do we find out? (What are the mechanics involved in the discovery?)
Mood and Shakespeare

English 8 students began a second story in which we look at irony, tone, and mood: Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery.” We began by looking at all the items that establish the setting (circled in red) and the mood (underlined in blue).

English I Honors began Romeo and Juliet, focusing on the prologue.


  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: students who have not yet turned in their poetry test need to do so by tomorrow morning.
Symbolism, Group Work Practice, and a Benchmark

English I Honors students worked on symbolism in “The Necklace” and “Gift of the Magi” as well as a bit of work with parts of speech identification.

English 8 students practiced effective group work skills (fifth period) and completed a benchmark test (sixth period).


  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: complete the parts of speech identification work through number 25 (see above).

English I Honors students finished up their third paragraph in the Schaffer analytic/short story unit. We began working on the fourth and final single paragraph, which is on irony and symbolism.

English 8 students finished up chapter three in Nightjohn.


English I Honors students had a final opportunity to do some in-class writing about “The Cask of Amontillado,” which is due tonight (for those who didn’t finish in class) at midnight.

English 8 students continued with their Friday individual work regarding the article of the week and our inference work.


  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: 
    • turn in the “Amontillado” paragraph (if you haven’t already);
    • begin assessing the paragraph (due Monday).
Close Reading and Comics

English 8 students finished up the first chapter of Nightjohn, wrapping up the introductory look at the elements that create a sense of voice.


We also practiced some close reading to determine the meaning of a particular passage.


English I Honors did some work with “The Cask of Amontillado,” working with a partner to work out any comprehension issues and answer a couple of key comprehension questions.


  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: 
    • re-read the story;
    • complete the comic strip;
    • complete the paraphrase from yesterday.
Character and Effective Readers

ernest hemingway photo
Photo by The U.S. National Archives

English I Honors continued with their short stories unit by looking at the next story, “The Old Man on the Bridge” by Hemingway. English 8 students worked with effective readers’ skills.


  • English 8 Studies: complete today’s in-class work on slave codes and effective readers’ skills.
  • English I Honors: find three pieces of evidence in the text (download here) that the old man has lost his family and is caring for the animals because they’re all that’s left him.
Schaffer Analysis, Library, and Finishing Up Moodle

English 8 students went to the library to pick out a book for their first one pager, which will be due in several weeks. We also worked on replying to each others’ posts in Moodle forums and using the quiz module.

English I Honors students began their analytic Schaffer paragraph, working with the story “The Sniper” and the importance of setting. (The stories are available at the Moodle web site.

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Third period planning
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Fourth period planning


  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: complete the planning of the paragraph begun in class.
Socratic Seminar and a Forum

English I Honors students began preparing for their first analytic Schaffer paragraph, which will deal with the short story “The Sniper.”



English 8 students used the Moodle forum feature for the first time. We walked through how to use it and how to write productive posts.


  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: continue working on the benchmark test.

English I Honors spent another day planning their short story major project. They will have about another week to work on it.

English Strategies and English Studies completed major chapters in Nightjohn by applying the “Somebody Wanted But So” engagement.


  • English 8 Strategies: none.
  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: 
    • assess the “Magi”/”Necklace” paragraph (at the Moodle site);
    • continue planning and writing the final project.

English I Honors had some time today to work on the culminating project for the short stories unit. English Studies worked on their theme exploration of Nightjohn. English Strategies finished up their work on chapter four in Nightjohn and had some modeling of the effective readers’ skills.


  • English 8 Strategies: none.
  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: 
    • continue planning for “Tell-Tale Heart”;
    • assess “Magi”/”Necklace” writing (last one!) on the Moodle site.

English I Honors students had a few minutes to work on their last assignment for the short story unit before beginning the cumulative project. English Studies and English Strategies worked on Nightjohn and effective readers’ skills.


  • English 8 Strategies: none.
  • English 8 Studies: 
    • complete the chapter 5 reader’s journal (on Google Classroom);
    • complete the chapter 5 comprehension questions (on the Moodle site);
    • complete the chapter 5 “It Says/I Say” engagement (on Google Classroom;
    • turn all the above work in.
  • English I Honors: 
    • turn in your paragraph on “Magi” or “Necklace” by tonight (at the Moodle site);
    • re-read “The Tell-Tale Heart” and come to class with one question you need answered about the text.

English Strategies students (fourth period) applied the skills they worked on during Monday’s and Tuesday’s classes with a partner to a new selection, an informational text about slaves and traditions they brought from Africa.

English Studies students continued chapter four work, writing their journal entry and working with their groups for on the theme work.

English I Honors students began the final writing selection, which will focus on irony and symbolism. We worked on our model story, “Peter and Rosa,” coming up with a few possible topic sentences:

  • The captain’s wife’s jealousy caused her to go blind as well as the ship when she removes the blue stones because she and the ship symbolize each other.
  • The captain’s wife’s jealousy of the figurehead’s stones, which symbolized her eyes, caused her to lose her eyesight and her husband.

We’ll continue working on it tomorrow.


  • English 8 Strategies: none.
  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: 
    • use the topic sentences above to determine two quotes from the story that we could use in CDs;
    • turn in your “Cask of Amontillado” writing;
    • read “The Gift of the Magi” and “The Necklace,” both of which are available on the Moodle site.

Rather than rehash the day (it’s Friday and we’re all tired), let’s just get to the homework…


  • English 8 Strategies: none.
  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: re-read “Thank You, M’am” (see Moodle site) looking for quotes to use as evidence as to why the protagonist helps Roger.
  • Journalism: none.