Lesson Plan Template: General Lesson Plan
Learning Objectives: What should students know and be able to do as a result of this lesson?
Students will be able to:
- Cite textual evidence to support their analysis of "The Monkey's Paw," as well as inferences drawn from the text.
- Understand the difference between morals and themes.
- Determine morals of "The Monkey's Paw" and use textual evidence to support their determination of the morals in the story.
- Identify use of foreshadowing in the story.
- Identify examples of situational irony in the story and explain what makes them ironic.
- Write a well-organized informative paragraph where they introduce the topic, provide relevant support using examples from the story, utilize transitions to make their points flow, and provide a concluding statement to wrap up the paragraph.
- Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown words in "The Monkey's Paw" using a range of strategies including use of context clues and reference materials.
Prior Knowledge: What prior knowledge should students have for this lesson?
Students should be able to:
- identify conflicts and resolutions in a story
- understand, identify, and analyze story elements like plot, setting, and characters
- utilize textual evidence to support their answers to questions about a piece of literature
- write a well-organized and focused paragraph, using evidence from the text to support a chosen topic
- use context clues to make a preliminary determination of a word's meaning in a text
- use a dictionary to verify a preliminary determination of the meaning of a word
- understand the proper behaviors of participating effectively in a collaborative discussion about a text
Prior knowledge of the concepts of foreshadowing, theme, moral, and situational irony will be helpful to the lesson but are not required. A brief overview of these concepts is provided in a PowerPoint that is included in the Teaching Phase below.
Guiding Questions: What are the guiding questions for this lesson?
- In what ways are morals different from themes?
- What strategies can readers use to determine a moral or a theme in a piece of literature?
- What morals are presented in "The Monkey's Paw"?
- What are some examples of foreshadowing provided by the author in "The Monkey's Paw"?
- How does the author of "The Monkey's Paw" use situational irony in this story?
- What are different strategies readers can use to determine the meanings of unknown words in a piece of literature?
Teaching Phase: How will the teacher present the concept or skill to students?
"Hook" to engage students in the lesson:
1. Present the following to students and give them time to respond in writing.
- The term "destiny" (a synonym would be the term "fate") means that something (like an event or something in a person's future) is set to happen. It is predetermined by the universe.
- The term "free will" refers to a person's ability to think, choose, and act voluntarily. Free will is directly opposite from destiny or fate. With free will, the person making the decisions and taking the actions determines their own future.
- What do you think about the concept of destiny? Do you think there are any aspects of life that are predetermined? Or do you think people determine their own future by the choices they make? Why or why not?
2. After students have written their responses down, give students time to share out their responses. Afterward, help students to understand that the concepts of free will versus fate will be explored in the story we are about to read, a story called "The Monkey's Paw."
1. To prepare students for their analysis of this story, present the following Lesson_MonkeysPaw.pptx to go over the concepts of foreshadowing, situational irony, theme, and moral. It is recommended that students take notes during the presentation in order to reference definitions and examples as they work on identifying and analyzing these concepts used in "The Monkey's Paw."
2. Pass out Story_MonkeysPaw.docx of "The Monkey's Paw" to each student along with the text-dependent questions Text_Dependent_QuestionsMPaw.docx and Vocabulary_MonkeysPaw.docx handout. A Teacher_Copy_StoryMPaw.docx of the story has been provided to assist with instruction and discussion.
Note: As part of the key shifts of the Florida Standards, teachers are discouraged from front loading the meaning of academic vocabulary by directly providing students with the definitions of the words. Instead, teachers are encouraged to provide opportunities for students to determine the meaning of the words in context through a number of flexible strategies. Suggested academic vocabulary words have been highlighted in blue and red on the teacher copy of the story. The words are listed on the students' vocabulary handout. (If students need more space than what is provided on the worksheet, they could write responses in their notebooks. If students need more support, teachers could create or utilize a vocabulary graphic organizer instead of the handout.) Based on the needs and skills of their students, teachers may select and highlight different words before passing out copies of the vocabulary handout to students.
3. To model fluency, the teacher (and/or a strong student reader or audio version of the story) can read aloud the opening paragraphs of the story stopping at the end of the paragraph that concludes: "The words died away on his lips, and he hid a guilty grin in his thin grey beard." The teacher can use the marginal notes in the teacher handout to assist with class discussion and instruction.
- Before moving on in the reading, conduct a think aloud to show students how to come up with a preliminary definition for the vocabulary words placidly, hark, and amiably. Write preliminary meanings for these words on the board and have students copy them onto the left side of their vocabulary handout. Then, if needed, show students how to look these words up in the dictionary, compare the different definitions to the preliminary meaning the teacher created, and then select the best definition that matches the intent of how the word is used in the story (refer back to the story as needed). Have students write down the actual definition on the right side of their vocabulary handout.
- Then conduct a think aloud to model for students how to use evidence from the text to answer question one on the text-dependent questions handout. Have students copy this into their notebooks. A teacher key for the questions has been provided.
4. Continue reading aloud (using the notes in the teacher copy of the story to periodically stop to point things out and check students' comprehension) and stop at the end of the paragraph that concludes "He put down the empty glass, and sighing softly, shook it again." Model for students how to use textual evidence to answer question two on the text-dependent questions handout and have students copy this into their notebooks.
- Model for students through thinking aloud how to use context clues to develop a preliminary definition for condoling and proffered. Have students copy these definitions onto the left side of their vocabulary handout. Model again, if needed, for students how to look up the definitions in the dictionary, compare the definitions to the preliminary meaning the teacher developed, and then select the most appropriate definition based on how the word is used in the story (refer back to the story as needed). Have students copy the actual definitions onto the right side of their vocabulary handout.
5. Continue reading aloud and stop at the end of the paragraph that concludes "He put a spell on it so that three separate men could each have three wishes from it." Continue the same thinking aloud to help students with the vocabulary word "grimace" and the third question on the text-dependent questions handout. Continue to have students take notes on both the vocabulary and the answer to question three. Also, make sure students see the connection between the hook questions at the start of the teaching phase about destiny (fate) versus free will with the fakir and the spell he put on the monkey's paw.
6. Continue reading aloud (using the teacher copy of the story for things to point out and discuss) and stop at the end of the paragraph that concludes "He didn't want it, but I made him take it. And he pressed me again to throw it away." This time, have students work in partners to answer question four. Allow students time to discuss and write their responses down. Then have several students share out and provide verbal feedback as needed. Then, give students time to work on the following vocabulary words: presumptuous, doggedly, and trifle. Make sure that student pairs have access to a print or online dictionary. Have students report out and provide corrective feedback and additional modeling as needed.
7. Continue reading the rest of chapter 1 aloud. Then have students work in partners on the following vocabulary words: dubiously and credulity. Also have them work on questions five and six. Allow students to report out on their preliminary definitions for the words, what strategies they used to create the definitions, and the final definition they selected from the dictionary based on how each word is used in the story. Provide corrective feedback and modeling as needed. Have students also report out the answers they developed for questions five and six. Focus on students' use of textual evidence to support their responses. Use the notes in the teacher's copy of the story if students need help understanding the scene where Herbert's mother is chasing him around the table.
Guided Practice: What activities or exercises will the students complete with teacher guidance?
Guided Practice Part A:
1. Read aloud the five questions for chapter two and make sure that students understand the questions being asked. Read aloud the vocabulary words for chapter two: prosaic, avaricious, sinister, averted, and compensation.
2. Have students work in pairs or small groups to read chapter two of "The Monkey's Paw." It is encouraged the pairs or group members take turns reading the story aloud. Encourage students to stop and answer the questions as they go. Students can then work as a team to create preliminary definitions for the five words, look up the words in the dictionary, and then select the best definition that matches how the word is used in the story. Students should have access to print or online dictionaries.
3. When groups are ready, have students report out on their answers to the text-dependent questions and the definitions for the vocabulary words. Provide verbal corrective feedback as needed. For visual learners, it might help to have a copy of the story displayed on a document camera or overhead and highlight the specific textual details in the story that support the answers to the five questions (as students share out).
4. Now proceed to the Independent Practice section Part A.
Guided Practice Part B:
1. Review with students question #5 from chapter two on the text-dependent questions handout about how the death of Herbert and the compensation of $200 pounds is an example of situational irony. Tell students that in several places in the story, both Herbert and his mother, Mrs. White, made ironic statements; these statements were ironic based on what ended up happening to Herbert. Have students look at the line in chapter one that reads: "Well, I don't see the money," said his son as he picked it up and placed it on the table, "and I bet I never shall." Ask students: Why might this be considered an ironic statement? Help students to understand it is ironic because Herbert never does see the money, but he doesn't see the money because he has been killed in an accident and his parents receive the $200 pounds as compensation for his death.
2. Have students examine these statements in chapter two:
- "I suppose all old soldiers are the same," said Mrs. White. "The idea of our listening to such nonsense! How could wishes be granted in these days? And if they could, how could two hundred pounds hurt you, father?"
- "Herbert will have some more of his funny remarks, I expect, when he comes home," she said, as they sat at dinner.
Ask students why these might be considered ironic statements. Give them time to discuss and report out their thoughts. For the first statement, help them to understand the irony here is that she cannot see how $200 pounds could hurt her husband. Ironically, the death of their son brings the family $200 pounds, and his death emotionally and mentally hurts his father. So, in a way, the money does end up hurting him. For the second statement, the irony here is that Herbert won't have any funny remarks about the money not being delivered in the mail (and instead they received a bill) because he, sadly, never comes home again.
3. Tell students, now that we have completed our reading of the story and we have a firm grasp of the plot, characters, conflicts and resolutions, key vocabulary words, use of foreshadowing and irony, etc., now we can work to examine the story a little deeper. Explain to students that in this particular story, the author presents some of his central ideas through morals. If needed, review the slides on the Power Point again for what a moral is and tips on how to identify the morals in a story.
4. Have students use the suggested tips to identify one moral for "The Monkey's Paw" about the topic of greed. Have students think about:
- What examples of greed are found in the story? Which characters struggle with greed?
- What might the author be saying about greed based on the actions of the characters and the conflicts that result because of greedy behavior?
- What practical advice can readers take away about the problem of greed in their own life and how they should deal with greed?
- Have them formulate their moral into a sentence or sentences.
5. Allow students to report out and provide verbal feedback as needed. Make sure to stress that students use textual evidence from the story to support their moral about greed. Students should be able to articulate that greed is a bad behavioral trait and that those who are greedy and act on that greedy behavior will end up in ruin. We should work to not be greedy and appreciate what we have. Help students to identify again in the text places where Mr. White's family is described as having the things they need and living a comfortable life, as well as the part where Mr. White at first does not know what to wish for because he has everything he needs. When he son asks him to wish for $200 pounds, money they can get by without, that is where things start to go badly for the family.
6. Proceed to Independent Practice Part B.
Independent Practice: What activities or exercises will students complete to reinforce the concepts and skills developed in the lesson?
Independent Practice Part A:
1. Students will read chapter three of "The Monkey's Paw" individually. Have students use their vocabulary handout to work to determine the meanings of apathy, resignation, and stealthy. Have them answer the six questions for chapter three.
2. Teachers may choose to collect students' work to serve as an assessment, providing written feedback as needed on either the vocabulary or questions. Or, teachers can have students report out and the teacher can provide verbal feedback as needed.
3. Return to the Guided Practice section Part B.
Independent Practice Part B:
1. Have students work independently to develop at least two additional morals for "The Monkey's Paw." Encourage students to use the same tips and strategies they used to come up with their moral for greed. Students should be directed again to use textual evidence from the story to support their morals. Two possible morals (teachers can identify others their students might come up with based on the discussions held during the reading of the story) students might come up with: Be careful what you wish for. If you mess with fate, things will turn out badly for you.
2. Depending on the needs of your students, you might wish to collect students' written responses and provide feedback. Or, the teacher can have students proceed to the summative assessment. Tell students that as the summative assessment for the lesson, they will be writing two extended paragraph responses, one for each of the morals they came up with. Review the attached rubric with students so they will know how they will be assessed.
Closure: How will the teacher assist students in organizing the knowledge gained in the lesson?
After the teacher returns students' extended response paragraphs with written feedback from the teacher, students could share with the class the morals (supported by textual evidence) that they identified in "The Monkey's Paw." The teacher could record these morals on a chart to hang in the room and use as a comparison tool to other fictional texts the students will read later in the year that provide any morals. In addition, students could use this chart to assist them if teachers implement the extensions idea about writing a narrative (see extensions section) for the lesson.
- Teachers may also wish to return to the hook questions provided in the Teaching Phase about destiny (fate) and free will. Ask students to think about "The Monkey's Paw" and whether or not they think the events that took place in the story were:
- simply coincidence as part of the unfolding of life's events (that the monkey's paw really did not have power and the events that took place were not due to the paw answering the White's wishes)
- a result of free will and a bit of magic (that the paw did answer the wishes and the results took place because the Whites attempted to interfere with fate- just like the fakir said would happen if someone used the paw)
- a result of fate (that these events were predestined to happen no matter what the White's wished)
Students will determine two morals for "The Monkey's Paw" and explain in writing, through the creation of two separate extended response paragraphs, what the moral is, how it is developed throughout the story, and support their analysis with specific and appropriate evidence from the story.
For each paragraph: students will write a well-organized informative paragraph where they introduce the topic, provide relevant support using examples from the story, utilize transitions to make their points flow, and provide a concluding statement to wrap up the paragraph.
Students can be assessed using the attached rubric.
During the Lesson :
In the Guided Practice activities:
Through the text-dependent questions provided and vocabulary words addressed, the teacher will be able to determine students' understanding of the second chapter of "The Monkey's Paw" (including the concepts of foreshadowing and situational irony). This will enable teachers to know if remediation or further modeling is needed before students independently read chapter three and complete questions and vocabulary for that final chapter.
Through students creating a moral around the concept of greed, the teacher will be able to determine if students understand how to use the suggested tips to identify an appropriate moral supported by textual evidence. This will enable teachers to know if remediation or further modeling is needed before students independently determine additional morals for the story and write about them in the summative assessment for the lesson.
Feedback to Students
Teachers will provide verbal feedback throughout the lesson on aspects of plot, character, foreshadowing, and irony through the text-dependent questions students will answer in the last half of the Teaching Phase and in the Guided Practice activities. Teachers have the option to collect students' work and provide written feedback in the Independent Practice section.
Teachers will provide verbal feedback and modeling as needed to help students with their use of context clues and dictionaries to determine the meanings of selected vocabulary words for "The Monkey's Paw."
Teachers will provide verbal feedback on students' determination of a moral around the concept of greed. Teachers have the option of providing written feedback on students' additional morals before they begin the summative assessment for the lesson.