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Independent Lesson Plan

Topic: The Short Story

Instructor: Robin Coffin

Context: A one week lesson taught as a part of a 7th grade English curriculum about the types of
writing genres. This module will follow similar modules on fiction, non-fiction and poetry
writing. It will be taught online over a five day consecutive time period for 45 minutes per day.
Audience: Seventh grade middle school students aged 12-13 years.
Prior knowledge: Students have achieved age appropriate learning goals in reading, writing and
analyzing literature. They also have familiarity and access to appropriate technology at home and
at school including the ability to use PowerPoint, Microsoft Word and Blackboard.
Desired Results
A. Established Goals:
1. Learners will leverage their understanding of different writing genres to understand the
definition of a short story, its elements, and the literary technique known as
foreshadowing by reading two short stories, watching two informational videos and
engaging in both group and independent writing activities to demonstrate their
understanding of the short story as a writing genre.
2. Learners will be able to utilize this new knowledge as they engage in future reading of
short stories and in writing their own short story, a topic to be covered in a follow-up
B. Understandings and Rationale:
1. This module is designed for middle school students who are actively engaged in an
English curriculum which enhances their development of the reading and analysis of
types of literature.
2. Thru this module, learners will also be able in the future to compare and contrast the
types of writing genres, identify the elements of a short story as it compares other types
of genres and to begin to assess their ability to transfer this knowledge to their own
writing skills.
C. Learning Outcomes:
1. At the end of this lesson, learners will be able to identify the short story as a type of
writing genre and will be able to compare and contrast it to the other writing genres
previously learned.
2. Learners will be able to demonstrate their understanding and knowledge of the five
elements of a short story: setting, plot, conflict, characters and point of view and be able
to identify these elements in future readings.
3. Learners will understand the definition of foreshadowing and be able to recognize its use
as a prediction tool in writing.

4. Learners will build on their current writing skills by crafting an essay about what they
have learned about short stories in this lesson. A future outcome fostered by a follow-up
lesson will allow the learners to write an original short story.
Assessment Evidence:
A. Performance Tasks:
1. Learners will watch the PowerPoint video which gives an overview of the learning
activities to be completed in this module.
2. Learners will watch two videos: one describes the elements of a short story and the
second describes the use of foreshadowing as a literally tool often used in short
3. Learners will ask the teacher a question about something they did not understand in
the videos or about a point they would like to have clarified. This activity is to ensure
active communication between the learners and the teacher and to promote positive
4. Learners will read two of three short stories; highlighting key points or taking notes
of important elements as they read to enrich their understanding of the stories.
5. Learners will complete a story mapping activity to illustrate their understanding of the
story, its elements and the role that foreshadowing plays. This activity will be done in
pairs as a way to build a sense of community.
6. Learners will complete a synthesis activity and write a reflection journal on short
stories which will answer the following questions:
a. What did you learn in this module?
b. What evidence in the stories point to the elements of setting, plot, conflict,
characters and point of view?
c. What are two examples of how foreshadowing was used in one of the stories?
d. How do short stories fit into your learning about different literary genres?
B. Other evidence
1. Through discussion board and reflective journals, learners will post questions and
thoughts about their understanding of short stories and how this particular genre fits
into the broader literary landscape; thereby contributing to the community of inquiry
and student teacher interaction.
2. Through a storyboard mapping activity students will work collaboratively to scaffold
their learning on the elements of a short story.
III. Learning Plan
A. Expectations:
1. Learners will watch two videos and read two short stories.
2. Learners will increase their level of knowledge by posting a question to the
discussion board for teacher response and by writing reflective journal entries which
describe their level of understanding based on this lesson.
3. Learners will contribute to a community of inquiry by working with a peer partner on
a story mapping activity.
B. Lesson Content
1. Videos: Learners will watch the following two videos.
2. Reading material: Learners will read TWO of the following three short stories:


Storyboard mapping Activity: Learners will complete in pairs the following story
mapping template:
C. Experience the key ideas:
1. What is a short story?
2. What are the five elements of a short story?
3. What is foreshadowing?
4. How do short stories compare and contrast to other literary genres?
5. How does you new knowledge of short stories contribute to your increasing
understanding of literary genres?
D. Rethink and revise understandings:



1. Learners will post a question to their teacher about their learning on Discussion
2. Learners will complete a storyboard mapping activity.
3. Learners will write a reflective journal entry articulating what they have learned and
experienced in this lesson.
Allow learners to evaluate their work:
Learners will submit a question to their teacher about the material in the lesson, complete
with a peer a storyboard mapping activity and write a reflective journal entry at the
conclusion of the lesson.
Accommodations for different learning styles:
A PowerPoint video will outline the steps to completion which will accompany and serve
as an alternative to the detailed written lesson plan.
The learner will be given a choice in the selection of readings to be completed to allow
for choice in the learning materials used.
The learner will scaffold his/her knowledge of the short story by working on the
storyboard mapping activity in pairs.