Time: 47 minutes (one class period)
Setting: Classroom (students have been separated into seven groups)
Objective: Students will define, identify, explain, and review the following literary elements utilized in “The Bass, the River, and Sheila Mant”: antagonist, protagonist, internal conflict, external conflict, symbolism, climax, and point of view.
Background: Students have spent the last two weeks studying short stories and the types of literary elements used in writing. This activity is a review of the second story we’ve read. It is also the second time that we’ve done a review in this manner. Students will read several more short stories, and then they will be asked to write their own. These short stories must include some of the literary elements discussed in class.
Materials: Textbook, group assignments by literary element, poster board, and markers
- Have sheets of paper with group assignments by literary element
- Have poster board and markers
- When the bell rings, students should turn in their Conflict T-Chart homework.
- Instruct students to read assignment carefully, do a rough draft if necessary, and be ready to present their posters after 25 minutes.
- Circulate as the groups begin to prepare their presentations. Answer any questions and offer suggestions when necessary. Group assignments are as follows:
A.Group One – Antagonist
2.Identify the antagonist(s) in the story
3.Explain your choice
4.Illustrate the antagonist(s)
B.Group Two – Protagonist
2.Identify the protagonist in the story
3.Explain your choice
4.Illustrate the protagonist
C.Group Three – Internal Conflict
1.Define internal conflict
2.Identify an example of internal conflict in the story
3.Explain why the conflict is internal
4.Illustrate the conflict
D.Group Four – External Conflict
1.Define external conflict
2.Identify an example of external conflict in the story
3.Explain why the conflict is external
4.Illustrate the conflict
E.Group Five – Symbolism
2.Identify the symbol in this story
3.Explain what this symbolizes
4.Illustrate your symbol
F.Group Six – Climax
2.Identify the climax of the story
3.Explain why it is the climax
4.Illustrate the climax
G.Group Seven – Point of View
1.Define point of view
2.Identify which point of view is being used in the story
3.Why do you think this point of view is used?
4.Illustrate your point of view
- After 25 minutes, tell groups to put the finishing touches on their posters and prepare to present.
- Have groups present in the order listed above.
- After each group presents, ask classmates for any thoughts on the presentation. Can anyone think of any different examples/different interpretations of the literary element presented?
- After all groups have presented, remind students that there is a quiz over the story tomorrow.
Special Needs: To accommodate students with special needs, this activity has been presented for both visual and auditory learners. The use of grouping allows students to participate while not being singled out. While the students are working on the activity, I will walk around the classroom and clarify the directions for anyone who looks like they are struggling.
Assessment: Assessment will be based on participation. While I am circulating, if I am unable to ascertain from observation whether or not a student has learned anything, I may direct a specific question toward that student during the presentations. Assessment will also be based on the next day’s quiz over the short story.
Illinois State English Language Arts Goals and Learning Standards
1.C.4b Explain and justify an interpretation of a text. Students must explain their examples and justify why they fulfill a specific literary element.
2.A.4a Analyze and evaluate the effective use of literary techniques (e.g., figurative language, allusion, dialogue, description, symbolism, word choice, dialect) in classic and contemporary literature representing a variety of forms and media. The students engage in an activity which asks them to identify the different types of literary elements used in the short story.
4.A.4a Apply listening skills as individuals and members of a group in a variety of settings (e.g., lectures, discussions, conversations, team projects, presentations, interviews). Students must listen to their group members’ ideas and suggestions when analyzing the short story for literary elements..
4.A.4b Apply listening skills in practical settings (e.g., classroom note taking, interpersonal conflict situations, giving and receiving directions, evaluating persuasive messages). Class should be attentive while other groups are presenting their findings. (After all, this will be on the test. )