Time: approximately 1 -2 hours.
Materials: Copy of short story, The Child’s Story, by Charles Dickens, biography of Charles Dickens, and Components for Literary Analysis.
Objectives: Students will achieve a better understanding of the short story by learning literary devices and terms (e.g., imagery, symbolism, protagonist, antagonist, setting) used for analyzing stories. They will also learn how to analyze the relationship between characters, and events in the story using these literary devices.
Reading Strategies: Students will make predictions, draw conclusions and make generalizations about what they have read by utilizing background knowledge, looking for the main ideas, making notes, highlighting or underlining specific information, and by answering questions. They will learn new vocabulary through inference, highlighting unknown words, using the dictionary, and graphic organizers for assistance. Language skills are reading, speaking, and listening.
I. Pre-Reading Activities
Directions: Have students use the KWL chart to list the information they already know about childhood and old age. Later in the Post- Reading segment of the lesson, students can fill in what they’ve learned. Students can use this K-W-L Chart by Michigan State University.
Prediction Organizer and Character Charts
Directions: Students may use these Prediction and Character profile charts by Pace High School as pre-reading, while-reading and post-reading tools to aid in their comprehension of the events and of the characters in the story.
II. While Reading Exercises
Directions: Students are to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the short story. They may use a dictionary or thesaurus for assistance. In addition, students can use the Word organizer from Enchanted Learning to assist them with new vocabulary.
- It was a magic journey.
- The sky was so blue, the sun was so bright, the water was so sparkling.
- They loved to watch the falling drops, and to smell the fresh scents.
- The wind whistling and howling, driving the clouds before it, bending the trees, rumbling in the chimneys.
- They had plenty of the finest toys in the world, and the most astonishing picture-books.
- They were all about scimitars and slippers and turbans.
- So he learned with that boy about Jupiter and Juno.
- They were active afoot, and active on horseback; at cricket, and all games at ball.
- The traveller looked at the gentleman, and saw him glance up at the sky above the trees, where the day was beginning to decline, and the sunset to come on.
- So the traveller sat down by the side of that old man, face to face with the serene sunset.
Questions for Reading Comprehension
True / False
Directions: If the statement is true, students write (T) if the statement is false they write (F) and provide the correct answer from the article.
- In this story the traveller’s name was John.
- The first person he met was a beautiful child.
- The child said “I am always at play.
- They heard singing-birds and saw many Deer.
- But, one day, the child was gone.
- The next person he met was a young man.
- The young man was always at play.
- After the young man, the traveler met was a middle-aged gentleman.
- The middle-aged gentleman was always busy.
- He and the middle-aged man went into business together.
III. Post Reading Exercises
Directions: Have students answer any remaining questions on the story and character charts. Have students fill in the rest of the information for their K-W-L charts.
Directions: Place students in groups and have them answer the following questions. After, have the groups share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the topics.
- How far back can you remember your childhood?
- Do you remember happy times, like going to the park with your parents, playing with friends, or celebrations?
- Can you remember any sad times when you were young? For example, moving away from friends, of a favorite pet got sick?
- What are some of the themes in The Child’s Story?