The Gift of the Magi

Lesson Plan: The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry

II. While Reading Tasks

Vocabulary:  Word Inference

1. unselfish |ˌənˈselfiSH| adjective-willing to put the needs or wishes of others before one’s own: unselfish devotion.

2. shabby  |ˈSHabē| adjective -in poor condition through long or hard use or lack of care: a conscript in a shabby uniform saluted the car.

3. furnished |ˈfərniSHt| adjective-(of accommodations) available to be rented with furniture.

4. vestibule |ˈvestəˌbyo͞ol| noun-an antechamber, hall, or lobby next to the outer door of a building.

5. calculated |ˈkalkyəˌlātid| verb-determine (the amount or number of something) mathematically

6. whirl |(h)wərl|verb-move or cause to move rapidly around and around.

7. Possessions) |pəˈzeSHən| noun- an item of property; something belonging to one.

8. falter |ˈfôltər| verb-start to lose strength or momentum: her smile faltered and then faded.

9. ransack |ˈranˌsak, ranˈsak| verb-search through (a place or receptacle) to find something, esp. in such a way as to cause disorder and/or damage.

10. peculiar |pəˈkyo͞olyər| adjective-strange or odd; unusual.

Questions for Comprehension

  1. It is Christmas; in the first paragraph Della states, One dollar and eighty seven cents. And the next day would be Christmas.”
  2. The three characters are Della, Jim, and Madame Sofronie.
  3. For Jim it was his watch; for Della her hair.
  4.   She had $1.87 to buy Jim a gift.
  5. She sold her hair.
  6. She bought Jim a chain for his watch.
  7. He sold his watch.
  8. He bought her  beautiful combs for her hair.
  9. Things did not work out the way Jim and Della planned because each of their gifts became useless. She had no hair and he had no watch.  However, their love for each other proved to be the greatest gift in the end.