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Unit 2 - Surprise and Suspense

Page history last edited by Russell 9 years, 7 months ago


Fall 2010 Lessons


Wed, Oct 20


DUE TODAY: Two body paragraphs (aka "Irony Essay)


FOCUS TODAY: Test day!


Turn in paragraphs

Take the Unit 2 Exam on short stories and irony



Mon-Tue, Oct 18-19


DUE TODAY: Two body paragraphs on irony

HOMEWORK TONIGHT: Begin typing and making final edits

FOCUS TODAY: Teacher review of paragraphs


No grammar/usage this week on half days


Students will be asked to show the teacher their work in progress on the irony paragraphs. Any student with homework completed will receive a review and commentary from the teacher. Other students will be asked to continue composing paragraphs, then seek review comments.


When students have finished their body paragraphs they are free to begin the reading for the next unit:

  • The Odyssey by Homer
    • Read Pgs 887-891
    • "Build Background" pg. 893
    • Read the text from 895 on 


Fri, Oct 15


DUE TODAY: Nothing

HOMEWORK TONIGHT: Compose paragraph two of the two-paragraph irony assignment

FOCUS TODAY: Body paragraph organization, composition


Grammar/usage QUIZ


Continuing work on preparing body paragraphs for the irony assignment. We pick up today where we left off yesterday: The definition for the type of irony you are discussing in the current paragraph.


By the end of class, each student will have a model body paragraph to take home, with notes on how that paragraph was constructed piece-by-piece. The homework is to compose a second body paragraph and bring both to class on Monday.


Thu, Oct 14


DUE TODAY: Nothing

HOMEWORK TONIGHT: If desired, continue the paragraph work

FOCUS TODAY: Dissecting essay prompts, essay organization


5 minute grammar/usage


Overview of the irony essay assignment and outline for body paragraphs. Class notes:


Essential Question: How does an author use irony to create surprise and suspense?

In the paper, we must talk about surprise and suspense. Because surprise links to situational, we have to choose at least one example of situational irony. Likewise, suspense links to dramatic, so we must address at least one case of dramatic irony.

This paper will just be two body paragraphs – no intro and no conclusion.

  1. Body paragraph one = surprise discussion
  2. Body paragraph two = suspense discussion

Body paragraph out line:

  1. Topic Sentence
    1. Title of the story you’ll discuss
    2. Author first and last name of the story
    3. Type of irony found in the story
    4. Clear statement that surprise or suspense is created by the author when he/she uses irony
    5. Ex: In Richard Connell’s “The Most Dangerous Game”, the author uses dramatic irony to build tension in the reader.
  2. Definition of the type of irony – Ex: Verbal irony is a situation where a character says or thinks the opposite of what is meant – sarcasm, perhaps.
  3. General statement about what that type of irony can do –
    1. Ex: Situational irony is always about the difference between expectation and reality; because a character or reader expects one thing yet gets another, this results in a surprise.
    2. Ex: Dramatic irony has to do with building tension, because the audience or reader must always wait for an outcome, and that waiting causes stress.
  4. Briefly summarize the action in the part of the story that has the irony. For this part, use your study sheet for the unit and your pre-writing table.
    1. Ex: In Connell’s short story, the hunter Rainsford must fight for survival as General Zaroff hunts him. He builds traps, hoping to kill or stop Zaroff.
  5. State what kind of irony exists at this point by explaining the irony. Use your pre-writing table.
    1. Ex: The reader knows that Rainsford builds the traps, yet Zaroff is unaware of them. The reader wonders if the traps will work to stop Zaroff and if Rainsford will survive. The fact that the reader knows and waits for the outcome is dramatic irony.
  6. State clearly what the irony does for the reader’s experience in that story (either builds tension or creates a surprise)
    1. Ex: Because the reader is made to wait for the outcome, tension is built. The reader eagerly waits to see if Zaroff wins or Rainsford saves himself.
  7. Conclude by stating what the irony does in that story
    1. Dramatic irony is employed by O’Connell to cause the reader to experience tension and suspense.


Here is the sample paragraph on Dangerous Game when put together from above:


     In Richard Connell’s “The Most Dangerous Game”, the author uses dramatic irony to build tension in the reader. Dramatic irony happens when a reader or audience knows something a character does not. Dramatic irony has to do with building tension, because the audience or reader must always wait for an outcome, and that waiting causes stress. In Connell’s short story, the hunter Rainsford must fight for survival as General Zaroff hunts him. He builds traps, hoping to kill or stop Zaroff. The reader knows that Rainsford builds the traps, yet Zaroff is unaware of them. The reader wonders if the traps will work to stop Zaroff and if Rainsford will survive. The fact that the reader knows and waits for the outcome is dramatic irony. Because the reader is made to wait for the outcome, tension is built. The reader eagerly waits to see if Zaroff wins or Rainsford saves himself. Dramatic irony is employed by O’Connell to cause the reader to experience tension and suspense.


Building a Topic Sentence:

  • Author first + last name, and the full title
  • Type of irony to be discussed
  • Effect of the author using that irony

Formula for topic sentences:

  • O. Henry in his short story “The Gift of the Magi” uses situational irony to provide the reader with surprise.
  • In “The Sniper” by Liam O’Flaherty, the author makes use of situational irony in order to surprise the reader.
  • Situational irony is employed by Guy de Maupassant in his short story “The Necklace” to surprise the reader.
  • In order to build tension and suspense in the reader, the author Shirley Jackson uses dramatic irony in her short story “The Possibility of Evil.”



Wed, Oct 13


DUE TODAY: Nothing


FOCUS TODAY: The difference between suspense (dramatic irony) and surprise (dramatic irony)


5 minute grammar/usage


After the teacher models, students will work in small groups discovering the function of dramatic and situational irony in the short stories so far.


Period 2 Notes:

Suspense = Dramatic Irony

Surprise = Situational Irony

P.O.E. –

We see Miss S drop the letter, as do the kids, yet she does not know; it builds tension/suspense b/c we know the letters are mean, and we have to wait to see what the kids will do w/ that letter

We know that Miss S has been sending these letters, yet the townspeople don’t know until the kids deliver the one letter; it builds tension/ suspense b/c we don’t know what the townspeople will do if they find out SHE is the author of the letters – we have to wait to see their response

Two Kinds

The reader knows JM can’t play the piano, but mother thinks she can; it builds tension b/c we wait to see what will happen at the recital and with the mom’s reaction


We know Della cuts her hair and worries about Jim’s reaction; we wait to see how he will react and worry with her

P.O.E. –

Her expectation is that the town will be kind, perfect, and quaint; she will be treated w/ respect b/c of her family’s heritage; However, she is shocked at the disrespect shown in destroying what she prizes most

Dangerous Game

R is usually the hunter and does not believe the hunted has feeling; it’s a shock when he is placed in the role of the hunted and discovers he fears


The reader expects that if Juan can get a job in the censor office, he’ll succeed in getting his letter; we are surprised to see he censors his own letter and dooms himself

The Sniper

Sniper thinks he might know the other man; reality is more than a chance friend – it’s much closer: a brother = Shocking!



Period 3 Notes:

Surprise (Situational Irony)

Suspense (Dramatic Irony)


Miss S expects the town to be kind and for the people to treat her w/ respect b/c of rich family history; she is shocked and saddened that someone deliberately destroyed what she values/respects

Dangerous Game

Z expects to win as he always does, yet is shocked to find R alive in his room, lying in wait

The Necklace

The reader believes the necklace is real and Loisel must work to repay its full price; however, we are shocked at the end to find it was only paste and all L’s work was for nothing

The Sniper

The reader, along with the sniper, expects the man he killed might be an acquaintance; however, the shock comes when we find it’s not just a chance friend but much closer – a brother


Juan expects to join the censorship division in order to stop his letter; however, he fails to stop the letter b/c he’s so wrapped up in his work; it’s a shocking reversal (he even tries to stop them from killing him)


D and reader expect her plan to get Jim’s present will work, yet when he reveals he sold his most prized possession (something unexpected) we are all shocked


The reader knows Miss S dropped the letter seen by the kids; however, she does not know she dropped it; this builds tension b/c we know the letter has mean contents and we have to wait to find out what the kids will do w/ it

We know Miss S writes the cruel letters, yet the town does not; this builds tension b/c we wonder what the town will do when they discover the author’s identity

Dangerous Game

We know R builds the traps for Z, and tension is built b/c we wait to see if the traps work

Two Kinds

We know JM has not practiced for the recital; builds tension b/c we must wait to see how she performs – poorly or well?


The reader learns at the start that Juan is captured, but the author makes us wait the entire story to see that capture and the tension is waiting to find out Juan’s fate


The reader knows that D sells her hair, yet fears Jim’s reaction; tension is built b/c we wait for his reaction, wondering if he will still love her


Period 6 Notes:

Surprise = Situational Irony

Suspense = Dramatic Irony


Miss S expects the town to be kind and respectful to her b/c of her family heritage; she is shocked when no respect is shown for what she values most

The Necklace

Reader and Loisel expect the necklace to be real/valuable; however, we are shocked when we are told it was only paste (and all their hard work was for nothing)

The Sniper

We believe, with the sniper, that the killed man is a random soldier; the reality is the man is closer than even a friend – a brother = shocking and horrible!

The Censors

He joins the censorship office to stop his letter and save himself/Mariana; he is shocked when they catch him censoring his own letter = he failed and forgot why he was there


Della expects Jim to like and use the chain with his most prized possession; she is shocked b/c he sold his most prized possession and the chain is useless


The reader knows Miss S is the author of the cruel letters; however, the town does not know who writes them; tension is built b/c we wait to see how the town will react – Violently? Peacefully?

The reader knows she drops the letter and that the kids find it – she doesn’t; tension is built b/c we wait to find out what the kids will do w/ it

Dangerous Game

The reader knows of R’s traps for Z, but Z is unaware of them; tension is built b/c we wonder if the traps will work and if R will survive

Two Kinds

We know JM is not good at piano, but mom does not; tension b/c we wait to see mom’s reaction to the bad playing at the recital

The Censors

At the start we are told he is caught; the tension is built b/c we wait to see how he is caught and what will happen to him


We know Della cuts her hair and worries about Jim’s reaction to her short hair; tension b/c we wait to see Jim’s reaction – will he like it or reject her?


Mon, Oct 11


DUE TODAY: Table + four homework questions for "The Gift of the Magi" (if not completed last class)

HOMEWORK TONIGHT: Finish reading and character webbing Miss Strangeworth in "The Possibility of Evil"

FOCUS TODAY: Characterization


The Possibility of Evil


Ways to build character:

  1. Physical description – literally what he/she looks like; body type, facial features, clothes, how they walk, etc 
  2. Character’s speech, thoughts, feelings, actions; what they think, how they talk, how they feel
  3. How others respond to the character; their speech, thoughts, actions ABOUT the character
  4. The narrator directly comments on the character

“What kind of person is this character?”

  • Use adjectives like “kind” or “scary” or “ambitious”
  • Prove that adjective with evidence from the story
    • Ex: Lady Macbeth is ambitious. We see this when she plans the murder of the king so her husband can take the throne


  • Read “The Possibility of Evil”
  • Character web of Miss Strangeworth as described on the page preceding the story


Fri, Oct 8


DUE TODAY: Table + four reading questions at end of class

HOMEWORK: Table + homework questions if not completed during class time

FOCUS TODAY: Irony types


Grammar/usage QUIZ


The Gift of the Magi

Focus on irony:

Situational Irony
What Della plans   What actually happens 
What Jim plans   What actually happens 


  1. How is it evident that Jim and Della love one another? Provide evidence from the text. 
  2. How might Jim and Della be seen as foolish?
  3. Is there a way we may view them as wise? If so, how?
  4. What is it that Jim and Della prize over all other things, even valuable gifts? Support your reply with any evidence from the text. 


Students transfer the data from the table above to their irony study sheet (begun previous lesson) 


Thu, Oct 7


DUE TODAY: Nothing


FOCUS TODAY: Irony types


5 minute grammar/usage


Review of irony types and identification of irony in each of the stories read so far. Review takes place in a table to organize ideas and thoughts. One such table:


Irony Review





Dangerous Game

R has been a hunter all his life, yet becomes the hunted; Z never expects to be defeated, yet R surprises and defeats him; Z has been feeding people to the dogs for years, yet he becomes munchies

Traps are set by R, yet Z doesn’t know, so tension is built


The Necklace

Loisel and the reader both believe the necklace is real, yet we discover it was paste and all the hard work was for nothing




Two Kinds



We know JM wasn’t practicing, yet mom doesn’t know, so tension is built at the recital as we wait to see what mom will do



The Sniper

The sniper expects he might know the other guy – a chance acquaintance – yet the other guy is his own brother




The Censors

He fears/hates the censors at first, but joins them; he wants to intercept/stop his letter, but he doesn’t do it (and is even the one to censor it); he joins it to save lives (Mariana) but he dies in the end AND he causes the death of many


Start: “one day they caught him w/ his guard down” we know he is caught! End: Caught and killed; B/c we know at the start, tension is built as we wait to see them catch him

The narrator says that kidnapping is “noble” yet we all know it’s not – that’s sarcasm; The narrator also says Juan is “patriotic” by being such a good censor, yet he actually is destroying the country = sarcasm

The Gift of the Magi





Begin reading "The Gift of the Magi" 


Wed, Oct 6


DUE TODAY: Questions for "The Censors" + in-class questions


FOCUS TODAY: Irony types


5 minute grammar/usage


Irony quiz

  1. Match the three types of irony with the correct definition
  2. From three choices, identify which choice is an example of situational irony
  3. From three choices, identify which choice is an example of dramatic irony
  4. Given a description of part of a story, identify the irony present


Review of the story "The Censors"


Additional question for the homework:

#4 - Why/how is the ending to the story ironic? What kind of irony is it?


Tue, Oct 5


DUE TODAY: Prompts/questions for "The Sniper"


  • Read "The Censors" pgs 185-188
  • Answer questions 2, 3 on pg 189

FOCUS TODAY: Elements of plot, identifying irony types


5 minute grammar/usage


Review of "The Sniper" assignment

  1. The main conflict is man vs. man. I know this is true because the main character (the sniper) fights against only one other man mainly – another sniper on the opposite roof. (Incorrect: Man vs. society because it’s a war he’s fighting.) 
  2. The climactic point in the story is when he shoots and kills the opposite sniper. This is the climax because it is the point when the main conflict is resolved. They were fighting one another, and now that fight – man vs. man – is finished. The tension builds – we wonder if the sniper will get shot, and he succeeds in staying alive; we know he’s safe after he shoots the other guy. 
  3. The sniper thinks he might see someone who was in his company before the army split – he might know the guy. The reality is he finds his brother – his own blood. 
  4. The kind of irony in “The Sniper” is situational irony. The sniper thinks it may be someone he knew in passing, but then he and the reader are shocked to find it’s not just a passing acquaintance but his own brother – much closer. This is situational because he expected one thing, but was surprised by another. It’s NOT dramatic irony because we didn’t know it was his brother until he knew – dramatic means we know something the character doesn’t. 
  5. Types of irony
    1. Situational irony – difference between what a reader or character expects and what actually happens – the reality (ex: the sniper expects to maybe know his enemy, but it turns out it is his own brother)
    2. Dramatic irony – when the reader knows what’s going to happen or knows something the character doesn’t (ex: we know Jing Mei can’t play piano well, but her mother doesn’t so we wait to see the mother’s reaction at the recital when Jing Mei doesn’t play well)
    3. Verbal – when someone says one thing but means another or the opposite (ex: sarcasm)


"The Sniper" PLOT CHART:

  • ·         Exposition:
    • o   Setting: time = civil war 1922ish in Dublin, Ireland
    • o   The main sniper dude (protagonist)
    • o   Opposing sniper dude (antagonist)
    • o   Female informer
    • o   Armored personnel carrier guy
  • ·         Rising Action:
    • Main conflict: man vs. man/sniper vs. sniper
    • o   Protagonist – our sniper dude
    • o   Antagonist – other sniper dude
    • o   Battles/challenges
      • §  Thirsty – been there all day (has whiskey)
      • §  Wants a smoke – gets shot at
      • §  Informer gives his location
      • §  Gets shot by other sniper dude
      • §  Tries to trick (ruse) the opposing dude
  • ·         Climax:
    • o   Succeeds in shooting and killing the opposing sniper
  • ·         Falling Action:
    • o   Watches guy fall
    • o   He feels disgusted, throws down his gun
    • o   Gathers himself, decides to leave to find commander
    • o   Decides to go see who the other dude was
    • o   Gets shot at again
  • ·         Resolution:
    • o   Discovers he killed his brother
    • o   THEME: NEVER INCLUDE THE NAME OF THE STORY OR A CHARACTER IN THE THEME (because theme is the BIG picture, not just the story)
      • §  War …
        • ·         Can make those involved disgusted with war itself
        • ·         Is hell
        • ·         Destroys families and nations


Review of the essay portion of the Unit One Exam - A letter to "Luke" about conflict

Letter to Luke = 10 pts

  1. “Dear Luke” = 1 pt
  2. “Sincerely, (your name)” = 1 pt
  3. 2 pts = the student author explained that the only internal conflict is a conflict of man vs. self, like when a character makes a decision 
  4. 2 pts = the student author explained that external conflicts are outside a person and include man vs. nature, man vs. man, and man vs. society. If they missed one, then take 1 pt. 
  5. 4 pts = the student says clearly that Dave’s problem in the story is an internal conflict b/c Dave is trying to make a decision 
  6. SUBTRACT 2 pts if they said anything mean, because the directions explicitly say to be nice to Luke!



Mon, Oct 4


DUE TODAY: Nothing in writing

HOMEWORK TONIGHT: Prompts/questions for "The Sniper" (found below)

FOCUS TODAY: Conflict and irony in "The Sniper"


5 minute grammar/usage


Today there are MAPS make-up exams, so a work day will happen, focusing on the short story "The Sniper"


  • Read "Build Background" on pg 162
  • Read the story "The Sniper" and build a plot chart, focusing on the accuracy of the point you believe is the climax of the story
  • On the back of the plot chart, answer the following in full sentences:
    1. What is the main conflict in the story, and how do you know?
    2. Justify your choice for the climax of the story; why does it make sense to identify this spot in the story as the climactic point?
    3. Who does the sniper think he may find as he goes to see the man he shot? What is the reality of who he finds?
    4. Find "Irony" on pg 1134. Read the three types and decide what type of irony is present in "The Sniper." Justify your choice with an explanation. 



Fri, Oct 1


DUE TODAY: Nothing in writing




PERIOD 2 had MAPS testing today

PERIODS 3 and 4:


Grammar/usage QUIZ

Reading of "The Sniper" with some notes:

  • Main conflict = man vs man b/c the protagonist is threatened by the sniper on the opposing rooftop and tries to kill him
  • The "ruse" = the trick the protagonist plays to make the other sniper believe he's dead; the protagonist then shoots the opposing sniper
    • Situational - Something happens that goes against the logical expectations of the reader or character - a surprise based on what was likely to happen vs. what does happen
    • Dramatic - The audience or reader knows something a character does not; tension is created as the audience waits to see what the character will do
    • Verbal - A person or character states the opposite of what is meant; a common form of verbal irony is sarcasm 




Fall 2009 Lessons



Wed-Thu, Nov 4-5


DUE TODAY:  Full typed, revised draft of irony essay

HOMEWORK TONIGHT: Last-minute revisions to irony essay

FOCUS TODAY: Self-evaluation, teacher conferencing


Pwrpt slide show provides you with a way to grade your own paper for self-evaluation

Individual student-teacher meetings will take place so students can have one-on-one help with the essay


Mon-Tue, Nov 2-3


DUE  TODAY:  Typed drafts of the introduction and two body paragraphs for the irony essay

HOMEWORK  TONIGHT:  Revise the intro and body paragraphs, bring final and all other drafts NEXT CLASS

FOCUS  TODAY:  Peer review


Introduction self-check via handout

Peer review of intro and body paragraphs via handout and conference



  • Wed - Fri (periods 3 and 5) DEADLINE: 3pm Friday
  • Thu - Mon (periods 2 and 4) DEADLINE: Start of class Monday
  • There will be NO late work accepted for this essay assigment due to the leniency of the due date window.


Thu-Fri, Oct 29-30


DUE TODAY: Show your body paragraphs


  • Revisions to body paragraphs
  • Creation of introductory paragraph
  • Type all and bring the three paragraphs next class

FOCUS TODAY: Self-check of body paragraphs, introductions


Reminders about body paragraphs:

  • Topic sentence must include the author's first and last name
  • Topic sentence should have the short story title in quotation marks
  • Topic sentence identifies the irony type (situational or dramatic)
  • Topic sentence argues that the irony has an effect on the reader
  • RDFs are only a summary of what happens in a specific part of the story
  • RDF summaries focus on the part of the story where the irony occurs
  • RDFs should not give just enough information to help the reader get a background on what happened
  • RDFs will not mention irony
  • RDFs will not mention anything about the reader's emotions
  • Es will be the place to explain the irony and what the irony does to the reader's emotions
  • There is different information you need in the Es, depending on if you're explaining situational or dramatic irony
  • The last key ingredient is NOT OPTIONAL


Presentation today: Introductions

  • General strategies for developing an effective opening or hook
  • Thesis statement placement
  • Providing a general outline of the paper in the intro


Work time: Focus on developing an introduction


Tue-Wed, Oct 27-28


DUE TODAY: Thesis statement, two topic sentences with matching RDF (summaries)


  • Compose complete body paragraphs, including topic sentence, RDF, E, and the last key ingredient

FOCUS TODAY: RDFs, Es, and a last key ingredient


Reminder:  Mini-essay topic: How does irony create excitement in literature?


Today we will continue our work with the Step-Up to Writing model to organize our irony information logically. This work will be done in class on the overhead screen, and models will vary per class period. 


Powerpoint that guides you to build the irony essay (the slide show assumes you completed the four cases of irony assigned Oct 15-16)


Fri and Mon, Oct 23 and 26


DUE TODAY: Four irony assessments (see Oct 15-16 lesson)


  • Compose a working thesis statement
  • Compose two topic sentences, one for each upcoming body paragraph
  • Match your summary from the irony homework (question #3) to the topic sentence that corresponds

FOCUS TODAY: Thesis statements, topic sentences


Begin work on the mini-essay for irony  

Mini-essay topic: How does irony create excitement in literature?


Today we will work with the Step-Up to Writing model to organize our irony information logically. This work will be done in class on the overhead screen, and models will vary per class period. Good models will be transferred from the overhead screen to this page to be used by you.


Powerpoint that guides you to build the irony essay (the slide show assumes you completed the four cases of irony assigned Oct 15-16)


Wed-Thu, Oct 21-22


DUE TODAY: Four irony assessments (keep until next lesson)

HOMEWORK TONIGHT: Revise, improve, and create a final draft of your character paragraph - TYPED

FOCUS TODAY: Organization of paragraph elements


Miss Strangeworth paragraphs returned

Worksheet for the character evaluation paragraph

  • Verifying a quality topic sentence
  • Ensuring RDFs have the necessary elements and vary in style
  • Selecting quality examples and evidence


Class time will focus on completion of the worksheet


HMWK: Take home the worksheet, and transfer the information into a new, revised character paragraph


Mon-Tue, Oct 19-20


DUE TODAY: Nothing

HOMEWORK TONIGHT: Complete the four irony evaluations (assigned last class)




  • The Gift of the Magi
  • The Possibility Evil
  • The Sniper
  • The Censors
  • Plot (exposition, rising action, etc.)
  • Conflict (external vs. internal)
  • Suspense
  • Surprise ending
  • Irony (situational, verbal, dramatic)
  • Allusion (Biblical, mythological, etc.)
  • Inference (conclusions based on evidence)


Thu-Fri, Oct 15-16


DUE TODAY: Any remaining paragraphs on Miss S, with self-evaluation worksheet


  • Answer the questions about IRONY
  • Study for UNIT TWO EXAM next class
    • The Gift of the Magi
    • The Possibility of Evil
    • The Sniper
    • The Censors
    • Plot (exposition, rising action, etc.)
    • Conflict (external vs. internal)
    • Suspense
    • Surprise ending
    • Irony (situational, verbal, dramatic)
    • Allusion (Biblical, mythological, etc.)
    • Inference (conclusions based on evidence)

TODAY'S FOCUS: Identifying types of irony


Grammar warmup: QUIZ on Latin roots


Review of the paragraph on Miss S., and collection of those not submitted


Review of irony types

Irony has been present in a few of the stories we've read. In fact, some stories contained multiple examples of irony. Below is a quick review:

  • The Necklace - At the end Mme. Loisel discovers that he necklace she tried so hard to pay for was actually made of fake gems.
  • The Most Dangerous Game - General Zaroff becomes the hunted by his own prey, and dies at the hand of Rainsworth.
  • The Gift of the Magi - Della and Jim purchase expensive gifts for one another only to find that each gift is useless.
  • The Sniper - The main character strives to stay alive amid civil war, only to find the man he shot is his own brother.
  • The Censors - Juan goes to work for the censorship board in order to intercept his own letter.


Your job is to identify and explain FOUR cases of irony from the stories listed above. For each case, identify the following:

  1. Title of the story, author name
  2. Type of irony
  3. Where in the story the irony emerges - give a summary of what's happening in the story at the point that the irony occurs. Mention character names. 1-2 sentences
  4. Explanation of the irony - your explanation will differ depending on the type of irony - 3-5 sentences:
    1. SITUATIONAL: First tell us what was expected by the characters or by the reader, then help us understand how what really happens in the story is ironic.
    2. DRAMATIC: First tell us what the reader knew that the character did not know, then tell us how the character responded when they did discover what the reader already knew.
    3. VERBAL: First tell us what was said by the character, and what was happening in the story at that time, then explain how what was said was the opposite of what was meant.


An example will be given for "The Necklace"

Aim to complete your FOUR irony evaluations by the end of class


Tue-Wed, Oct 13-14


DUE TODAY: Paragraph on Mrs. S, based on the previous lesson's class notes

HOMEWORK TONIGHT: Extra credit opportunity? (See below)



Grammar warmup: Latin roots - QUIZ next class

Latin Root Meaning Example
ject throw eject, reject
junct join junction, conjunction
scrib, script write description, scripture
solus, sol alone solitude, solitary, solo
ten hold, keep detention, tenant, tenure
ven, vent come convention, event, advent
vol wish volunteer, volition


Review of paragraphs on Miss S. - self-check and self-evaluation

Complete the handout in class with these feedback questions on the reverse side:

  • Do you think it was useful for me to "coach" the class through this paragraph?
  • At this point, where is your greatest strength in writing? (Topic sentences, organizing, varying sentence structures, finding evidence, summarizing, etc.)
  • Is the overall pace of the class this year __too fast  __just right  __too slow
  • Is there something I  can do in my teaching to better help you?  What?
  • What quality are your new, revised topic sentence and RDFs from today's worksheet?  Explain. 

TURN IN BOTH the original paragraph and the worksheet


Reading: "The Censors" pg 185

  • Before reading: Read "Building Background" on 185
  • As you read: Identify any cases of irony you find in the story in CLASS NOTES. Identify what TYPE of irony is present in each case you find. For a review, see pg 189 under "Literary Analysis"
  • You may wish to accomplish this reading/irony assigment with a simple T-chart where the irony type would be identified in the left column, and a quick summary or explanation of the irony would go in the right. 

SHOW YOU MADE PROGRESS by showing your notes on irony from the story BEFORE YOU LEAVE



Extra credit opportunity:

How would you describe the two "faces" of Miss Strangeworth? Create a drawing or diagram that illustrates the two different aspects of her life and personality. 


Thu and Mon, Oct 8 and 12


DUE TODAY: Inferences chart for Mrs. S.

HOMEWORK TONIGHT: Revise and clean up your paragraph on Miss. S.

TODAY'S FOCUS: Writing about character, Step-Up


Grammar warmup: QUIZ on Greek roots


A collective all-class chart will be created on the SmartBoard for Miss S based on the homework


TOGETHER we will move through the following set of questions to develop a model paragraph that proposes what type of person Miss S is.

Moving from evidence to conclusions:

  • Overall, what do the inferences "say" about the personality of Miss S.? What kind of person is she? The answer to this question becomes a TOPIC SENTENCE in your writing assignment.

Using facts from the story as RDFs

  • Each time you collected evidence to support your inferences (on the chart) you gathered a fact from the story. These tidbits of data - the facts - are used to support your overall topic sentence.

Developing the E's

  • How does Miss S's behavior in the story illustrate, reveal, and show her personality? 
  • Explain how the author's characterization (there are many ways an author can reveal character, remember) reveals Miss S's personality


Use the information from today's class session to write a PARAGRAPH about Miss S that argues what type of person she is. Your claim of what type of person she is will be your topic sentence.


Tue-Wed, Oct 6-7


Mr. Rice absent Oct 6 - Worksheets completed in class

Mr. Rice present Oct 7 - Worksheets completed in class (same as Oct 6 worksheets)


Fri and Mon, Oct 2 and Oct 5


DUE TODAY: Plot chart for the short story "The Sniper"

HOMEWORK TONIGHT: Complete the "making inferences" chart about Miss S.; study for Greek roots quiz

TODAY'S FOCUS: Situational irony, suspense, surprise endings, characterization


Grammar warmup: Greek roots - QUIZ next class

Greek Root Meaning Example
aster, astr star asteroid, asterisk, astrology
chron time chronology, chronicle
dem people democracy, demographics
geo earth geography, geology
log word logic, dialogue
soph wise, wisdom sophomore, sophisticated
tele far, distant telephone, telecommunication




  1. Work to do
  2. Work completed
  3. Class Notes
  4. Vocabulary
  5. Grammar & daily warmup
  6. Tests/quizzes


Examination of plot charts for "The Sniper"

Examination of situational irony, suspense, and the surprise ending in "The Sniper" - Pg. 167 "Literary Analysis"


Vocab review: characterization

Reading: "The Possibility of Evil" Pg 172

While reading: Follow the directions under "Active Reading: Making Inferences About Character" on pg 172.

  • One of your first entries might answer the question: What can you infer about Miss S's character from the fact that she will not give away any of her roses?

This chart and a follow-up writing assignment will be turned in under "Essays/Writing"


Wed-Thu, Sept 30 - Oct 1


DUE TODAY: Questions on "The Gift of the Magi" (assigned and completed during class)

HOMEWORK TONIGHT: Complete your plot chart on "The Sniper" in your class notes; organize notebook

TODAY'S FOCUS: Irony, allusion


Grammar QUIZ: Greek and Latin prefixes

"Personal Conflict" assignment returned, reviewed


Add the word "allusion" to your vocab section

  • Biblical allusions - Refer to a story from the Old or New Testament in the Bible
  • Historical allusions - Refer to an event or figure in history
  • Literary allusions - Refer to a different book or character
  • Mythological allusions - Refer to events or characters in mythological tales, such as Greek or Roman gods

Allusions usually are used to help emphasize or enhance what is being described in the text. For example, if a farming community has had drought for ten years, then it suddenly rains during planting season, the author might use a Biblical allusion to the manna, or heavenly food, that God provided the Israelites during their years in the desert. The text might say, "And the rains came, wetting the dry earth with nutrients, falling like manna from heaven."


CLASS NOTES: "The Gift of the Magi" Pg 152

  1. Last time notes were taken on irony. Can you identify anything ironic in the story? Use the small green chart on pg 159 under "Literary Analysis" to consider irony.
  2. The title of the story and the last paragraph talk about the Magi. What type of allusion is this?
  3. The narrator calls Della and Jim "foolish." What did they do that might be called foolish?
  4. The narrator also says, "These two were of the wisest." It seems Della and Jim value something highly that the narrator thinks is appropriate. How are they "wise" in how they live their lives? What is their first priority?


Reading of "The Sniper" Pg 162

As you read this story, create a PLOT CHART in your CLASS NOTES



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