Reflection: Backwards Planning The Small Group of an Hour: Collaborative Character Analysis of "The Story of an Hour" - Section 3: Marriage Misunderstanding: A Look at Brentley Mallard


Addressing the line, "She knew that she would weep again when she saw the kind, tender hands folded in death; the face that had never looked save with love upon her, fixed and gray and dead," has been added to my lesson plans from years of seeing students miss this very revealing, but subtle, bit of characterization of Brently Mallard. This adds to the complexity of the story, Mrs. Mallard is not escaping an abusive husband, but rather the control of another. As my students are typically in health class at the same time we read the story, they have studied abusive and dangerous relationships, and often make the connection between they case studies read in that class and "The Story of an Hour." By addressing this, we had a rich conversation about what Chopin exactly intended with the story, and how much sympathy they had for Louise Mallard. I stress that the message about not controlling holds true, and makes the feelings Louise had even more significant, as she did not know how to escape. 

  Blowing Students' Minds: When What They Are Sure Of Isn't True
  Backwards Planning: Blowing Students' Minds: When What They Are Sure Of Isn't True
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The Small Group of an Hour: Collaborative Character Analysis of "The Story of an Hour"

Unit 12: Literacy: Naturalism and Understanding Conflict in the American Short Story
Lesson 4 of 7

Objective: SWBAT explore the ways in which the complex character of Mrs. Louise Mallard develops, rises, and falls, over a relatively short story, through a collaborative discussion on characterization.

Big Idea: While Louise Mallard faced loss alone, the students face understanding Mrs. Mallard's struggle together.

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5 teachers like this lesson
English / Language Arts, Literature, Comprehension (Reading), Fictional Literature, figurative language, irony, forming student groups, The Story of an Hour, Kate Chopin
  50 minutes
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