Using Questions To Deepen Our Understanding Of Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" (1 of 2)

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SWBAT analyze the theme (s) and complex characters of "The Lottery" by developing questions for the reader based on Bloom's Taxonomy.

Big Idea

Is tradition always a good thing? Students analyze a short story to find the answer.

Warm Up

5 minutes

To get students thinking about the themes of "The Lottery," they will answer this prompt (W.9-10.10),


Please respond to the following prompt:  It is all right to follow authority without question.   Do you agree?  Disagree?  Why?  Can you think of evidence to support your opinion?


I chose "The Lottery" to read and work with today because it is a complex text that students really enjoy.  


Mini Lesson

15 minutes

I distribute copies of the Cue Questions Based on Bloom's Taxonomy sheet from Common Core  I direct them to page 4 of the packet that is linked.  I ask students to get out a piece of paper and fold it "hot dog bun style" so that there are two sections.  The left hand side is labeled Questions, the right hand side is labeled Answers.  I give them instructions,

Today we are going to read a short story by Shirley Jackson that will shock and amaze you.  On the surface, it is a simple story about tradition.  However, under the surface lives a story about allegiances, murder, guilt, stubbornness, and sexism.  To help us dig deeper in the story to analyze the theme(s) (RL.9-10.2) and complex characters (RL.9-10.3), we are going to ask ourselves questions (W.9-10.10) and we are going to answer them using the text.  We are going to use the question stems that I just handed you to develop our questions.  First, I will read the story to you.  Second, you will have some time to develop four questions, two from the left hand column and two from the right hand column.  Third, you will answer your self-developed questions. 

This questioning strategy video explains how I use the questions.  


I will read the entire text aloud to them.  I don't always read it aloud, but this story is quick and I want students to get to the questions.  

Student Work Time

20 minutes

While students are writing their questions and answering them, I will circulate the room, giving help where it is needed.  Students will turn in their questions and answers before they leave class.