Short Story Assessment, With Choice: Selecting and Reading Texts (1 of 3)

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SWBAT determine a theme of a short story and cite evidence to support analysis by annotating and summarizing a story.

Big Idea

Student choice helps motivation.

Assessment Introduction

Short Story Performance Event


The purpose of this three day ShortStoryPerformanceEvent performance event is to connect the CCSS Reading Literature Standards (RL.9-10) and the Writing Standards (W.9-10.2, W.9-10. 9).  This three day lesson is designed to be in steps.  Day 1, students independently read and annotate their chosen text.  Day two, students independently write about their text and begin planning for day three.  Day three, students collaboratively present their findings. 

Student choice = motivated students

15 minutes


Before I distribute the assignment, I tell students:  


Over the next three days, you are going to perform the skills we have been studying in this unit.  You get to choose which text you want to work with.  I am going to give you ten minutes to review the following stories and decide which story you want to work with.  You can read the summary before each story, review the story's pictures and read the accompanying questions. Choose carefully because you will not be able to switch.  I encourage you to choose the story that you will enjoy the most, not the story that is the shortest.  Once you decide, come to the board and write your name under that story. There are only 5 stories and 5 students per story.  


“Everyday Use” Alice Walker

“One Thousand Dollars” O. Henry

“Two Kinds” Amy Tan

“There Will Come Soft Rains” Ray Bradbury

“Civil Peace” Chinua Achebe

Read, Read and Read Again

35 minutes

After all students have signed up for a story on the board, I tell them: 


Day 1 

Students, now that you have chosen your short story, I want you to spend time with it.  You should plan on reading it three times today.  First, read it and enjoy.  Don’t worry about taking notes.  Second, read it to annotate.  Note particular parts of the text that you found interesting, shocking, disturbing, understandable, etc (W.9-10.9, RL.9-10.1).  I will be looking at your annotations and I want to read your conversation with the text.  Your annotations should reveal how well you know the text.  Third, review the text a third time and this time begin forming a summary. Your summary should be in the Somebody, Wanted, But, So, Then format (RL.9-10.2).  

You will turn in your annotated short story and your summary before you leave today.  


This Explanation of 3 day assessment video explains why I formatted the assessment in this way.  

In this lesson, the Somebody, Wanted, But, So, Then format is explained thoroughly.