The concept behind this lesson is that students will rotate through stations to read supplemental materials and do short activities to enrich their understanding of “The Bet.” There are five resources in this activity, and each is allotted 15 minutes. I use a timer on my SmartBoard to “keep me honest,” and I usually would build in a 15 minute period at the end (not included in my 75 minutes allotted for the lesson) for students who have to finish something in a particular station.
Every desk at each station has a piece of paper on it. The paper is the reading or assignment for the station. There is also a question on the mini whiteboard at each set of desks with the question for students to answer or directions for them to follow. The questions are listed below.
The challenge of any station activity is in the timing. If the students are poking along, they won’t finish and they will get frustrated. A brief, motivating conversation at the beginning of class might help set the right tone.
Reading 1: According to the author, how does gambling connect to the risk and chance that we experience in everyday life? Connect this idea to "The Bet."
Reading 2: Which part of Chekhov's life do you think most influenced his work in "The Bet?" Explain your answer.
Reading 3: What does the article suggest are the principal reasons for the rise in volunteer executions? Do these reasons apply to the thought process of either of the main characters at the time that the bet was made?
Reading 4: Choose three of the four questions to answer in a complete and detailed way.
Reading 5: Vocabulary. Draw a picture of the word's meaning in the box next to it.
This lesson can feel very hectic, or it can go very smoothly. If it feels too hectic to work through five stations in one day, breaking up the activity over two days seems like a great solution.
Note on class size: My classes have 28 students in them. That doesn’t make for neat numbers, but it works fine with five stations. If you have smaller classes, you could always cut a station.