Help high school students improve fluency, stamina, text comprehension, and close reading analysis of the formal elements of fiction with this resource for teaching “The Oval Portrait” by Edgar Allan Poe. Additional materials are included to facilitate planning for unexpected teacher absences. Materials are delivered in printable Word Document and PDF formats. Included are the following:
- Public domain short story. With an estimated Lexile Measure range of 1200 to 1300, the narrative is a suitable selection for high school English Language Arts classes.
- Close reading analysis worksheet. By engaging with this exercise, students will articulate what is stated explicitly and implicitly; analyze how complex characters think, interact, and behave; compare two characters and explain what they share in common; analyze a given excerpt and explain how situational irony develops; discern the meaning of unfamiliar words and phrases; analyze the author’s stylistic choices to discern and articulate the author’s purpose; examine cause-and-effect relationships; conduct brief research into Poe’s personal life to explain autobiographical parallels between the author and the plot of the text; cite textual evidence in support of claims; and write ideas with clarity, accuracy, and precision. Questions are delivered in Word Document and PDF formats.
- Close reading analysis worksheet answer key.
- Low-prep lesson plan for unexpected absences. This comes pre-filled with learning targets and agenda items. Space is also designated for classroom teachers to identify the name(s) of their class(es), the hour(s) of their class(es), student leaders, and upcoming homework assignments and assessments.
- Bell ringer activity. Help a substitute teacher engage students (and find time to take attendance) with a thematically linked writing prompt.
- Miscellaneous performance tasks handout. Extend student thinking and learning in the event of unexpected absences with this item outlining creative tasks pertaining to the short story. For example, students may write poetry or journal entries from the perspective of a character; write a brief retelling of the narrative from a different character’s perspective; explore the thematic significance of stories; review the overall quality of the narrative with objectivity and supporting evidence; and more.