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For many high school readers, fairy tales and fantasy fiction are genres that maximize engagement with literature. “The Red Shoes” by Hans Christian Andersen is about a peasant girl whose obsession with her footwear leads to supernatural events, seemingly divine punishment, and eventual redemption. Included are the following: a multiple choice, plot-based quiz; a worksheet composed of rigorous close reading questions; answer keys; and a copy of the public domain short story. Materials are delivered in printable Word Document and PDF formats. 

By completing the reading comprehension quiz, students will demonstrate knowledge of the following:

  • The first event at which the protagonist wore her red shoes
  • What the old lady wants done with the red shoes
  • The old lady’s physical impairment
  • The old lady’s demands of the protagonist
  • The protagonist’s loss of physical control
  • A series of bizarre encounters
  • The distinguishing characteristic of the soldier
  • The fate of the old lady
  • How the protagonist finally got rid of the red shoes
  • The nature of the protagonist’s job
  • The appearance of an angel
  • The fate of the protagonist

By completing the close reading activity, students will perform the following tasks:

  • Identify what the text states explicitly and implicitly
  • Apply knowledge of various literary devices including dramatic irony, personification, symbolism, and more
  • Make logical inferences about the author’s intent
  • Explore how complex characters think, behave, and interact with others
  • Make a claim about whether a detail is ironic
  • Defend claims with valid reasoning and relevant textual details
  • Explore potential themes
  • Discern the function of a given paragraph
  • Connect the text to societally relevant concepts in modern society, such as social mobility
  • Conduct research to answer questions about autobiographical parallel
  • Write ideas with clarity, accuracy, and precision