The Monkey's PawI. Synopsis of the story: Set in England, Sergeant Morris visits the White family after returning from a foreign military mission. Sergeant Morris brings along a small souvenir—a monkey’s paw. The paw is said to bring three different men three wishes, and Sergeant Morris cautions against using the paw’s power. After attempting to burn it, Mr. White objects and takes the paw for himself. Once Sergeant Morris is gone, the Whites wish for 200 pounds. The 200 pounds is delivered to the Whites as compensation only after their son, Herbert, is crushed in a factory machine.
II. Standards and Objectives:
a. CC.9-10.R.L.3 Key Ideas and Details: Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme.
b. CC.9-10.W.3 Text Types and Purposes: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences
c. CC.9-10.W.5 Production and Distribution of Writing: Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience.
d. CC.9-10.W.6 Production and Distribution of Writing: Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology’s capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically.
III. Day 1 Procedures:
a. As the opening to class discussion, students will be asked to journal about the following question: If you were granted three wishes, what would they be? Why would you wish for those things? What would be some consequences for those wishes? This will serve as the brainstorming for their writing prompt. (5 min)
b. Introduce the story “The Monkey’s Paw” by WW Jacobs. Students will be shown a couple of images of the book covers, a monkey’s paw and asked some pre-reading discussion questions (4-5 min):
i. What do you feel/think of when you see this image?
ii. What kind of story (genre) do you think this could be? Comedy? Drama? Horror story?
iii. Take a look at the following quote from the text: "’ [the monkey’s paw] had a spell put on it by an old fakir,’ said the sergeant major, ‘a very holy man. He wanted to show that fate ruled people's lives, and that those who interfered with it did so to their sorrow.” (The quote is used here to bring the text directly into conversation)
1. What do you make of this quote?
2. How do you think this quote connects to the monkey’s paw?
c. Instead of reading the text aloud, the class will watch the film version of the text to get an intense audio-visual reading of the story. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugjegclLNhM (35 min)
i. Individually during the film, the students will take down notes about one character in the film and how that person is characterized (appearance, mood, emotions, reactions, dialogue). Students will be divided into groups and each group will be responsible for one character. The following characters will be assigned:
1. Mrs. White
2. Mr. White
3. Sergeant Morris
ii. Halfway through the film (minute 14) we will pause and make inferences/quick discussion about what we’ve seen so far (2 min). Continue the film.
d. After viewing the short film, a choice of 2 writing prompts will be presented:
i. WW Jacobs uses vivid language to characterize the people in his story. However, we do not necessarily get a particular character’s feelings and thoughts. Using the characterization chart that you filled out while watching the film version of “The Monkey’s Paw,” as well as the text for inspiration, write an interior monologue for one of the characters. An interior monologue is a character’s innermost thoughts, ideas, and feelings. The interior monologue can take place during one or two particular scenes in the story, as a reflection of the events after the ending of the story, or as an extension of the ending. Be sure to include details about the character’s appearance, actions, attitude, and feelings during the beginning, middle, and end of the story. This assignment may take different forms. These forms can include, but are not limited to, diary/journal entries, Facebook profile, or blog. The monologues must include characterization details for the beginning, middle, and end of the story.
ii. WW Jacobs’ short story “The Monkey’s Paw” is a great example of how even the simplest decision, like making a seemingly harmless wish, can lead to major consequences. Using the three wishes you wrote about in your journal at the beginning of class for inspiration, choose one of those wishes and write a parallel story using Jacobs’ writing style. To be successful in this assignment, be sure to craft a story that has a logical sequence of events, uses dialogue, and sensory details to pain the picture. This assignment should be completed in a minimum of three pages.
e. Homework: Students should think about which option they would like to pursue.
IV. Day 2 Procedures:
a. Pre-Write Practice (25 min)
i. Each student should find a partner as they come into the classroom. Each person will write a half-page interior monologue from their partner’s perspective about what they might be thinking at this very moment. Questions to consider: How do they look today? What is their mood like? What do they have with them? Use lots of details!!
1. Share 3-4 monologues with the class.
ii. Next, students will find a different partner. Each person will write a one page story about a superhero power that their partner has. They may choose to write a story about one of the following prompts: How did your partner get his or her power? Describe a time that the superpower was used for good. Describe a time that the superpower was used for evil. Use lots of details!!
1. Share 3-4 stories with the class.
b. Individual Planning (15 min)
i. Students will have time to work individually on the proposal for their assignment using a planning worksheet with the following questions:
1. Which prompt are you choosing and why?
2. If doing the interior monologue, which character’s perspective will you be writing from?
3. If choosing to write a parallel story, what wish is the basis for your narrative?
4. What are the events in your monologue or story? Where do they take place? What other characters are involved?
5. Write as many details as you can about your main character.
c. Pair Planning (10 min)
i. Students may continue to work individually on their proposal, consult the teacher, or work with a partner on completing the assignment.
d. Proposals will be due at the end of the class to be looked at by the teacher for comments.
V. Day 3 Procedure:
a. Proposals with comments will be given back to the students.
b. Students will spend the entire class time drafting their interior monologues/short stories. If available, students will type their drafts.
c. Homework: A rough first draft should be completed by Day 4 for peer review.
VI. Day 4 Procedure:
a. Students will be given 15 minutes at the beginning of class to finish up rough drafts and add any other touches before giving to a peer (15 min).
b. Before handing off to another person, each student should indicate the following on his or her paper (3 min):
i. Underline the parts you are most proud of
ii. Put a squiggly line under things you are unsure of (words, phrases, punctuation, dialogue)
iii. Bracket the paragraphs that need the most work
c. Students will be placed in groups of 3-4. Each group member will receive post-it notes to write on. In their groups, students will read each other’s work, paying close attention to the writer’s marks as well as making suggestions on the piece as a whole. They will switch papers until everyone has read all of the essays (20 min).
d. Writer’s Reflection: After reading the comments, students will write a one page note to the teacher answering the following questions: What did you find most difficult about reading other people’s work? Did you feel the essays were engaging? What components were in an engaging essay? What needed improvement in the essays? What kinds of ideas did you get for your own assignment? How are you going to improve your assignment?
e. Homework: Come to class with a clean copy of your draft—do not lose your post-its!
VII. Day 5 Procedure:
a. Warm-up Activity (15 min):
i. Students will be shown a picture of Justin Bieber (or any other popular teen star) and as a class we will come up with a list of sensory details to describe Justin:
1. What does he look like?
2. How does he act?
3. What does he do?
4. What makes him unique?
5. How does he feel?
ii. Ultimately, this is what questions students should be asking themselves about the characters in their parallel story or in their interior monologue.
b. With their clean drafts, students will be asked to reflect upon their use of sensory details and descriptions (5 min):
i. Circle your really good sensory details/descriptive words
ii. Put a squiggly under the words/phrases you can improve
c. On a separate sheet of paper, students will make a list of all of the words they would like to improve. As a class, we will sit in a circle. Each person should pass their paper to right and each person should make a suggestion for a different word/phrase on each person’s paper. We will switch papers every 30-60 seconds until everyone has made suggestions on each other’s papers. (20 min)
VIII. Day 6 Procedure:
a. Final writing and teacher conferencing.
b. Homework: Hard copy of monologues and stories due on Day 7. All monologues and stories must also be posted to the class blog.
IX. Day 7 Procedure:
a. Writer’s reflection (10 min): How does it feel to be finished with the writing assignment? What was the most difficult part? How did you make improvements along the way? What strategies did you use to write your drafts?
b. In-Class sharing—at least 6 interior monologues and 6 short stories to be shared from the class (40 min).
c. Homework: Browse the class blog. Choose one of your classmate’s projects and write a one page reflection about it. How did it make you feel? Was it engaging? What did the person do well? Did you like it?
X. Assessment and Evaluation
a. CC.9-10.R.L.3: All students will fill out the characterization chart for one of the characters, looking for examples of how the character’s looks, feelings, and actions change throughout the text. The students who choose to write the interior monologue will continue to explore how the characters thoughts and feelings change through their writing.
b. CC.9-10.W.3: Students who choose to write the parallel story to “The Monkey’s Paw” will have to craft a story that follows a sequential storyline and use language similar to WW Jacobs. In order to do this, students will need to carefully craft their narratives with sensory details and a well sequenced series of events.
c. CC.9-10.W.5: Students will practice writing and revising throughout their project. They will do this during peer review, teacher conferencing, and when they are looking to improve their sensory details. Students are also asked to reflect before during and after the writing process.
d. CC.9-10.W.6: Students will use technology to present their stories to one another on a class blog. They are also required to access this technology to look at their peer’s work and write a reflection on it. Students will also be using computers to type their stories.