Biography of O.Henry






The Friday Everything Changed









bullet   Run off the story "The Ransom of Red Chief"   by O. Henry for your whole class. You can print on both sides of the paper.  Don't  pass the story out yet.
bullet This  run-off  has already been broken into sections for students. All students should write in their response journals or portfolio section marked 'Response' for each of the STOP sections I have made. They are to follow suggestions of what to write.
bullet   Begin by asking the students to write several sentences, explaining what the title implies or suggests. Ask:  "Just by reading the title what do you think this story might be about?" 
bullet   Share a few of their thoughts orally. Brief notes could be written on chart paper, to refer back to after the story is read. Don't forget to come back to discuss these and talk about the decisions the author made to engage them as readers.
bullet   Write the following words on the board and have the students add or change their original thoughts of what the story might be about. [ Bill, boy, Sam, cave, kidnap]
bullet    Add to your chart paper list of possible scenarios for the story.
bullet   This story is challenging.  I suggest teachers run off the glossary for students to use during the reading. Suggest to the students that they should re-read to make meaning clear, use context clues to help them determine the main idea or the gist of the passage, and use their glossary for backup. They stop halfway through this story and complete the during activity. or alternatively do the following.
bullet   You may wish to read the story orally or have students read with partners. Use the strategy mini-lessons [above] during the reading, you could introduce one or all of them, by reading this story orally. You may then use the sheets for 'during' and 'after' as a quiet activity for students to complete and hand in after you taught the strategy lessons. [to be marked for reading comprehension accuracy, listening skills, etc]
bullet  Follow the links above for activities 'after the reading', which will help students understand this piece of writing through use of comprehension strategies.
bullet Go back to your chart paper and determine how close their guesses were to the real story. Ask them to discuss the appropriateness of the title and if they were to re-title this story, what would they title it.
bullet  After the completion of the story and the activities I introduce the stylistic device the author chose to use to peek our interest. That device is irony. Follow the link above to help students understand the author's choice. I think we can agree it was a very original 'twist' on the old idea of kidnapping.