Using Short Stories to Teach Vocabulary and Literary Terms
- Grades: 9–12
These vocabulary activities, here used with "The Gift of the Magi" and "The Interlopers", can be applied to any short story or novel. Use them to help students define, use, and apply vocabulary words leading to better reading comprehension skills. The activities used for identifying irony and conflict can be used to teach other literary devices as well.
- Define and use vocabulary words
- Work cooperatively to create meaningful sentences and an ironic skit
- Identify irony within a variety of texts
- Brainstorm ironic situations
- Identify the various types of conflicts within a text.
- Create a story that involves at least three out of the four identified types of conflict
Lesson Plans for this Unit
Lesson 2: Irony in "The Gift of the Magi"
Lesson 3: Conflict in "The Interlopers"
Culminating ActivityIn preparation for an exam, set up a Jeopardy! Game. The categories can include the following: "Irony or Not" (students must identify situations as ironic or not), "The Gift of the Magi" (students must answer questions about the story), "The Interlopers" (students must answer questions about the story), "Word Definitions," Vocabulary Fill in the Blanks," "Vocabulary Application" (students must apply the words to real life in some way), and "Conflict" (identify the type of conflict in a scenario). If there are other stories that have been read and will be covered on the exam, add a category for them too!
Supporting BooksVocabulary and Comprehension-Building Booklist