Archive for April 21, 2020

Short Stories: “Two Words”

Goals for the Week:

  1. Follow along with the daily readings of short stories.
  2. Continue working on your Choice Board project
  3. Continue to collaborate with teachers and classmates

Today’s Checklist:

  1. Read “Two Words” by Isabel Allende
  2. Consider the importance of an author’s diction (word choice)
  3. Try your hand at writing a poem for National Poetry Month!

Today’s Lesson!


  • ELAGSE9-10RL4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language evokes a sense of time and place; how it sets a formal or informal tone.)

Learning Target: 

I can read and analyze stories and poetry by Chilean authors so that I can try my hand at writing my own poem for National Poetry Month.


In addition to our short story today, we’re looking at a little poetry! Check out this poem, “If You Forget Me” by Pablo Neruda:

Work Session: 

Your assignment for this unit!

You will have one major assignment for this unit, and you get to choose it! Visit the choice board and select one project to complete about one story. In other words,

Today’s Story: “Two Words” by Isabel Allende

Today’s story is by a Chilean author. She’s still alive – much more contemporary than many of the authors we’re reading this unit – but the downside to that is that her stories are harder to find in audio versions. I found a Spanish version of the story, which you should listen to if you understand Spanish, but unfortunately I could not find an English reading. If you’re like me and only read English, you’ll have to read it on your own 🙂

Here’s the Spanish version:

As you read or listen to the story, think about the power of words and how we use them to our advantage. There is no greater power in words than when they’re put into a poem, so that’s what you’re going to try to do today!

Word choice – or diction – is super important in poetry, because poems are short, so every word counts double. Here is another poem by Pablo Neruda, one of my favorites, “Ode to My Socks”:


Ode to My Socks

Pablo Neruda – 1904-1973

Maru Mori brought me
a pair
of socks
which she knitted herself
with her sheepherder’s hands,
two socks as soft
as rabbits.
I slipped my feet
into them
as though into
with threads of
and goatskin.
Violent socks,
my feet were
two fish made
of wool,
two long sharks
sea-blue, shot
by one golden thread,
two immense blackbirds,
two cannons:
my feet
were honored
in this way
They were
so handsome
for the first time
my feet seemed to me
like two decrepit
firemen, firemen
of that woven
of those glowing

I resisted
the sharp temptation
to save them somewhere
as schoolboys
as learned men
sacred texts,
I resisted
the mad impulse
to put them
into a golden
and each day give them
and pieces of pink melon.
Like explorers
in the jungle who hand
over the very rare
green deer
to the spit
and eat it
with remorse,
I stretched out
my feet
and pulled on
the magnificent
and then my shoes.

The moral
of my ode is this:
beauty is twice
and what is good is doubly
when it is a matter of two socks
made of wool
in winter.


Consider Neruda’s word choice in the poem, his description of his socks and his feet, and then take a stab at writing your own poem for our closing session!

Closing Session:

April is National Poetry Month. To celebrate, take a few minutes today and compose a poem of your own! Any subject, any length, any meter is fine. You don’t have to share with your teacher – poems are often quite personal – but if you do choose to share, we will feature your work here on the blog!

Looking Ahead: Tomorrow’s Story

If you want to get ahead on things, here is the story we’re reading on Monday: