Short Stories: “The Bet”

Goals for the Week:

  1. Follow along with the daily readings of short stories.
  2. Decide on and begin a project from the Choice Board
  3. Continue to collaborate with teachers and classmates

Today’s Checklist:

  1. Explore the representation of sacrifice and isolation in a literary work
  2. Read and analyze the short story “The Bet” by Anton Chekhov
  3. Recommend a film that demonstrates the theme of social isolation or sacrifice to my teacher

Today’s Lesson!

Standard:

  • ELAGSE9-10RL6: Analyze a particular point of view or cultural experience reflected in a work of literature from outside the United States, drawing on a wide reading of world literature.
  • ELAGSE9-10RL3: 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.

Learning Target: 

I can analyze the representation of sacrifice and isolation in “The Bet,” so that I can recommend a film that highlights the same theme(s) to my teacher.

Activator: 

Here are some background notes to “The Bet”. Take a look at this brief PowerPoint.

https://cobbk12org-my.sharepoint.com/:p:/g/personal/denise_milton-speck_cobbk12_org/ETQ3XpMBPv5PvnP84_CStOIB2QOfrIptP_6ONsXbUsIKgA?e=krOOuq

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,

  • Choose one of the short stories we read over the next two weeks:
  • Choose one project from the Choice Board
  • Complete your chosen project about your chosen story by Friday, May 1st, at 11:59pm

Today’s Story:  “The Bet” by Anton Chekhov.

This is the story that asks which fate is worse: the death penalty or life imprisonment.

Questions to consider during and after reading:

There are three prominent examples of sacrifice in the story.

  1. How much time does the lawyer sacrifice of his (social) life in an attempt to win the bet?
  2. Does the banker sacrifice his morality in order to win the bet?
  3. At the end of the short story, what does the lawyer sacrifice so that he can be a man unaffected by material possessions?

 

Closing Session: 

For our closing today, we’re going to look at two clips from movies. The first clip is about (social) isolation and from the movie The Martian.

The second clip is about sacrifice and from the movie The Hunger Games.

After you watch the clips, think about other movies that focus on (social) isolation or some sort of sacrifice. (I’m thinking Cast Away for isolation and/or The Pursuit of Happyness for sacrifice). Message your teacher a movie title that represents either theme. You can do this through Remind or whatever method of contact that you utilize. Afterwards, go out and watch the film!

You can also read this article from Time magazine which highlights “10 Movies About Social Distancing to Watch While Practicing Social Distancing”. Stay safe everyone!

 

Looking Ahead: Tomorrow’s Story

If you want to get ahead on things, here is what we’re going to be doing tomorrow!

  1.  “The Necklace” by Guy de Maupassant

 

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!

Standard:

  • 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.

Activator: 

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
two
cases
knitted
with threads of
twilight
and goatskin.
Violent socks,
my feet were
two fish made
of wool,
two long sharks
sea-blue, shot
through
by one golden thread,
two immense blackbirds,
two cannons:
my feet
were honored
in this way
by
these
heavenly
socks.
They were
so handsome
for the first time
my feet seemed to me
unacceptable
like two decrepit
firemen, firemen
unworthy
of that woven
fire,
of those glowing
socks.

Nevertheless
I resisted
the sharp temptation
to save them somewhere
as schoolboys
keep
fireflies,
as learned men
collect
sacred texts,
I resisted
the mad impulse
to put them
into a golden
cage
and each day give them
birdseed
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
socks
and then my shoes.

The moral
of my ode is this:
beauty is twice
beauty
and what is good is doubly
good
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:

 

Short Stories: “The Monkey’s Paw”

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 “The Monkey’s Paw” by W.W. Jacobs
  2.  Analyze various interpretations of the story
  3. Play a virtual escape room!

Today’s Lesson!

Standard:

  • ELAGSE9-10RL1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text

Learning Target: 

I can read and analyze “The Monkey’s Paw” so that I can participate in a virtual escape room!

Activator: 

The story we’re reading today is so famous it was actually spoofed by The Simpsons! If you have Disney+, go check out The Simpsons Season 3 Episode 7, “Treehouse of Horror II.”

If you don’t have Disney+, you can watch a highly edited down version here on YouTube:

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: “The Monkey’s Paw” by W.W. Jacobs

Today we’re doing something a little different! After you finish reading the story, you get the chance to participate in a virtual escape room!! Read the story linked above, and then go see if you can solve the puzzle!

Escape the Wishes in “The Monkey’s Paw” Escape Room!

Closing Session:

Were you successful at the escape room? For your closing session today, your job is to message your teacher over Remind and tell them whether or not you were able to escape!

Please take two seconds to message your teacher – we are trying to get a count of who is following along and who is not. We would like to give you credit for the work you are doing!!

Looking Ahead: Tomorrow’s Story

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

 

Short Stories: The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World

Goals for the Week:

  1. Follow along with the daily readings of short stories.
  2. Decide on and begin a project from the Choice Board
  3. Continue to collaborate with teachers and classmates

Today’s Checklist:

  1. Learn about Gabriel García Márquez and Magical Realism
  2.  Analyze the imagery in “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World”
  3. Create your own image to illustrate “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World”

Today’s Lesson!

Standard:

  • ELAGSE9-10RL7 Analyze the representation of a subject or a key scene in two different artistic mediums (e.g., Auden’s poem “Musée de Beaux Arts” and Breughel’s painting Landscape with the Fall of Icarus), including what is emphasized or absent in each treatment.
  • ELAGSE9-10RL6 Analyze a particular point of view or cultural experience reflected in a work of literature from outside the United States, drawing on a wide reading of world literature.

Learning Target: 

I can analyze how artists represent a short story by looking at images inspired by “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World” so that I can create an illustration of my own.

Activator: 

Our short story today is by Gabriel García Márquez, a famous Colombian author. García Márquez died in 2014 at the age of 87. This obituary video clip from the BBC discusses his life and legacy:

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: “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World” by Gabriel García Márquez

Today’s story is a little….weird. The basic plot is that a group of people from a tiny fishing village find the corpse of a drowned man floating up to their shores. They clean the man up so they can bury him properly, and in doing so, they discover he’s drop-dead gorgeous. The people of the village, men and women both, are so smitten by the beautiful man,whom they name Esteban, that they change their village forever so it can be a place they’re proud to be Esteban’s home.

Here is the complete story in its original Spanish:

…and here is the full story translated to English:

It’s weird. It’s also beautiful. As you read the story, pay close attention to the imagery the author uses to paint vivid pictures in your head. Despite being about a bloated, drowned corpse, the man is described as beautiful. Even the negative images, like the dullness of the little village before the man arrives, are vivid and realistic. Can’t you just see them in your head?!

After reading, go do a Google Image Search for “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World” or just “Handsomest Drowned Man” and check out some of the images that artists have created, inspired by this story. Here are a couple of my favorites:

Spend some time browsing these images, because today I’d like you to try your hand at creating your own!

Closing Session:

For our closing session today, I want you to create an illustration inspired by “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World.” This is not a graded assignment, but I will feature your creations here on the blog! You can use any medium you like – crayons or markers, pencils, make a sculpture, or create one of these cool nature assemblages and take a picture. Any way you choose to create is fine, I just want you to take some time over the weekend and be creative! It’s good for us to be creative while we’re in isolation 🙂

Remember, no new lesson tomorrow, so I’ll see you Monday!

Looking Ahead: Monday’s Story

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

 

Short Stories: “Story of an Hour”

Goals for the Week:

  1. Follow along with the daily readings of short stories.
  2. Decide on and begin a project from the Choice Board
  3. Continue to collaborate with teachers and classmates

Today’s Checklist:

  1. Read and analyze “Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin
  2. Consider the dynamics of relationships
  3. Prepare for a collaborative Zoom session tomorrow at noon

Today’s Lesson!

Standard:

  • ELAGSE9-10RL1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
  • ELAGSE9-10RL2 Determine a theme or central idea of text and closely analyze its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.

Learning Target: 

I can analyze “Story of an Hour” with guiding discussion questions so that I can participate in a Zoom meeting tomorrow at noon with my teacher and classmates.

Activator: 

Check out this video biography of today’s author, Kate Chopin:

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: “Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin

Our story today is famous and short, but a little more intricate than some of the others we’re reading. You’re going to read the story today and answer some discussion questions, and be prepared to discuss this story in a Zoom session, tomorrow at 12:00 noon! Look for the Zoom link from your teacher in Remind at 11:45ish tomorrow! As you read the story or listen to the audio version below, keep this main question in mind:

  • In a relationship with someone, what are your responsibilities?  In what way are relationships like prisons?  Have you ever been in a relationship that you felt was not worth the difficulties it brought with it?

After reading or listening to the story, jot down some thoughts about the following questions. We will be discussing them in our Zoom session tomorrow at noon!!!

  1. What is the nature of Mrs. Mallard’s “heart trouble,” and why would the author mention it in the first paragraph? Is there any way in which this might be considered symbolic or ironic?
  2. The setting of the story is very limited; it is confined largely to a room, a staircase, and a front door. How does this limitation help to express the themes of the story?
  3. In what ways is this passage significant? “She could see in the open square before her house the tops of trees that were all aquiver with the new spring life. The delicious breath of rain was in the air. In the street below a peddler was crying his wares. The notes of a distant song which some one was singing reached her faintly, and countless sparrows were twittering in the eaves.” What kinds of sensory images does this passage contain, and what senses does it address? What does the vision through the open window mean to her? Where else does she taste, smell, or touch something intangible in the story?
  4. What kind of relationships do the Mallards have? Is Brently Mallard unkind to Louise Mallard, or is there some other reason for her saying “free, free, free!” when she hears of his death? How does she feel about him?
  5. Mrs. Mallard closes the door to her room so that her sister Josephine cannot get in, yet she leaves the window open. Why does Chopin make a point of telling the reader this? How might this relate to the idea of being “free” and to the implicit idea that she is somehow imprisoned? Do other words in the story relate to this idea?
  6. What does Josephine represent in the story? What does Richards represent?
  7. Mrs. Mallard is described as descending the stairs “like a goddess of Victory.” In what ways does she feel herself victorious?
  8. The last line of the story is this: “When the doctors came they said she had died of heart disease-of joy that kills.” In what ways is this an ironic statement? What is gained by having the doctors make such a statement rather than putting it in the mouths of Josephine or Richards?
  9. What view of marriage does the story present? The story was published in 1894; does it only represent attitudes toward marriage in the nineteenth century, or could it equally apply to attitudes about marriage today?
  10. If this is, in some sense, a story about a symbolic journey, where does Mrs. Mallard “travel”?

Think about and write down some notes on these questions, and then join Mr. Mellman and Mrs. Bristow tomorrow at noon for our Zoom session!

Closing Session:

Go clear your calendar and make sure you have Zoom downloaded and an account created so you can be ready for our Zoom meeting at 12:00 noon tomorrow!! We will close our discussion of “Story of an Hour” then!

Looking Ahead: Tomorrow’s Story

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