The content for this component of CCSSO’s Adolescent Literacy Toolkit was provided by Public Consulting Group’s Center for
Resource Management, in partnership with the Council of Chief State School Officers (August 2007). The content was informed by
feedback from CCSSO partners and state education officials who participate in CCSSO’s Secondary School Redesign Project.
High School English Lesson Plan: Short Stories
Each lesson in the Adolescent Literacy Toolkit is designed to support students through the
reading/learning process by providing instruction before, during, and after reading/learning.
Note that lessons incorporate the gradual release of responsibility model. When this model is
used within a single lesson and over several lessons, students are provided with enough
instruction and guidance to use the literacy strategies on their own. The following lesson
includes some examples of explicit instruction and modeling, guided practice, and independent
practice, but students need more practice and feedback than is possible within the context of a
Bold print indicates a direct link to the Content Area Literacy Guide where readers will find
descriptions of literacy strategies, step-by-step directions for how to use each strategy, and
quadrant charts illustrating applications across the four core content disciplines.
The following lesson plan and lesson narrative show English teachers how they can incorporate
the use of literacy strategies to support high school students to learn English language arts
content and concepts. The lesson is designed for one block period (80–90 minutes) or two
traditional classes (50 minutes).
NCTE Standards: 1. Students read a wide range of print and non-print texts to build an
understanding of texts, themselves, and of the cultures of the United States and the world; to
acquire new information; to respond to the needs and demands of society and the workplace;
and for personal fulfillment. Among these texts are fiction and nonfiction, classic and
contemporary works. 12. Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their
Content Learning Outcome: Students improve reading comprehension and critical thinking skills
through creation and discussion of questions related to stylistic elements, theme, plot,
character, and setting in short stories.
Literacy Support Strategies and Instruction
Before reading/learning: QAR (explicit instruction, teacher modeling)
• Materials: image/visual text (e.g., The Scream, by Edward Munch,
http://images.google.com), chart paper, marker, questions for modeling
During reading/learning: QAR and Paired Reading (guided practice)
• Materials: short story text (e.g., The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell
http://fiction.eserver.org/short/the_most_dangerous_game.html ), questions for guided
After reading/learning: Quick Write (individual practice)
• Materials: paper