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STOP Notice and

Close Reading of
Fictional Short Stories


October 2016
PS3 Unit Number Two
By: Ashley Malcomson


Unit Overview
Topic: Close Reading of Short Stories
Grade: ELA Grade 9
Timeline: 20 lessons (approx. 4 weeks).
Central Emphasis: In this unit students will be exposed to well researched close reading
strategies to help them recognize key information in the fictional literature they encounter.
Students will not only learn to recognize these signposts, but will also be expected to include
them in an original piece of writing at the end of the unit.

Daily Instruction: While learning the signposts, lessons will be focussed on accurately
creating a personal Notice and Note Handbook. Once each signpost has been recorded in
personal handbooks students will read a short story that uses the signpost and be asked to
identify it in their Reading Logs. There will be many class discussions, with a mix of group and
individual work throughout the unit.

Texts: This unit requires the students to read and analyze several short stories including,
Thank You Maam, Charles, The Medicine Bag, Eleven, and On the Sidewalk
Technology: Projection equipment, whiteboard, computers, internet, PowerPoints



Personal Notice and Note Handbooks: As students are introduced to each new signpost
they will record its definition, text clues, anchor questions, a visual representation, and
example in book they will be able to keep. These books will act as reference guides
throughout the unit and hopefully throughout the rest of their academic studies.
Notice and Note Reading Log: Students will apply their understanding of the signposts
by identifying them in various short stories and then recording their findings in a Reading
Log. The reading log will require students to name the signpost and its anchor question
before reflecting/answering the anchor question.
Journal Entries: Every other week, students will be asked to respond to at least one
prompt designed to help them assess and reflect on personal learning and/or preferences.
Journals will be submitted for completion marks and will account for 5% of the overall
unit mark.
Monster Mashup: This is a fun activity that gives visual learners an opportunity to
showcase their skills. After reading the short story Charles students will work in groups
to decide on animals that display similar behaviour/traits and then combine five animals
into one monster. Students will draw their monsters and then write a paragraph to explain
each of their choices.
Comprehension Questions: Because this unit is focussed on enhancing reading
comprehension students will periodically be expected to complete comprehension
questions, though not all of them will actually be taken for marks.
Vocabulary Assignment: Part of increasing reading comprehension is understanding the
vocabulary in the texts you are reading. As such, this assignment will give students an
opportunity to scan a relatively new text to find difficult words, record the sentence the
word is in, and then document their understanding of the word based on its context.
Following these steps students will be expected to look up the definition of each word on
dictionary.com to determine how well they understand each word.
Notice and Note Test: Students will be given a test to summatively assess their
understanding of the signposts. The test will require students to fill in missing
information in a chart including the signpost name, definition, or anchor question. They
will then be asked to read a short story and complete a reading log for each signpost they
Dialogue Activity: The unit will include a minilesson on proper dialogue punctuation
and formatting to address weaknesses identified in the students earlier work. Following
the minilesson students will be asked to correct an excerpt of dialogue and then check it
against the story it was pulled from. Lastly, they will be asked to write and present a brief
dialogue to the class.
Short Story Creation: The final summative assessment in this unit will require students
to write original stories that include a minimum of two signposts in a meaningful way.
Their stories must also have a recognizable theme.


Connections to the
English Language Arts
Speaking: Students will present their dialogue assignment to the class and
participate in class/group discussions.
Listening: The beginning of this unit will include direct instruction which will require

attentive listening. Students will also need to listen to each other during discussions, and
group work.
Reading: Students will read several age appropriate short stories.
Writing: Writing will take place in some form or another nearly every day. Students will
record information in handbooks, complete reading logs, write journal entries, explain
their monsters and ultimately create their own short story.
Viewing: Students will view dialogue presentations and will analyze a cartoon related to
the short story On the Sidewalk Bleeding.
Representing: Students will have an opportunity to visually represent each of the
signposts in their personal handbooks and will also get to create their own monsters.

Unit Learning
The students will

Learn to recognize the six Notice and Note signposts in fictional short stories
Write an original short story that uses at least two of the signposts
Punctuate and format dialogue correctly
Work together to meet common goals
Recognize and express themes


General & Specific

Learning Outcomes
a) Explainpreferencesfortextsandgenresbyparticularwriters,artists,storytellers,andfilmmakers
4.1.1 Appraise Own and Others Work
4.1.2 Revise and Edit
c) revise to combine narration, description and exposition effectively
4.3.4 Demonstrate Attentive Listening and Viewing
5.1.2 Relate Texts to Culture
a) Analyze how oral, print, and other media texts reflect traditions, beliefs, and technologies of
different cultures, communities or periods in history
5.2.1 Cooperate with Others
5.2.2 Work in Groups
b) Share responsibility for the completion of team projects by establishing clear purpose and
procedures for solving problems, monitoring progress, and making modifications to meet stated
5.2.3 Evaluate Group Process
a) Establish and use criteria to evaluate group process and personal contributions; set goals and make
plans for improvement


Essential Unit
1. How do good readers identify important information in a text?
2. How do good readers show that they understand a text?
3. How do you identify and express the significance of symbolism?
4. How do you identify and express a theme?

Assessment Plan
Evaluation: Students will be assessed in a variety of ways throughout the unit.

Pre-Assessment: Reading Questionnaire and Dialogue Questionnaire.

Formative Assessment: exit slips, Q&A, comprehension questions, peer editing
Summative Assessment: Journal entries, handbooks, reading logs, monster mashup, unit
test, comprehension questions, original short story