Short Stories

Brittany Zae

This lesson is designed to help students ask questions and support answers by connecting prior knowledge with literal information found in, and inferred from, the text.

Grade Level: 3 - 5th


Length of Time: About 45 Minutes

Common Core Alignment

CCSS: ELA-LITERACY.RL.4.3 - Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character's thoughts, words, or actions).

Objectives & Outcomes

Students will be able to identify with the hard work and living conditions, but also with the relationship that exist among the laborers and their families.

Materials Needed

  • period pictures by Dorthea Lange


Opening to Lesson

Students give ideas and participate accordingly, as I fill out the blank K-W-L organizer as a whole class, using large chart paper.

Body of Lesson

Direct Teaching

Slide show of period pictures by Dorthea Lange. Introduce the background of the assignment given to Lange to photograph this period of American History. (CFU: Ask questions of students and have discussion of how the pictures make them feel. 

Guided Practice 1

Instruction: Students will be asked to write a short story based upon one of the photographs taken by Dorthea Lange. Students will be asked to imagine themselves as the subject in the photo or ask to give life to the subject of the photo that they have picked. Students will also be able to combine the images to create a scenario based upon the hardships of the people of this period.

Independent Practice

Students will be completing assignment of a short story based upon the feelings derived of one of Dorthea Lange’s photograph of migrant workers in California.


Hold a discussion on what was learned during the lesson. Any lingering questions? Clear up misconceptions. Students will be instructed to finish this assignment at home if not finished already.

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Assessment & Evaluation

Through guided questions, close monitoring and informal observation; the teacher will be able to assess student’s ability and understanding of the subject being introduced. Through individually assessing during independent practice and reviewing during guided practice the teacher will be able to evaluate students.

Modification & Differentiation

Hold a small group brain storming session for students who have trouble getting started.

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