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Spar Lit Short Story Classics: Understanding Key Short Stories Through Debate

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Cindy Frank
Star Educator
Popular
Average rating:5.0Number of reviews:(588)
In this 8-week class we will study some of the finest short stories in the English language from Edgar Allan Poe to Shirley Jackson to Maya Angelou through discussion and Spar Debate. ESL friendly, CEFR level C1, C2 (Advanced) #academic

Class experience

US Grade 7 - 10
Advanced Level
8 lessons//8 Weeks
 Week 1
Lesson 1
Why the Short Story? and Discussion of The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe
Discussion of The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe and Spar Debate Sparked by: Spar Statement: The most compelling aspect of The Tell-Tale Heart is Poe’s use of the first person narrator to relate his story. Position 1: Agree with the above statement. Explain. Position 2: Disagree with the above Statement. The power of this story comes from the characterization of the narrator exemplified through his dialogue.
 Week 2
Lesson 2
Understanding Plot and Discussion of Bartleby the Scrivener by Herman Melville
Discussion of Bartleby the Scrivener by Herman Melville and Spar Debate sparked by: "I would prefer not to.: Spar Statement: When we need assistance we should always still cling to our pride above all else. Position 1: Agree with the above statement. Explain. Position 2: Disagree with the above statement. When we are vulnerable we need to put pride aside to accept the help we need to move forward.
 Week 3
Lesson 3
Understanding Characterization and Discussion of The Lady with the Toy Dog
Discussion of The Lady with the Toy Dog by Anton Chekhov and Spar Debate sparked by: “I do not understand…what do you want?” Spar Statement: People are usually honest with themselves over their plans and motivations. Position 1: People are usually honest with themselves over their plans and motivations. Position 2: People may have an awareness of their motivations but their subconscious moves them in a different direction.
 Week 4
Lesson 4
Understanding Point of View and Discussion of The Mark on the Wall by V. Woolf
Discussion of The Mark on the Wall and Spar Debate sparked by: The narrator in Woolf’s story is grounding herself in reality by noting the mark on the wall. Spar Statement: Stream of consciousness thought can bring us a greater sense of stability, allowing our minds to wander and always return to a point of reference. Position 1: Agree with the above statement. Explain. Position 2: Disagree with the above statement. Stream of consciousness thinking allows us to tap into our inner selves.
 Week 5
Lesson 5
Understanding Setting and Discussion of When I Lay My Burden Down by M. Angelou
Discussion of When I Lay My Burden Down by Maya Angelou and Spar Debate sparked by: “They took liberties in my Store that I would never dare.” Spar Statement: People are arrogant, cruel, unfeeling, harsh because of poor upbringing and lack of understanding of others. Position 1: Agree with this statement. Explain. Position 2: Disagree with this statement. Cruelty is a part of who we are and can be sparked by jealousy or anger.
 Week 6
Lesson 6
Understanding Theme and Discussion of Why I Live at the PO by Eudora Welty
Discussion of Why I Live at the PO by Eudora Welty and Spar Debate sparked by: Spar Statement: "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." —Leo Tolstoy Spar Statement: Sister and her family are very much like every family in the world in the way that they argue and unfairly side with Stella-Rondo. Position 1: Agree with the above statement. There is nothing even remotely familiar about the way that Sister and her family interact with each other.
 Week 7
Lesson 7
Understanding Style and Discussion of The Garden Party by Katherine Mansfield
Discussion of The Garden Party by Katherine Mansfield and Spar Debate sparked by: “The garden-party will be a good excuse." Spar Statement: We deserve to treat ourselves to the best no matter what the circumstances are for others. Position 1: Agree with the above statement. Explain. Position 2: Disagree with the above statement.
 Week 8
Lesson 8
Reading Like a Writer and Discussion of The Lottery by Shirley Jackson
Discussion of The Lottery by Shirley Jackson and Spar Debate sparked by: "It isn’t fair, it isn’t right." Mrs. Hutchinson Spar Statement: Given the opportunity people will truly think as individuals rather than thoughtlessly do the bidding of the herd. Position 1: Agree with the above statement Position 2: Disagree with the above statement. People will simply move unthinkingly with the herd. Explain.
*To gain confidence in speaking and organization 
*Understand all the basic ideas of debate and rhetoric
*Gain deeper understanding of literature through debate
* To communicate effectively through speaking, thinking adroitly and responding fluently
* Improve memory retention and organizational skills
* Gain confidence and poise in oral presentation
* Expand vocabulary and word usage
*To gain deeper understanding of the nuances of literature and the short story format
Longtime teacher of literature for both middle and high school students. Founder and former coach of an award-winning Speech and Debate team that competed at local, state and national levels, long-time speech judge for local, regional, national speech events for NCFL and National Speech and Debate Association, former teacher of high school debate and rhetoric, art history, literature, and AP Language and Composition. 
Homework Offered
Students will be required to read the upcoming short story we will be considering for the upcoming week. In addition, optional writing assignments will be made available after each session for students who wish to expand writing abilities. Detailed written responses will be sent individually to each learner upon completion of assignments.
0 - 1 hours per week outside of class
Assessments Offered
Learners will receive both oral and written feedback throughout the sessions. Detailed written responses will be sent individually to each learner upon completion of assignments.
Grades Offered
 1 file available upon enrollment
All short stories will be sent to students via pdf prior to each class session over the classroom page. It is not necessary to purchase books for this class.
The superb short stories we will be studying in this class are chosen for mature students who love  and can truly engage with great writing.   The short stories we will discuss and debate deal with topics such as interpersonal relations, the goals and frustrations of the writer, and class issues. Several classic stories also deal with adultery (The Lady and the Toy Dog), murder (The Tell-Tale Heart), race relations in the segregated American South (When I Lay My Burden Down), mob violence (The Lottery).   Moreover, please note that Eudora Welty's otherwise excellent, Why I Live at the P.O. uses the disreputable "n-word" in describing people of color.  We will discuss why Welty used this word was used in creating this story (published in The Atlantic Monthly in 1941) and why it is unacceptable to use it today. The attached essay "Teaching the N-Word" will be referenced in class for context. https://rethinkingschools.org/articles/teaching-the-n-word/ . It is stressed that we will be considering these classic short stories as works of literature - sensitive questions that may arise from the issues presented will be explained as literary devices essential to the overall understanding and  meaning of the story. If you have questions or concerns please feel free to reach out to me.
The Art of The Short Story: 52 Authors, Their Best Short Fiction, and Their Insights on Writing by Dana Gioia and R.S. Gwynn  will be referenced throughout the class sessions. 
Teaching the N-Word will be taught in connection with Eudora Welty's Why I Live at the P.O.
https://rethinkingschools.org/articles/teaching-the-n-word/
Star Educator
Popular
Average rating:5.0Number of reviews:(588)
Profile
Hello, Everyone, I'm Cindy Frank!

*Proud ACE Educator and INDEPENDENT TEACHER
*Classes limited to 6 students--all have a voice in the classroom
* All classes taught, written, and created by me for my learners
*Each session a full 55 minutes of... 
Group Class

$225

for 8 classes
1x per week, 8 weeks
55 min

Completed by 16 learners
Live video meetings
Ages: 12-17
3-6 learners per class

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