Utah Lesson Plans
Secondary English Language Arts
Material Type:
Middle School
  • Lesson Plan
  • Mythology
  • UEN
  • Writing
  • mythology
  • writing
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    Education Standards

    7th grade Short Story

    7th grade Short Story


    Students will be reading and writing myths. They will follow the structure of short stories and eventually publish their work.


    Students will be reading and writing myths. They will follow the structure of short stories and eventually publish their work.


    If you have a computer lab access then, that would be very helpful for this group of lessons. An LCD projector or a document camera would be very helpful for this group of lessons.

    Background for Teachers

    If necessary, take the time to go through the Point of View lesson. Students may also need extra teaching with cover letters if they've no knowledge of how those work. It might be a good idea to look up different publishing companies online or out there in general that publishes short stories.

    Point of View Lesson

    I. Reading Literature

    Analyze how an author develops and contrasts the points of view of different characters or narrators in a text.

    Point of view can be categorized into two different ways.

    1. The first is the various ways to write a story. A story can be written in first person-told from one character using the word I, third person limited-zooming in on one character, but the author is not that character, omniscient-the audience knows all the thoughts, feelings, and happenings in the story. Below are some examples:


      Omniscient point of view:

      Karen stretched out her hand to shake Bill's, but Bill wouldn't have any of it. He yanked Karen into a bear hug. Her breath caught, but she smiled with glee into his chest. His chest is where she would inevitably be for the rest of her life.

      1st person point of view:

      I stepped onto Ellis Island and took a deep breath. The air was cold, even colder than it had been on the boat. I hitched up my thread bare wrap to try and keep warm. I knew it was impossible, but I still felt courage growing in my chest.

      3rd person limited:

      Karen couldn't believe her eyes. It was really Bill. They had dated in high school, all four years, but had broken up at the end of their senior year. Karen's eyes pricked with tears. She knew Bill would always be the one for her. He was her other half.

    2. The second way to interpret point of view is the point of view of whom or what is speaking in a story. A story could be told by a narrator, but what would it be like if a rock told us the story? The rock would be considered a different point of view.

    Below is a story. Students need to do two things. First, identify which point of view this story is written in 1st, omniscient, or 3rd limited. Second, they need to pick another narrator and retell the story from that person's or item's point of view. They can pick the other boy, the paint brush, the fence, a rock, a neighbor walking by, etc.


    Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. New York: Modern Library, 2001 (11876) From Chapter 2: "The Glorious Whitewasher"

    But Tom's energy did not last. He began to think of the fun he had planned for this day, and his sorrow multiplied.

    Soon the free boys would come tripping along on all sorts of delicious expeditions, and they would make a world of fun of him for having to work- the very thought of it burnt him like fire. He got out his worldly wealth and examined it- bits of toys, marbles, and trash; enough to buy an exchange of WORK, maybe but not half enough to buy so much as half an hour of pure freedom. So he returned his straightened means to his pocket, and gave up the idea of trying to buy the boys. At this dark and hopeless moment an inspiration burst upon him! Nothing less than a great, magnificent inspiration.

    He took up his brush and went tranquilly to work. Ben Rogers hove in sight presently--the very boy, of all boys, whose ridicule he had been dreading. Ben's gait was the hop-skip-and-jump--proof enough that his heart was light and his anticipations high. He was eating an apple, and giving a loud, melodious whoop, at intervals, followed by a deep-toned ding-dong-dong, ding-dong-dong, for he was personating a steamboat. As he drew near, he slackened speed, took the middle of the street, leaned far over to starboard and rounded to ponderously and with laborious pomp and circumstance--for he was personating the Big Missouri, and considered himself to be drawing nine feet of water. He was boat and captain and engine-bells combined, so he had to imagine himself standing on his own hurricane-deck giving the orders and executing them:

    "Stop her, sir! Ting-a-ling-ling!" the head way ran almost out, and he drew up slowly toward the sidewalk.

    "Ship up to back! Ting-a-ling-ling!" his arms straightened and stiffened down his sides.

    "Set her back on the stabboard! Ting-a-ling-ling! Chow! Ch-chow-wow! Chow!" his right hand, meantime, describing stately circles--for it was representing a forty-foot wheel.

    "Let her go back on the labboard! Ting-a-lingling! Chow-ch-chow-wow!" the left hand began to describe circles.

    "Stop the stabboard! Ting-a-ling-ling! Stop the labboard! Come ahead on the stabboard! Stop her! Let your outside turn over slow! Ting-a-ling-ling! Chow-ow-ow! Get out that head line! LIVELY now! Come-out with your spring line- what're you about there! Take a turn around that stump with the bight of it! Stand by that stage, now-don't let her go! Done with the engines sir! Ting-a-ling-ling!"

    Tom went on whitewashing, paid no attention to the steamboat. Ben stared a moment and then said: "HI-YI!" YOU'RE on a stump, ain't you?" No answer. Tom surveyed his last touch with the eye of an artist, then he gave his brush another gently sweep and surveyed the result, as before. Ben ranged up alongside him. Tom's mouth watered for the apple, but he stuck to his work.

    Ben said: "Hello, old chap, you got to work, hey?"

    Tom wheeled suddenly and said: "Why it's you Ben! I warn't noticing."

    "Say- I'm going in a-swimming I am. Don't you wish you could? But of course you'd rather WORK- wouldn't you? Course you would!"

    Tom contemplated the boy a bit, and said: "What do you call work?"

    "Why, ain't THAT work?"

    Tom resumed his whitewashing, and answered carelessly. "Well, maybe it is, and maybe it ain't. All I know is, it suits tom sawyer."

    "Oh come, now, you don't mean to let on that you LIKE it?" The brush continued to move.

    "Like it? Well, I don't see why I oughtn't like it. Does a boy get a chance to whitewash a fence every day?"

    That put the thing in a new light. Ben stopped nibbling his apple. Tom swept his brush daintily back and forth- stopped to note the effect- added a touch more here and there- criticized the effect again- Ben watching every move and getting more and more interested, more and more absorbed. Presently he said: "Say, Tom let ME whitewash a little."

    Tom considered, was about to consent; but he altered his mind: "No-no- I reckon it wouldn't hardly do, Ben. You see, Aunt Polly's awful particular about this fence- right here on the street, you know- but if it was the back fence I wouldn't mind and SHE wouldn't. Yes she's awful particular about this fence; it's got to be done very careful; I reckon there ain't one boy in a thousand that can do it the way it's got to be done."

    "No-is that so? Oh come, now- lemme just try. Only just a little- I'd let YOU, if you was me, Tom."

    "Ben, I'd like to, honest injun; but Aunt Polly- well, Jim wanted to do it, but she wouldn't. Yes, she's awful particular about this fence; it's got to be done very careful; I reckon there ain't one boy in a thousand, maybe two thousand, that can do it the way it's got to be done."

    "Oh, shucks, I'll be just as careful. Now lemme try. Say-I'll give you the core of my apple."

    "Well, here-No Ben, now don't. I'm afeard-"

    "I'll give you ALL of it!"

    Tom gave up the brush with reluctance in his face, but alacrity in his heart. And while the late steamer Big Missouri worked and sweated in the sun, the retired artist sat on a barrel in the shade close by, dangled his legs, munched his apple, and planned the slaughter of more innocents. There was no lack of material; boys happened along every little while; they came to jeer but remained to whitewash. By the time Ben was fagged out, Tom had traded the next chance to Billy Fisher for a kite, in good repair; and when he played out, Johnny Miller bought in for a dead rat and a string to swing it with- and so on, and so on, hour after hour. And when the middle of the afternoon came, from being a poor poverty stricken boy in the morning, Tom was literally rolling in wealth. He had besides the things before mentioned, twelve marbles, part of a Jews-harp, a piece of blue bottle glass to look through, a spool cannon, a key that wouldn't unlock anything, a fragment of chalk, a glass stopper of a decanter, a tin soldier, a couple of tadpoles, six fire-crackers, a kitten with only one eye, a brass door-knob, a dog-collar-but no dog- the handle of a knife, four pieces of orange peel, and a dilapidated window sash.

    He had had a nice, good, idle time all the while-plenty of company- and the fence had three coats of whitewash on it! If he hadn't run out of whitewash he would have bankrupted every boy in the village. Tom said to himself that it was not such a hollow world after all. He had discovered the great law of human action, without knowing it-namely that in order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to attain. If he had been a great and wise philosopher, like the writer of this book, he would have comprehended that Work consists of whatever a body is OBLIGED to do, and that Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do. And this would help him to understand why constructing artificial flowers or performing on a tread-mill is work, while rolling ten-pins or climbing Mont Blanc is only amusement. There are wealthy gentlemen in England who drive four-horse passenger coaches twenty or thirty miles on a daily line, in the summer, because the privilege costs them considerable money; but if they were offered wages for the service, that would turn it into work and then they would resign.

    The boy mused awhile over the substantial change which had taken place in his worldly circumstances, and then wended toward headquarters to report.


    1. Which point of view (1st, 3rd limited, omniscient) is this piece written in and explain how you can tell?



    2. Rewrite the story from the point of view of another character or item.



    II. Writing

    Place throughout your room pictures from magazines. Give students the Pictures Point of View worksheet. Students must write a short story based on the pictures in first person, omniscient, and 3rd person limited point of view.


    Pictures point of view worksheet

    1. Title on picture:
      Create a story written in omniscient point of view (at least a paragraph-4-6 sent):




    2. Title on picture:
      Create a story written in first person point of view (at least a paragraph-4-6 sent):




    3. Title on picture:
      Create a story written in third person limited point of view (at least a paragraph-4-6 sent):




    III. Point of View PowerPoint

    Students can do this before or after the writing, but it's a chance to identify the different points of view when they see them. On a piece of paper, they should number 1 to 20 and write one of the three types of point of view.

    Point of View PowerPoint is to be used as practice or a test.



    Written in 3rd limited point of view?  
    Rewrote story from a different point of view?  




    Wrote one 4-6 sentence story based on a picture in first person point of view?  
    Wrote one 4-6 sentence story based on a picture in Omniscient point of view?  
    Wrote one 4-6 sentence story based on a picture in 3rd person limited point of view?  




    Student's answers out of /20


    Student Prior Knowledge

    Students should have a basic understanding of what makes a good story. Any other mythology that you feel necessary, should be taught before such as gods/goddesses. They need to know about point of view and how to publish a document using a cover letter.

    Intended Learning Outcomes

    Students will be able to create a short story using the properties of dialogue, plotting with setting, character development, and creativity. They will know how to peer edit and revise their work as well as publish in a real world setting. Students will be able to analyze literature along the way as well.

    Instructional Procedures

    See Lesson documents in Materials.

    Strategies for Diverse Learners

    Grouping is always critical. Make sure that when students are diverse and have special needs diversify the group. Place some of the gifted students with those that are in need of assistance. Always make sure to follow IEP procedures if there are any writing or reading accommodations.


    Students could create a video of their acted out myth. They could also research something else in mythology and present information.

    Assessment Plan

    I've attached the rubrics and answer keys according to each lesson in order.


    "Antonyms." Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Longman, 2010. (Web site)

    Carr, Karen. "Pandora," Kidipede - History for Kids. 2012. (Web site)

    Carr, Terry. "Pont of View." (Web site)

    Dell, Diana Ed.S. "Analogies set 2." Union: Gamequarium and SqoolTechs, LLC, 2012.

    Fraser, Hugh. "In the Cyclops Cave." London: Storynory, 2012. (Web site)

    King. "Simple, Compound, & Complex Sentences." San Mateo: Quia, 2012.

    Parks, James and Sally Corbett. "Orpheus." Austin: Highland Park Elementary School, 1997.

    Pontikis, Nick. "Mythology in Modern Society, Mythology in Daily Life." The Myth Man persona. 1999.

    "Synonyms." Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Longman, 2010. (Web site)

    Thomas Bulfinch, "Cupid and Psyche." The Age of Fable; or, Stories of Gods and Heroes (1855). Bulfinch's source is The Golden Ass (books 4-6) by the Roman writer Lucius Apuleius.

    Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. New York: Modern Library, 2001 (11876) From Chapter 2: "The Glorious Whitewasher."