New Teaching Ideas
Why not spice up your lessons on The Monkey’s Paw by using some varied teaching and assessment techniques? Before even reading the story, provide students with a vocabulary list of words they may not know from the text and ask them to come up with descriptive sentences that are horror themed. Ask each student to illustrate his or her best sentence and display them around the room. Use the quiz to ensure comprehension before teaching the story.
Move on to the power point, the reading of the tale, and then the reading comprehension quiz.
Once students know the story backward and forward, it’s time to have some fun. Use the downloadable handout on how to compare the story to a truly chilling episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which can be found on NetFlix. The episode, which still sends chills down this veteran educator’s spine, is quite the dramatic retelling of Jacob’s tale, complete with the “it’s up to you" ending. All of your students will be on the edge of their seats, and once their compare and contrast chart is complete, they will be able to write thoughtful, engaging essays on the video and short story.
Have any extremely advanced students? Clue them in to the fact that Stephen King did indeed create an ending to Jacob’s story, an ending over four hundred pages long. Point them in the direction of his horror novel Pet Semetary and offer extra credit for those brave souls who actually manage to read the entire novel!