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The School Play Introducing the Short Story

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1 The School Play Introducing the Short Story
Short Story by Gary Soto Introducing the Short Story with Literary Analysis: Plot Elements Reading Strategy: Monitor Vocabulary in Context VIDEO TRAILER

What do you FEAR most? Have you ever jumped at the sight of a harmless bug? Or maybe you have waited a long time to ride a roller coaster only to change your mind when it was your turn? Things that frighten people range from big to small, from living to nonliving, from the seen to the unseen.

What do you FEAR most? In “The School Play,” a student struggles to overcome a fear many people face. Face Your Fears! __ Heights __ Spiders and Insects __ Being in the Dark __ Dentists __ Thunder and Lightning __ Failing a Test __ Being Bullied __ Airplane Rides __ Public Speaking __ Being in a Crowd SURVEY What are you most afraid of? Some of the most common fears are listed in this survey. Rank the fears from one to ten, with one being the thing you are most afraid of. Then survey the class to find out what is the most common fear in your classroom.

4 Click on the title to play the trailer.
The School Play

5 Rising action shows how the conflict develops.
Plot Elements Everything in a story happens for a reason. The series of events is the story’s plot. Exposition introduces the characters and setting. It may also hint at what the conflict, or problem, will be. Rising action shows how the conflict develops. The alarm didn’t go off on the morning of Nora’s report. Even though she sprinted, she missed the bus.

6 Plot Elements The most exciting part is the climax, a turning point in which you discover how the conflict is settled. Tension eases during the falling action, and events unfold as a result of the climax. Nora panicked. But eventually, Grandma was able to come by and pick her up. When she made it to school, she explained to her principal that her alarm clock didn’t go off.

7 Plot Elements The resolution, or denouement, is the final part of the plot, in which the reader learns how the problem is solved. climax rising action falling action exposition Nora finally arrived in class, just in time to give her report. resolution As you read “The School Play,” notice the events that occur in each stage of the story’s plot.

8 Monitor Have you ever forgotten what you just read? To avoid this problem, monitor your reading by pausing occasionally to check your understanding. One way to monitor is to ask yourself questions about what you are reading. Sometimes you’ll need to reread to find the answer. Other times, you’ll find the answer later in the story.

9 Monitor As you read “The School Play,” record questions about what is happening in a chart like the one shown. My Questions Answers What is inside the cardboard box?

10 narrative prop relentless smirk Soto uses the vocabulary words in the box on the right to help relate a student’s experience in a school play. To see which words you know, replace each green vocabulary word in the sentences below with a different word or phrase. Sample answers appear in brackets. 1. Robert’s friend delivers the narrative about the background of the play. [story] 2. The audience’s relentless talking distracts the actors. [refusing to stop or give up] 3. The main prop in the play is a map of the West. [an object that an actor uses in a play] 4. Belinda wanted to smirk when the actor forgot his lines. [to smile in an insulting way]

11 narrative n. a story prop n. an object an actor uses in a play relentless adj. refusing to stop or give up smirk v. to smile in an insulting way

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