Lesson Plan

What's Goin' On? Exploring Regionalism with "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge"

Give students a strong understanding of Regionalism enhanced by tech applications.
Suzy L.
Technology coordinator
Cherokee County Schools
Canton, GA
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My Grades 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts, World Languages, English Language Learning, Health & Wellness
EdTech Mentor

Students will be able to answer the following Essential Questions:

  • How can we work together to comprehend complex text?
  • How does this short story show examples of the literary period it represents?
  • What is a motif, and what motif is active in this story?
  • How can I use knowledge about storyboarding to recreate part three of the story?
  • What connections can I make between this story and another film?
English Language Arts
Grades 11
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Activating Strategies

1. Link to prior knowledge:

If your class has not read this novel, use http://public.wsu.edu/~campbelld/amlit/lcolor.html as a good resource to build background about regionalism.

Referring to the novel we’ve just read, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, students will give examples of realism and regionalism as they recall them. They will use the Web Whiteboard app linked here to brainstorm.  They can then share with each other or create a group board to share with the teacher.

2. Hook:

Students will watch the trailer to the  movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, because the protagonist in that movie has a fantasy life similar to that of the protagonist in this story. Both are also trying to find a way of escape.

2 Vocabulary

Free, Paid

In addition to the concepts of Realism and Regionalism that have just been addressed,  students will be responsible for marking  five words of choice in the story that they don't know.  They will post these to a Padlet wall, using their name as the title of the post.

3 Teaching the Story

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1. Days 1-2: Students will listen to and read along with the short story.

2. As they read, they will mark five unknown words with sticky notes AND answer as many study questions as they can, with particular emphasis on the one they have been assigned.  *Note--assign each student a question number to answer as they go, in order to increase accountability (linked in student directions).

3. Students will share the answers to their assigned questions at the end of the story.

4. Students will define and illustrate their unknown word, snapping a picture of their representation and uploading it to Padlet.

5. Students will then complete part two of the packet, which involves the characteristics of realism and regionalism, both a review from Huck Finn (linked in student directions).

6. Days 2-3: Finally, pairs of students will come together to complete part three, the storyboard activity (linked in student directions).

7. BONUS: Students may choose to produce their versions of the storyboard as short films for a quiz grade. In order to receive credit, they will have to follow the shot list and storyboard they’ve created exactly. 

4 Assessment

Activity: Assessing

Use these resources to help you assess the lesson:

  • Storyboard Grading Checklist
  • Students will receive a classwork grade for the storyboard and the study guide packet separately.  My typical grading method--have students pull out a different colored pen than what they wrote with, and have students first mark out anything on the packet they have not done.  You could also check a few specific questions together as a class for accuracy.  Include missing and missed questions as part of a grade for the activity.
  • Students will complete the written response at the end of the study guide for future grading as part of the writing portfolio, if you choose to maintain one.