The Monkey’s Paw

Materials I used when I taught ‘The Monkey’s Paw’ during my student teaching practicum.

The Monkey’s Paw – Lesson Day 1

Lesson Focus: The use of irony as a literary device.


1)      Define irony and provide practical examples relatable to students.

2)   Discuss the significance of the number three in literature.


1)   Warm-up activity – Sing-a-long or something else (3-4 min)

2)       Quick write – Students will respond to this prompt: “If you were given three             wishes and were told that you could wish for anything, what would you wish for and why?” Tell students to take some time to think before writing. (3 min)

3)      Mini-lesson – Using a power point presentation

a.       Irony – what is it, definition, various kinds, how to recognize irony, show examples of different types of irony.

b.      Three wishes stories – where did they come from, do they have a pattern, famous stories.

c.       Significance of the number three – origination, its use and meaning.

            4)   Introduce “The Monkey’s Paw”

a.       Author facts (?)

5)      Read story

6)      Assign Homework – Finish reading “The Monkey’s Paw” and find an example of a story in which the number three plays a significant role or one in which a character or characters is given three wishes. Students will be prepared to discuss their findings in class and will turn them in for a grade.

The Monkey’s Paw – Lesson Day 2

Lesson Focus – (?)



            1)   Warm-up activity – sing-a-long or something else (3-4 min)

1)      Quick write – “Now that you have finished reading “The Monkey’s Paw” think of what you wrote you would wish for, and considering what happened to the characters in “The Monkey’s Paw” and what you may have found in your research, what do you think you would get if those wishes came true?” Tell students to think about their answer before writing. (3-4 min)

2)      Small group discussion about answers to their quick writes about the wishes and the findings of their research. Put students in groups of three or four and tell them to be prepared to present what they discussed to the class. (8-10 mins)

3)      Wrap-up and conclude story. (6-8 min)

a.       Summary

b.      Main plot points

c.       Answer the key elements on the short story list.

4)      Show movie. Tell students to watch carefully and make notes and think about how the movie and the story are similar and dissimilar. ( 11 min)

5)      Homework – Write a short essay incorporating what you read in the story

Hospitable – friendly and welcoming to strangers and guests

Consequences – a result or effect

Sensible – having or showing common sense

Anxiously – experiencing worry or unease

Perils – serious and immediate danger

Furtively – trying not be noticed acting in a guilty or secretive way

Talisman – an object thought to have magical powers and to bring good


apathy – lack of interest or enthusiasm

avaricious – greedy for wealth

mummy – a body that has been preserved for burial by being embalmed and wrapped

            in cloth

fate – events that happen without a person’s control, usually decided in advance by

            a supernatural being

fakirs – muslim or hindu street people who do tricks for money

henpecked – constantly nagged or criticized by someone, usually a spouse

bog – soft wet muddy ground

virtues – good or desirable personal quality

torrent – strong and fast moving stream or water

credulity – too ready to believe things

coincidence – things happening at the same time by chance time

possessed – to be completely under someone’s or somethingelse’s control

ill-gotten – obtained by illegal or unfair means

mate – a friend or a move in a board game

condoling – to express sympathy for someone

blotchy – large irregular mark

simian – ape or monkey

compensation – something given to make-up for a loss or an undesirable situation

sinister – something evil or dangerous

oppressive – demands strict obedience

The Monkey’s Paw Text with Annotations I. –

The Monkey’s Paw – Lesson Day 1

Lesson Focus: “The Monkey’s Paw”

Conceptual Focus: Short Story Unit


* Warm-up activity

* Quick-write

* Charting

* Lecture

* Active Reading



Instruction Materials

* Literature Textbook

* Index Cards

* Short Story Terminology Worksheet

* Vocabulary Bingo Sheets and Answer Key

* Copies of story with parts highlighted.


* Students will play bingo game individually and do reading as a group


1) Warm-up Activity: At the beginning of class students will play a teacher-led game of vocabulary bingo. This is being done as a pre-reading activity to expose students to unfamiliar or difficult words found in the text they will begin to read. The winner will be awarded bonus points. All sheets will be collected and examined by the teacher to ascertain student reading level.

2) Quick-write: Students will be told to turn to the first blank page in their Language Arts notebook. They will be instructed to write “Quick-write: Three Wishes” and the date at the top. It will be in this space that they will do the quick-write. The story beginning today is about a family who is given three wishes by a magical mummified monkey’s paw. Students will do a quick-write about what they would wish for and why if they were granted three wishes. A brief discussion of what the students wrote will be conducted.

3) Author information: Students will be told to get out their short story packets along wit the index cards containing the results of their independent research into author W.W. Jacobs. Students will be asked to call out what they have written on their cards and the teacher will write their responses on the board. Students will then pick the three items they find to be most important then add those items to their author information packet.

4) A brief recap of some of the literary terms students will encounter while reading “The Monkey’s Paw.” Examples from previously read stories will be presented.

5) Active reading: Students and teacher will actively read “The Monkey’s Paw.” Four students will be asked to read the dialogue of Mr. And Mrs. White, Herbert White, and the Seargent-Major. They will be brought to the front of the room and will either stand or sit on a desk. Teacher will read the narrator and dialogue taglines. Reading will be stopped to assess comprehension. This will continue until class is over.


* Students will read the unfinished portion of the story and complete a worksheet. Index  cards with author information will be collected.

Differentiated Instruction:

* Reading aloud


* “The Monkey’s Paw” by W.W. Jacobs

The Monkey’s Paw – Lesson Day 2

Lesson Focus: “The Monkey’s Paw”

Conceptual Focus: Short Story Unit


* Quick-write

* Review homework

* Plot diagram group activity

* Watch Video

* Paired-activity

* Discussion



Instructional Materials:

* Literature Textbook

* PSSA writing prompts

* Video

* Plot diagram worksheets

* Comparison worksheets


* Small groups for plot diagram activity

* Pairs for comparison activity

* Whole class for video watching and concluding discussion


1) Students will do a quick-write in response to previous lessons quick-write. They will be told to go to the next available space in their Language Arts notebooks and write a line underneath the last thing they have entered. They will title this quick-write “Quick-write: Three Wishes Response” and include the date (Jan 30). Prompt: “Now that you have finished reading “The Monkey’s Paw,” what do you think you will get if you were granted your three wishes? Consider the best and worst consequence of each wish.” A brief discussion will follow.

2) A review of the homework will follow.

3) Students will be broken into groups of four or five and asked to complete a plot diagram for “The Monkey’s Paw.” They will be told to draw their diagrams on the board and explain them. The groups plot diagram will be collected for a grade.

4) Students will watch a video version of the story.

5) Students will be broken into pairs and asked to complete a comparison sheet if adequate time is remaining. This will be collected for a grade.

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