A Critical Thinking Story Evaluation Activity for High School Students and an Amusing Teacher Story (by Brian)

A lesson plan for a critical reading of The Interlopers by Saki

: High School English

Objective: Students will demonstrate higher order critical reading and reflection skills

Materials: a class set of The Interlopers, coloring markers, two-by-two sheets of butcher paper.


Students will read the story the night before and come to class with written responses to the following questions:

1) How did you connect personally to the story?
2) What questions would you like to ask the author and/or the characters?
3) What strategies did you utilize to clarify any segments of the story that were unclear to you?

Classroom Activity

a. Teacher groups students
b. Students in each group use their homework to come to a consensus on two statements for each category
c. Group leaders submit written proposals to the teacher who okays them and distributes butcher paper and markers to students
d. Students make posters containing a picture of the scene that best represents the theme of the story, a prediction based on the ending of the story, and the six answers generated from homework assignment


Groups present their posters explaining whether their clarifications, questions, and connections are inferences or evaluations in a question and answer session with the class.

Why I no longer Have Show-and-Tell on the Second day of Class

It was my second year teaching at the university and I had my students bring an item to the second class meeting that represented them, and I had them do a short presentation. Well “Carl” showed up with an old two liter bottle of coke that had been converted into a terrarium. I didn’t think much of it until he volunteered to go first.

He went up to the front of the class and opened up the bottle and reached inside and pulled out a rather large pet black-widow spider named Helen. He let it crawl on his hands, and I swear he even pet it. About this time, the entire class and I moved to the back of the classroom while a large man who had been sitting in front bolted out the door. Carl asked if anyone wanted to hold his “pet” –there were no takers.

I then attempted to walk up to the front and said, This is very nice, can you please put Helen back in her cage? He did without further incident, and the class then got back to normal. A few more people then decided to complete their presentations, and just as we were about to get to work for the evening, I heard a knock at the door and Victor, our large runner, was asking if the spider was gone.

(You can reach Brian at brianslinville@gmail.com)

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