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Mini Teaching Unit: The Most Dangerous Game

Intro:
Demographics:
1.
2.
3.
4.

Sophomore English
3A
Rural
15-20 Students
a. Mixed Ethnicity 80% White, 10% Hispanic American, and 10% African

American
5. 80 - minute class period, alternating block scheduling
Common Core Standards
1. CCSS.ELA- Literacy. RL.9-10.2
a. Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development
over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by
specific details, provide an objective summary of the text.
2. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3

a. Analyze how complex characters (e.g. those with multiple or conflicting


motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and
advance the plot or develop the theme.
3. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.4
a. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text,
including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of
specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g. how the language evokes a sense
of time and place; how it sets a formal or informal tone).
4. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WS.9-10.3A

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a. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective


techniques, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences. Engage
and orient the reader by setting out a problem, situation, or observation,
establishing one or multiple point(s) of view, and introducing a narrator and/or
characters; create a smooth progression of experiences or events.
5. CCS.ELA-Literacy.SLS.9-10.1D
a. Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-onone, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts,
and issues, building on others ideas and expressing their own clearly and
persuasively. Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarize points of
agreement and disagreement, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own
views and understanding and make new connections in light of the evidence and
reasoning presented.

Objectives:
At the conclusion of this unit, students will be able to
1. Recognize the importance of the authors choice of words related to tone of The Most
Dangerous Game through group discussion. (Some)
2. Explain the definition of a theme and cite examples from the text. (Some)
3. Identify the major theme of survival in The Most Dangerous Game. (All)
4. Explain the definitions of dynamic and static characters and demonstrate knowledge
5.
6.
7.
8.

through group discussion. (All)


Analyze major characters looking for differences and similarities. (All)
Brainstorm and write an alternate ending to the story. (All)
Discuss the importance of character actions. (Some)
Brainstorm and write an alternate ending to the story. (All)

Rationale:

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1. This short story provides students with a good opportunity to


a. Explore and discuss the theme of survival in this short story
b. Dissect major characters looking for differences and similarities with the use of
graphic organizers
c. Practice critical thinking skills
d. Collaborate and decide the impact specific word choices have on the storys
mood.
e. Engage in group discussion and provide thoughts
f. Express creative thinking through imaginative writing
2. This short story provides teachers with a good opportunity to
a. Enhance their critical thinking through group discussions
b. Clarify themes and importance of word usage present in the short story
c. Deepen students understanding over dynamic/static characters
d. Provide students an opportunity to expand their creativity
Resources:
1. The teacher will provide
a. Copies of The Most Dangerous Game
b. Pre-Tests and Post-Tests
c. Anticipatory Paragraph
d. Character trait graphic organizers
e. Instructions and Rubric for creative writing assignment
2. The student will provide
a. Writing utensils
b. Notebook paper
c. Journals
Day 1:
Common Core Standards:
1. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.4
a. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text,
including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of
specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g. how the language evokes a sense
2.

of time and place; how it sets a formal or informal tone).


CCSS.ELA- Literacy. RL.9-10.2

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a. Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development
over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by
specific details, provide an objective summary of the text.
3. CCS.ELA-Literacy.SLS.9-10.1D
a. Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-onone, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts,
and issues, building on others ideas and expressing their own clearly and
persuasively. Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarize points of
agreement and disagreement, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own
views and understanding and make new connections in light of the evidence and
reasoning presented.
Objectives: At the end of the lesson, students will be able to
1. Recognize the importance of the authors choice of words related to tone of
The Most Dangerous Game through group discussion. (Some)
2. Define theme and identify the major theme of the story (Survival). (Some)
3. Define dynamic and static characters. (All)
4. Analyze major characters looking for differences and similarities. (All)

Rationale:
1. This short story provides students with a good opportunity to
a. Practice critical thinking skills
b. Identify themes in the story
c. Collaborate and decide the impact specific word choices have on the storys
mood.

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d. Analyze and dissect major characters looking for differences and similarities with
the use of graphic organizers
2. This short story provides teachers with a good opportunity to
a. Clarify themes and importance of word usage present in the short story
b. Emphasize critical thinking skills
Resources:
1. Teacher will provide
a. Copies of The Most Dangerous Game
b. Anticipatory Paragraph
c. Character Trait Graphic Organizers
d. Pre-Tests
2. Students will provide
a. Writing Utensils
b. Notebook Paper
c. Journals

Anticipatory Set:
1. Hand out Pre-Tests and ask students to complete. Inform students that they have ten
minutes to complete. (10 mins)
a. Students wont be graded on the Pre-Test.
b. Students need to return their Pre-Tests upon completion
2. As soon as the Pre-Tests are completed, explain to the class that the next few class
periods will be dedicated to the short story The Most Dangerous Game by Richard
Connell. During their reading, they will learn how to distinguish between a dynamic
character and a static, understand the important of vivid wording, define a theme in a
story, and create an alternative ending to a story.
3. On the overhead project the opening paragraph of the story that has several words
replaced with bland, simple words. As a group, have students brainstorm more
exciting words and phrases. Discuss how word choices influence the meaning of the
paragraph. (15 min)

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Off there to the right somewhere is a large island, said Whitney. Its rather
weird. (real word: a mystery)
What island is it? Rainsford asked.
The old charts call it Ship-Trap Island, Whitney replied. A cool (real word:
suggestive) name, isnt it? Sailors have a strange fear (real word: curious dread)
of the place. I dont know why. Some superstition
Cant see it, remarked Rainsford, trying to look (real word: peer) through the
dank tropical night that was deep (real word: palpable) as it pressed its thick warm
blackness in upon the yacht. (Five-day lesson plan for teaching The Most
Dangerous Game to ninth graders)
4. Ask students to pull out their journals and write their thoughts over the following
questions (10 min)
a. Judging the story on its title alone, what do you think the story will pertain?
b. Do you think the title contributes to the overall tone of the story? Why? What
words would you consider essential?
Teacher Input:
1. Before beginning reading, ask students to get out a highlighter/ pen and be prepared
to mark any strong and vivid words that they encounter. Encourage students to make
any notes pertaining to the text in the margins. Have the teachers copy up on the
overhead and provide an example. (2 min)
2. Have students read silently and stop on page 13 on the line that ends I hunt more
dangerous game. (20 min)
3. Once the 20 minutes are up, begin group discussion. Ask a few students to share
what phrases and word choices that they thought were essential to the story. Have
students explain how these particular phrases/words impact the story. Write their
responses on the board. (15 min)
4. Give a quick explanation of what theme means.
a. (in literature, music, art, etc) a unifying idea, image, or motif,repeated or develop
ed throughout a work - dictionary.com
b. Discuss how survival is the central theme of this short story.

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i. Ask for one or two examples from the text that they have read so far (5
min)
5. Introduce the concept of dynamic characters and static characters.
a. Dynamic characters A literary or dramatic character who undergoes an
important inner change, as a change in personality or attitude dictionary.com
b. Static characters a literary or dramatic character who undergoes little or no inner
change; a character who does not grow or develop.- dictionary.com
c. Write a list of characters on the whiteboard and ask students to identify which
ones are dynamic.
i. Answer: Rainsford (10 min)
6. In the last three minutes, distribute character trait graphic organizers. For their
homework, students should finish reading the story, and then use the graphic
organizers to compare and contrast the characters Rainsford and General Zaroff.
Inform students that the graphic organizers will be due at the beginning of the next
class. Eight points will be earned if they provide at least two examples for section.

Day Two:
Common Core Standards:
1. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3
a. Analyze how complex characters (e.g. those with multiple or conflicting
motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and
advance the plot or develop the theme.
2. CCS.ELA-Literacy.SLS.9-10.1D
a. Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-onone, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts,
and issues, building on others ideas and expressing their own clearly and
persuasively. Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarize points of

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agreement and disagreement, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own
views and understanding and make new connections in light of the evidence and
reasoning presented.
3. CCSS.ELA- Literacy. RL.9-10.2
a. Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development
over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by
specific details, provide an objective summary of the text.
4. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WS.9-10.3A
a. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective
techniques, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences. Engage
and orient the reader by setting out a problem, situation, or observation,
establishing one or multiple point(s) of view, and introducing a narrator and/or
characters; create a smooth progression of experiences or events.
Objectives: At the end of this lesson students will be able to
1.
2.
3.
4.

Provide thoughts regarding character actions within the text. (Some)


Demonstrate their knowledge about dynamic and static characters (All)
Cite examples from the text and relate them to the theme of survival. (Some)
Brainstorm and write an alternate ending to the story. (All)

Rationale:
1. This short story provides students with a good opportunity to
a. Further their knowledge over dynamic characters
b. Engage in group discussion and provide thoughts
c. Express creative thinking through imaginative writing
d. Demonstrate understanding of the central theme of the story
2. This short story provides teachers with a good opportunity to
a. Emphasize students critical thinking
b. Deepen students understanding over dynamic characters
c. Provide students an opportunity to expand their creativity
Resources:

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1. Teacher will provide


a. Creative writing instructions and rubric
b. Post-test
2. Students will provide
a. Copies of Most Dangerous Game
b. Character Trait Graphic Organizers
c. Writing Utensils
d. Notebook paper
e. Journals
Anticipatory Set:
1. Collect students assigned graphic organizers and hand out Post-Test. Inform students
that they have ten minutes to complete. These tests will be collected and graded. They
are worth 15 points. They are not allowed to use the Pre-Tests as a reference. (10 min)

Teacher Input:
1. Begin a discussion to review what they read in the story starting from where they left off
the previous class. (30 min)
a. Questions to ask:
i. What was happening in the story when we ended class?
1. Rainsford fell off boat. Swam to island where he meets General
Zaroff. Discusses hunting and Zaroff hints at hunting a more
dangerous game.
ii. What was the dangerous game that Zaroff was hinting at?
1. Humans shipwrecked sailors
iii. According to Zaroff, why are humans considered more dangerous than
animals?
1. Ability to reason
iv. How does Zaroff is able to stock his island?

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1. Possesses a giant light that guides ships into sharp rocks. Picks up
survivors.
v. How does Rainsford react to Zaroffs twisted idea of prey and what does
that reveal about his character?
1. Horrified. Views it as cold-blooded murder. Reveals him to be a
noble character. Isnt persuaded by Zaroffs arguments.
vi. Does Rainsford win the game? How?
1. Yes. Jumps into the sea and swims around the island. Sneaks into
Zaroffs castle and kills him. Throws his body to the dogs and
sleeps soundly.
2. Write the following question on the board and ask students to write a short paragraph
response in their journals. (5 min)
a. Consider Zaroff and Rainsfords hunt. Several times Zaroff could have continued
pursuing Rainsford and end the game. Instead, Zaroff retreated and, by doing so,
allowed Rainsford more time to find a way to escape. Why would Zaroff be
motivated to do that? Was he curious to see what else Rainsford would do or did
Zaroff actually want to lose?
3. After students finish their writing, ask a few students to share their entries. (10 min)
Culminating Activity
1. Introduce the Creative Writing Assignment. (20 min)
a. Inform students that they will be writing an alternate ending to the story, starting
from the part where Rainsford throws himself into the sea. They are expected to
have a rough draft prepared by the next class for a peer review and the final draft
will be due in two class periods.
b. Distribute instructions and rubric. Students should be familiar with creative
writing from a previous unit where they studied dialogue.
c. As a class, brainstorm two or three ideas to provide students with examples and to
help them get started.

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2. For the rest of the class period, students should busy themselves by starting on their
rough drafts. (15 min)

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Anticipatory paragraph

Off there to the right somewhere is a


large island, said Whitney. Its rather weird.
What island is it? Rainsford asked.
The old charts call it Ship-Trap Island,
Whitney replied. A cool name, isnt it?
Sailors have a strange fear of the place. I dont
know why. Some superstition
Cant see it, remarked Rainsford, trying to
look through the dank tropical night that was
deep as it pressed its thick warm blackness in
upon the yacht.

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Pre-Test
Name: _____________________________________ Date/Class period:
1. What is a dynamic character? A
a. A character who goes through a major change within the story
b. A character who goes through little change within the story
c. A character who blows up
d. A character who is considered the hero within the story
2. What is a static character? B
a. A character who goes through a major change within the story
b. A character who goes through little change within the story
c. A character who has a tendency to stick to balloons
d. A character who is considered the villain within the story
3. What does theme mean? A unify idea, image, or motif repeated or developed
throughout the story.
4. Consider the marked words and phrases in the following paragraph and explain why they
are essential to the overall tone of terror.
Suddenly, as if it had been so all the time, every hole, far and near, and there were
hundreds of them, seemed to possess its face, coming and going rapidly, all fixing on
him glances of malice and hatred: all hard-eyed and evil and sharp.
The Wind in the Willows Kenneth Grahame
The usage of these words and phrases assisted in creating the tone of horror because it
captures and maintains the readers interest painting a vivid image in their minds.

5. Is it possible for a hero and a villain to share traits? Why or why not? Yes, because often
it is the heros ability to rise above evil tendencies that allow them do the right thing.
Examples: Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort; Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader;
Batman and the Joker

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SangerRainsford

With
Regards
To
Characters
Feelings

General
Zarof

Hunting

Animals

Humans

Murder

Copyright 2014 WorksheetWorks.com

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Name: _____________________________________ Date/Class period:

Post-Test

/15 points

Name: _____________________________________ Date/Class period:


1. What is a dynamic character? (2 points)
A literary or dramatic character who undergoes an important inner change, as
a change in personality or attitude dictionary.com
2. What is a static character? (2 points)
A literary or dramatic character who undergoes little or no inner change; a character
who does not grow or develop.- dictionary.com
3. What does theme mean? (3 points)
(in literature, music, art, etc) a unifying idea, image, or motif,repeated or developed thr
oughout a work - dictionary.com
4. Consider the marked words and phrases in the following paragraph and explain why they
are essential to the overall tone of terror. (5 points)
Suddenly, as if it had been so all the time, every hole, far and near, and there were
hundreds of them, seemed to possess its face, coming and going rapidly, all fixing on
him glances of malice and hatred: all hard-eyed and evil and sharp.
The Wind in the Willows Kenneth Grahame
The usage of these words and phrases assisted in creating the tone of horror because it
captures and maintains the readers interest while painting a vivid image in their minds.

5. Create a chart that compares and contrasts the characters Rainsford and Zaroff. (5 points)
Similarities: Love/ knowledge of hunting, wealth, body type, thoughts towards animals
Differences: Thoughts towards murder, regards to humanity, backgrounds, Rainsfords transition
into an animal at the end

Name: _____________________________________ Date/Class period:

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The Most Dangerous Game Creative Writing Assignment


Students are to recreate the ending of The Most Dangerous
Game. They can change the ending in any way that they see fit,
whether they want a happy ending or a sad one. It must be between 300500 words. Students are require to include dialogue between characters,
a skill learned in a previous unit. This paper should be typed in Times
New Roman in font size 12.
Students are expected to have a rough draft by the next class
period for peer review. The final draft will be due in two class periods.
This assignment will be worth 50 points.

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Name: _____________________________________ Date/Class period:


The Most Dangerous Game Alternate Ending Rubric

CATEGORY
Creativity

Dialogue

Spelling and
Punctuation

4 Excellent
The alternate
ending
contains many
creative
details and/or
descriptions
that contribute
to the
reader\\\'s
enjoyment.
The author
has really
used his
imagination.
There is an
appropriate
amount of
dialogue to
bring the
characters to
life and it is
always clear
which
character is
speaking.
There are no
spelling or
punctuation
errors in the
final draft.
Character and
place names
that the
author
invented are
spelled
consistently
throughout.

1 Needs Improve
ment
There is little
evidence of
creativity in the
alternate ending.
The author does
not seem to have
used much
imagination.

3 Satisfactory
The alternate
ending
contains a few
creative
details and/or
descriptions
that contribute
to the
reader\\\'s
enjoyment.
The author has
used his
imagination.

2 Good
The alternate
contains a few
creative
details and/or
descriptions,
but they
distract from
the story. The
author has
tried to use his
imagination.

There is too
much dialogue
in this story,
but it is always
clear which
character is
speaking.

There is not
quite enough
dialogue in
this story, but
it is always
clear which
character is
speaking.

There is no
dialogue or it is
not clear which
character is
speaking.

There is one
spelling or
punctuation
error in the
final draft.

There are 2-3


spelling and
punctuation
errors in the
final draft.

The final draft has


more than 3
spelling and
punctuation
errors.

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Organization

(rubistar.com)

The ending is
very well
organized.
One idea or
scene follows
another in a
logical
sequence with
clear
transitions.

The ending is
pretty well
organized. One
idea or scene
may seem out
of place. Clear
transitions are
used.

The ending is
a little hard to
follow. The
transitions are
sometimes not
clear.

Ideas and scenes


seem to be
randomly
arranged.

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Works Cited
Burke, Jim. English Teacher's Companion. Portsmouth: Heinemann, 2013. Print.
dictionary.com. n.d. Web. 12 October 2014.
Five-day lesson plan for teaching The Most Dangerous Game to ninth graders. 26
September 2014.
<http://www.anenglishteacher.net/LessonPlans/MostDangerousGamelessonpl
an.htm>.
Grahame, Kenneth. The Wind in the Willows. London, 1908. Print. .
Rubistar. n.d. Web. 13 October 2014.
worksheetswork.com. n.d. Web. 12 October 2014.