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The Ransom of Red Chief

The Ransom of Red Chief will be our second story of the year. We will be focusing on the literary techniques of irony, conflict and resolution, and allusion

 Irony: the contrast between what is and what should be.

     Dramatic Irony: the audience knows or understands something that the character or characters do not.

     Situational Irony: the result of an action is the reverse of what is expected. The reader is just as surprised as the characters.

     Verbal Irony: the contrast is between the literal meaning of what is said and what is meant. (Sarcasm)

Conflict: the struggle between two opposing forces that lies at the center of a plot in a story or a drama

     External Conflict: a conflict that exists when a character struggles against some outside force

          man vs. man

          man vs. nature

          man vs. society ​

     Internal Conflict: a conflict that exists within a character torn between opposing feelings or goals

          man vs. self

Resolution: the end of the story​ ​ 

Allusion: making a reference to literature, art, history, or pop culture. It’s like a shout out. 


  • Informal
    • Comprehension checks during group reading
    • Study guide for unit (Participatory points-traded, graded, and discussed)
    • Vocabulary frayer model (Participatory points-traded, graded, and discussed)
    • 2 basic comprehension quizzes 

  • Formal Assessment
    • Unit test with written essay (Worth 100 points)


Below you find the essential hand outs for the story. Feel Free to print and use as needed.

Below you will find enrichment items to enhance your learning. 

If you are struggling in class, below you will find links to items that will assist you with your learning. 

Below you will find links to help build any background information you may need to better understand the allusions in The Ransom of Red Chief.

Missouri Learning Standards for The Ransom of Red Chief: Short story, Fiction, pg. 46 (O’Henry) 9 pages

R.L. 8.1- Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

R.L. 8.2- Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to the characters, setting, and plot; provide an objective summary of the text.

R.L. 8.3- Analyze how particular lines of dialogue or incidents in a story or drama propel the action, reveal aspects of a character, or provoke a decision.

R.L. 8.4- Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies or allusions to other texts.

R.L. 8.6- Analyze how differences in the points of view of the characters and the audience or reader (e.g., created through the use of dramatic irony) create such effects as suspense or humor.

R.L. 8.7- Analyze the extent to which a filmed or live production of a story or drama stays faithful to or departs from the text or script, evaluating the choices made by the director or actors.

L 8.4 a-d- Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words or phrases based on grade 8 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.

A.           Use context (e.g., the overall meaning of a sentence or paragraph; a word’s position or function in a sentence) as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.

B.           Use common, grade-appropriate Greek or Latin affixes and roots as clues to the meaning of a word (e.g., precede, recede, and secede).

C.           Consult general and specialized reference materials (e.g., dictionaries, glossaries, thesauruses), both print and digital, to find the pronunciation of a word or determine or clarify its precise meaning or its part of speech.

D.           Verify the preliminary determination of the meaning of a word or phrase (e.g., by checking the inferred meaning in context or in a dictionary).

L8.5 a-c- Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

A.           Interpret figures of speech (e.g. verbal irony, puns) in context.

B.           Use the relationship between particular words to better understand each of the words.

C.           Distinguish among the connotations (associations) of words with similar denotations (definitions) (e.g., bullheaded, willful, firm, persistent, resolute).

L.8.6- Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases; gather vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.

W8.4- Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

W8.9- Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

W8.10-Write routinely for a shorter time frames (a single setting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes and audiences.

SL8.1-Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions expressing one’s own ideas and building on others’ ideas.

               One on one, Group, Teacher led

SL8.1-Come to discussions prepared, having read/studied material and able to reflect/probe on issues.

SL8.1-Follow rules for collegial discussions, set/track specific goals/deadlines, and define individual roles.

SL8.1-Pose/respond to questions and comments with detail and relevancy.

SL8.1-Acknowledge new information expressed by others and modify own views when warranted.

SL 8.2-Analyze the purpose presented in diverse media and formats.

SL 8.2-Evaluate the motive behind diverse media and formats (social, commercial, and political.)

SL8.3-Delineate speaker’s argument and specific claims-which are supported by sound reasoning/sufficient evidence-which are not?

SL8.4-Present claims/findings in a focused, coherent manner with relevant evidence, valid reasoning, and well chosen details.

SL8.4- Use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.

SL8.5- Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English. 

Contact Mrs. Carissa Ware

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M/T/TH/F: 9:36-10:25 Wed: 9:09-9:47

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