1. Teachers ask students in their groups to turn and talk and make a list of some of the things that can make them feel caged in or restricted. Discuss if any of the things they listed would be something they could break free from (job, relationship, etc.)
Project the above link or make copies for students to read for background information on women in the 1800s. Discuss the roles and limitations of women during this time.
3. Teacher-led discussion on theme and plot (refresher before reading)
4. Teacher instructs students to pay close attention to Mrs. Mallard's reactions to the story's opening event and what theme or message her reaction might say about her.
5. Students read the story aloud or listen to the audio version.
6. Teacher leads discussion of the following questions: What is the theme of this short story? Do all cages really have bars and how does this apply to the story? What makes Mrs. Mallard feel confined before the story begins? Why does she eventually feel like she was released, from say, a cage?
7. Teacher will distribute the plot graphic organizer to each student for their completion http://www.teach-nology.com/worksheets/graphic/graporg34.pdf. This document will be their exit slip for the day.
8. When the graphic organizer is completed, students will work in their groups to plan a new ending for the story. Students will have to present their ending to the class and decide which ending is the best or is the original ending still the best one?