1. Introduce the concept of the Western genre through pictures of old western towns. Activate prior knowledge by showing the PowerPoint "Bargain" Images. Discuss informally the images and what they represent.
2. Introduce the short story "Bargain" by A. B. Gutherie, Jr.,
3. Review point of view, dialect, characterization techniques, simile, and metaphor.
4. The text is a difficult read for some 8th graders. Chunk the text calling on better readers to read some portions and having the teacher read other parts particularly those with dialect. The reading might be best split over two days - the end of the first day and the beginning of the second day.
5. It is best if the teacher doesn't "over teach" the inferences within the text to the guilt or innocence of the main character.
6. Allow the students to read silently the last 2 pages but warn them to be aware of the details.
7. Ask students to do a quick write (no more than 2 minutes) of what actually happened to Freighter Slade. Allow students to share briefly.
8. Say to the students, "I believe that Freighter Slade died of poisoning. "Ask them to go back into the last two pages of the story and find the details that prove that inference.
9. Students can point out specific phrases by having a class secretary write them on a board or chart paper.
10. Give students the Bargain Significant Quote chart. Students should close read the story and find a quote for each term. The second page is the reverse. Quotes are given and their significance should be explained in terms of literary definitions and the story content.
11. Begin a class period with the "Bargain Letter: Dear Students." Allow students to read the letter silently prior to answering their questions about the assignment. Review the terms: argument, claim, and counterargument. Allow students to use a t-chart and the story to list quotes from the story to use as evidence to support their finding.
12. Students could present their writings on the following day and evaluate the evidence their peer use, particularly those students who are on opposite sides of the case.