Authentic Lessons for 21st Century Learning

Totally Different Stories


Margaret Salesky, Lindsey Link | Published: November 17th, 2022 by K20 Center

  • Grade Level Grade Level 9th
  • Subject Subject English/Language Arts
  • Course Course


In this lesson, students will consider the context and evaluate perspectives while comparing "Story of an Hour" and excerpts from "The Awakening". After reading the stories, students will write a short response from the perspective of the characters.

Essential Question(s)

How does perspective influence a reader's response? How do authors use perspective to help readers?



Students participate in a Caption This activity using pictures of couples from the time.


Students engage in an Always, Sometimes, or Never True activity over statements about love/marriage.


Students read The Story of an Hour and or excerpts from The Awakening. While reading, they complete a T-Chart over the text.


Students write journal entries from the perspective of a character.


Students collaborate in pairs on an I Think/We Think activity.


  • Lesson Slides (attached)

  • Always, Sometimes, Never True activity (attached; one per student)

  • Caption This handout (attached; one per student)

  • Excerpt from The Awakening (attached; one per student)

  • T-Chart handout (attached; one per student)

  • I Think/We Think handout (attached; one per student)

  • Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin (linked below)

  • Pen/pencil

  • Student devices withinternet access


Use attached Lesson Slides. Display slides 3 and 4 to introduce the lesson. Explain the objectives and overview of the lesson.

Move to slide 5 and inform students that they are participating in an activity called Caption This. Pass out the attached Caption This handout, and instruct students to caption the images of couples from the era of the Kate Chopin stories (slides 6-11). Remind students that the time period of when these stories were written is very different than the time we are living in today. Gender and marriage roles are not the same and the way people thought about the topics can differ vastly from what many people think in modern day. Students should pay careful attention to determine what each of the spouses is thinking, or the story behind the picture from both perspectives. Instruct students to write responses on their handout as you display the images on the screen.


Move to slide 12 and pass out the attached Always, Sometimes, or Never True handout. Introduce students to the Always, Sometimes, or Never True strategy. Have students read through each of the statements on the handout, and then label them as "always true," "sometimes true," or "never true." Underneath each statement, instruct students to explain their reasoning for why they chose each label.

Once students have had time to work, go through each statement on slides 13-19 and invite students to share out which label they chose and why. Encourage students to respectfully engage in discussion about the statements and differing opinions.


Display slide 20 and inform students that they are reading a story and a story excerpt written by author Kate Chopin. Pass out the attached excerpt from The Awakening and the story, The Story of an Hour.

Move to slide 21 and pass out the attached T-Chart handout. Inform students that while they are reading they will be using the instructional strategy T-Chart to organize the evidence they collect on Mrs. Mallard and Mr. Pontellier. As the students read, remind them to take time to consider the two characters’ points of view and ask themselves the following questions:

  • How are they feeling?

  • What are they thinking?

  • What are they going through?

Remind students to pay careful attention to not put their perspective into the character, but instead to use specific evidence from the text to support the character’s thoughts.


50 Minute(s)

Once the reading is complete, display slide 22 and instruct students to write journal entries from the point of view of one of the two characters:

  • Mrs. Mallard while she’s alone in her room.

  • Mr. Pontellier in the midst of his wife leaving him.

Redirect students to the notes they took while they were reading. Remind them to consider the perspective and feelings of the character they chose to write on as they complete the journal entries.


Move to slide 23 after students have completed their writing. Distribute the attached handout, I Think/We Think, to each student. Instruct students to answer the following question on their own using the I Think, We Think strategy: How did the author’s use of perspective help you understand the character? Once the students complete the “I Think” portion of the handout, display slide 24. Instruct them to partner up with one person who wrote from the opposite perspective. Together, the pair should discuss the question and provide one answer the encompasses both character perspectives. Each student should complete the “We Think” portion of their handout.