Need A Plan For The Holidays? Download “The Gift of the Magi” Short Story Unit

The Gift of the Magi Christmas Short Story UnitDo you need an interactive, student-centered service learning project that will encourage middle and high school students to turn their Christmas break excitement into a creative endeavor based on O. Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi”? This unit is full of highly engaging student discussions perfect for Christmas and encouraging students to think beyond themselves to how they can help others.

This 3-6 day lesson contains everything you need to guide students through reading and viewing short literature covering topics relevant to students today, responding to a daily essential question, and planning and creating real-world children’s books or videos witih a modern take on a classic tale of love and sacrifice.

This short story resource is designed to help students analyze a complex work of literary fiction. Specific questions presented in an assessment practice worksheet guide students through the process of analyzing the plot, characterization, setting, and theme.

This lesson plan includes:

  1. Teacher preparation instructions
  2. During teaching instructions
  3. Student assessment practice
  4. Theme Notes
  5. Analysis prompts
  6. Answer key
  7. Service learning creative writing project

Download this unit at Teachers Pay Teachers, or right here in the reThink ELA Shop.

Note: On November 27 & 28 ONLY: save 20% in my TpT store by using the code CYBER17 at checkout!

About the author 

Michelle Boyd Waters, M.Ed.

I am a secondary English Language Arts teacher, a University of Oklahoma student working on my doctorate in Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum with an concentration in English Education and co-Editor of the Oklahoma English Journal. I am constantly seeking ways to amplify students' voices and choices.

  1. Is this lesson plan appropriate for 5th grade or easily modified to work in the 5th grade classroom?

    1. Hi Julie!

      I think with some scaffolding in terms of additional discussions of vocabulary, perhaps reading the story to the class, and maybe creating a framework for the subsequent short story the students will create (or even working as a class to create a modern version of the tale), you would be able to teach this at the fifth grade level.

      Thank you for asking!

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