Lesson Plan

Foreshadowing and Prediction in W.W. Jacob's, "A Monkey's Paw"

Grade Levels

9th Grade

Course, Subject

Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening
Related Academic Standards


Predicting:  the process of gathering information and combining it with the reader’s own knowledge to guess what might occur in the story

Foreshadowing:  the organization and presentation of events and scenes in a work of fiction or drama so that the reader or observer is prepared to some degree for what occurs later in the work. This can be part of the general atmosphere of the work, or it can be a specific scene or object that gives a clue or hint as to a later development of the plot. 



In this lesson, students will read and discuss "The Monkey's Paw," by W.W. Jacobs and explore the use of prediciting and foreshadowing throughout the story.  Students will:

Identify and find examples of foreshadowing and explore how they can be used to predict what will happen later in the story. 

Make predictions when asked at specific points in the story

Lesson Essential Question(s)

How does making predictions and recognizing foreshadowing throughout a story provoke thinking and response?


45 minutes/1-2 classes


"The Monkey's Paw," by W.W. Jacobs.  Copyright 1902.  Worthington Printing Press.

Reading notebook/ one per student


Copy of prediction chart:  http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/lesson_images/lesson420/prediction.pdf

SmartBoard (if available) or overhead projector

Suggested Instructional Strategies

W:  During this unit, students will explore the meaning of foreshadowing and predicting, identify examples of both literary terms within a story.  They will make their own predictions and pick out example/clues of foreshadowing throughout the story.  They will be evaluated by the completion of the student notebook, Prediction Chart, and the "Ticket to the Door." 

H: Having the students work cooperatively and collaborately about what they think foreshadowing and predicing is will give them the opportunity to have their own opninions/thoughts and see the opinions/thoughts of others. 

E:  By reading, "The Monkey's Paw," students explore the meanings of foreshadowing and prediction, and how these terms are used throughout the story.

R: They will be reflecting through completion of their student notebooks and Prediction Charts, revisiting by having a classroom discussion and going over the answers, revising by giving the students an opportunity to answer whether their prediction was right or wrong and why, and rethinking by making them fill out a "Ticket out the Door."   

E:  They will express their understanding by completing their student notebooks and Prediction Charts by discussing predictions as a class. Students will engage in a meaningful self-evaluation. 

T:  The instruction attached to the lesson can meet each child's needs.  During the planning portion of the lesson, note specific examples that certain students can make.  Allow supported students to be one of the first examples about foreshadowing/predicting to help boost confidence.  As an intervention for students who have trouble reading, they will be given the opportunity to listen to the story on the computer while they follow along with the text.  Students may also be given a copy a photocopy of the story so they can use a highlighter or higlighting tape examples of foreshadowing instead of writing the examples in a journal.  They can also take notes directly on the story pages.  The lesson will also include working individually, collaboratively, and as a whole group. 

O:  The lesson begins with working collaboratively with another student, works through reading the story as a class, but each student filling out their own notebooks and Prediction charts, then the class works together with the use of tecnology to go over their findings throughout the story.  The students have to independently fill out a "Ticket out the Door."

Instructional Procedures

1.   Two questions: 1. "What does it mean to predict?"  2.  "What does foreshadowing mean?", should be posted on the board for the students to answer.  Have students get out their notebooks and work with a partner to answer these questions in their individual notebooks.  When all the students have completed this activity, have an oral discussion about their answers and then post the correct definitions to these words on the board.  Define predicting, foreshadowing here.   

2.  Begin reading the story as a class.  Ask the students to write down in their journals any foreshadowing clues/example they might discover during the story.  Make sure students write down the page number of where they found the foreshadowing clue. 

3.  Halfway through each act and at the end of each act (except for act 3), ask the students to make a prediction of what they think is going to happen next in the story basedon their foreshadowing clues and write it in their prediction chart.  At the end of act 3, when story is over, ask students to complete their Prediction Chart as to whether their predictions were true and false and why. 

4.  At the end of the story, discuss with the class the story and the ending, ask the students how many predicted the ending correctly, and explain why they were correct/incorrect using examples from the text.  Then ask students to complete their Prediction Chart as to whether their predictions were true and false and explain why citing examples from the text.

5. After reviewing the ending of the story, set up the SmartBoard or overhead projector.  Start with the foreshadowing clues/examples students found in the story and how those clues helped the students predict parts of the story.  (i.e. Foreshadowing example: when Herbert dies, the reader should know that his parent's wish is going to be to bring him back to life).  Write these examples/clues on the SmartBoard/overhead.   (Teacher guide attached)C:\Documents and Settings\stewartj\Desktop\Examples of foreshadowing for teachers.docx

6.  When this is complete, explore how some of the foreshadowing examples/clues helped in prediciting what was going to happen next in the story. 

7.  Using the SmartBoard (or overhead), have the students volunteer and come up and write their predictions down.  Ask the students to elaborate on their answers by pulling in any foreshadowing examples/clues they may have used to help them with their predictions. 

8.  At the end of the lesson, collect the students' notebooks used throughout the lesson to write down any foreshadowing examples/clues they found while reading the story.  Also, collect their Prediction Charts.  This will help recognize the students who understand and grasp the concept of foreshadowing and predicting in the story and those who did not.  For those who did not understand the concept, reteaching or additional practice may be necessary. 

9.  As a "Ticket out the Door" when leaving class, ask the students to write down one fact and example they learned about foreshadowing and one fact with an example about predicting. 

Formative Assessment

Student notebooks

Ongoing assessment by appropriate usage of terms, classroom observations, and interactive group work. 

Formal assessment of usage of foreshadowing and prediction in the story at culmination of unit (summative)


Related Materials & Resources

Special Adaptations/Differentiated Instruction:




Date Published

March 23, 2010
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