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Shirley Jackson, The Lottery

Tradition, the importance of rituals, and clearly defined roles for men and women as factors that provide unity in a community come under scrutiny with a reading of Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery." After a whole-class discussion of sacrifice rituals and scapegoating, groups discuss Jackson's commentary on these situations. Finally, individuals reflect on how Jackson's use of irony creates a sense of horror.

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CCSS: Adaptable


  • Links are provided to other lessons in the unit

  • Be sure to check for prior knowledge: most juniors and seniors have studied the short story genre
  • Jackson's short story appears in most freshman or sophomore anthologies
Included Materials

  • Lesson Plan