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A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O'Connor: Short Story Discussion & Lesson

Teaching Flannery O'Connor's Short Story

Grade Level Grades 10-12, Higher Education, Adult Education
Resource Type Lesson Plan
Standards Alignment
Common Core State Standards


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Engage Adolescent English Language Arts students (Grades 10-12) with Flannery O'Connor's classic short story "A Good Man is Hard to Find."

O'Connor's short story is compelling, dealing with issues related to class, race, moral hypocrisy, and violence. In the story, a woman from the American South goes on a family vacation to Florida. But not everything turns out as expected . . .

Use this Digital Download for a Two-day English Language Arts Lesson

Using my tested-in-the-classroom resources, teenagers will want to discuss this satirical story's explosive and ironic events. So I have loaded this resource with discussion questions that will get your students talking and writing! N.B. — The short story is not included in this digital download, but I provide multiple links to the story online.

Common Core Standards:

This resource aligns well with the Reading Literature standard CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.2. Keep in mind that this lesson works well with eleventh and twelfth graders; I have used it to teach Ninth and Tenth graders — and mature seventh and eighth graders.

This Resource Includes the Following Features:

  • Teacher's Lesson Guide & Notes
  • Biography Non-Fiction Reading Worksheet + Questions and Research
  • 2 Entrance and Exit Tickets
  • Discussion Question Sets (14 questions total)
  • Post-Reading Quiz for "A Good Man is Hard to Find" by Flannery O'Connor
  • Essay Writing Prompt (with a Note-taking graphic organizer)
  • Further Reading List
  • Answer Keys

I created this resource with high school students in mind. It is designed for a typical High School English curriculum short story unit on character and foreshadowing. You can use this resource as a stand-alone lesson or pair it with a larger unit on American Literature and the Short Story. It also works well in a Humanities course, a Southern Literature course, a Creative Writing class, or a teen advisory lesson on racism, violence in America, and class.

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Lesson Plan
November 6, 2022
1.4 MB
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Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.
Analyze the impact of the author’s choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed).
Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure specific parts of a text (e.g., the choice of where to begin or end a story, the choice to provide a comedic or tragic resolution) contribute to its overall structure and meaning as well as its aesthetic impact.
Analyze a case in which grasping point of view requires distinguishing what is directly stated in a text from what is really meant (e.g., satire, sarcasm, irony, or understatement).


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