Close Reading Workshop: Short Story

Characters and Conflict

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Close reading icon Close Reading Model: Short Story

Read p.5 in Literature. Before reading the short story “The Old Grandfather and His Little Grandson,” first look at the annotations, or callouts, in the margins of the text. The annotations call out important points in the story related to Key Ideas and Details, Craft and Structure, and Integration of Knowledge and Ideas. Each time a Close Reading Model is introduced in the course, you will see these annotations. The annotations are just a starting point to help you analyze the story further.

Complete the following steps to practice the Close Reading Model.

First Read: Key Ideas and Details

  1. During the first reading of the story, think about the following questions:

    • Who are the main characters?
    • What is the setting?
    • What is the main conflict?

  2. Listen to and read the short story "The Old Grandfather and His Little Grandson" to unlock basic meaning.

    Select the play button to access the audio version of the story.


  3. Reread the first paragraph.

  4. Read annotations 2 and 4. These are key ideas and details because they provide basic information about the story's setting and characters.

Second Read: Craft and Structure

  1. During the second reading of the story, think about the following questions:

    • Why do the characters behave as they do? How do their actions advance the plot?
    • How does the author's word choice affect the story's tone?

  2. Reread the short story "The Old Grandfather and His Little Grandson."

  3. Read annotations 1 and 5 to analyze Craft and Structure.

Third Read: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

  1. During the third reading of the story, think about the following questions:

    • How has this work increased my knowledge of a subject or author?
    • What is surprising about the story's outcome?

  2. Reread the short story "The Old Grandfather and His Little Grandson."

  3. Read annotations 3 and 6 to analyze the Integration of Knowledge and Ideas.

  4. Reread the last paragraph.

  5. Answer the following questions:

    • What is the outcome of the conflict between the characters?
    • Was the tension between them positive or negative in the end?
    • Explain how the result affects the theme of the story.

    Select the link to check your answers.

    Answer icon Integration of Knowledge and Ideas Answers

Select the link to access the online textbook.

Online textbook icon Literature

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Online textbook icon Literature (HTML)