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A White Heron Instant Short Story Text & Lesson Plans

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Item #:608ISS
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A White Heron Instant Short Story Text & Lesson Plans


Instant Resources for A White Heron by Sarah Orne Jewett!


Whether you're looking for a short story to pair with the novel you're teaching, or you need a 2- to 3-day sub plan to use with the stories in your textbooks, Prestwick House Instant Short Story Packs go beyond basic comprehension to help students learn how to analyze literature. 

Each downloadable pack addresses key skills through 5-10 standards-based analysis questions by guiding students through a series of scaffolding graphic organizers and in-class activities. 

This Instant Short Story Pack for A White Heron by Sarah Orne Jewett includes:

  • Scaffolding graphic organizers and in-class activities
  • Standards-based objectives
  • Introduction and pre-reading notes
  • Complete short story text
  • Rigorous analysis questions
  • Detailed teacher's answer guide


About A White Heron

Today, “A White Heron” is one of Sarah Orne Jewett’s most famous stories. In 1886, when she first wrote it, however, her friend and publisher James Fields did not consider it suitable for publication in The Atlantic Monthly. Jewett herself wrote to her close friend, Fields’s wife, “What shall I do with my ‘White Heron’ now she is written? She isn’t a very good magazine story, but I love her, and I mean to keep her for the beginning of my next book.” That book, A White Heron and Other Stories, was published later that year.

Because the story is so simple on its surface, many critics and scholars oversimplify the powerful themes it illustrates. Even James Fields and William Dean Howells at The Atlantic Monthly dismissed the story as “too romantic.”

Many modern critics, however, give Jewett credit for introducing ideas that would become very important in the twentieth century, especially feminism and environmentalism. Don’t allow the main character’s age to trick you into thinking “The White Heron” is an unimportant story. Remember that Jewett loved her “White Heron”; as you read the story, try to discover why.