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Luck Instant Short Story Text & Lesson Plans

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Item #:624ISS
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Luck Instant Short Story Text & Lesson Plans


Instant Resources for Luck by Mark Twain!


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 Luck by Mark Twain:

  • 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 Luck

“Luck” is one of Twain’s least familiar stories. It was first published in Harper’s Magazine in 1891 and attracted very little critical attention. A year later, Twain included it in a short collection of stories titled Merry Tales, which was published by his ill-fated venture, Charles L. Webster and Company.

It is possible that this story is based on an actual person, and Twain himself prefaces the story with the note that it is “not a fancy sketch.” In other words, it is not a work of the imagination. He claims to have heard it from “a clergyman,” quite possibly Joseph Twichell, a Congregationalist pastor in Connecticut. Twichell was Twain’s closest friend for over forty years. He apparently heard about a famous general from a British chaplain: the general’s accomplishments were all simply the result of luck.

While it is a relatively common convention of Twain’s to have his narrator claim to have gotten the story from someone who heard the story from a different person, it is not common for Twain’s narrator to claim that the story is true and to vouch for the credibility of his sources.