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The Gift of the Magi Instant Short Story Text & Lesson Plans

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Item #:577ISS
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The Gift of the Magi Instant Short Story Text & Lesson Plans


Instant Resources for The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry!


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 The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry 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 The Gift of the Magi

Like Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” O. Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi” has become a steadfast and beloved feature of United States popular culture.

First published on December 10, 1905, in The New York Sunday World Magazine, this parable about a young couple’s selfless love has been adapted into more than a dozen television specials and full length feature films. Countless television series have used the plot for their holiday episodes (including “Christmas Eve on Sesame Street,” in which Bert sells his paper clip collection in order to buy Ernie a soap dish for his Rubber Duckie, while Ernie trades his Rubber Duckie for a cigar box to hold Bert’s paper clips).

The Gift of the Magi is most certainly O. Henry’s most well-known short story. So universal are the story and its themes that columnist and blogger Drew Johnson has dubbed it “the American answer to [Charles Dickens’s] A Christmas Carol.”