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Lesson Plan by Cassie Bermel B. Ed.

Contents of the Dead Man's Pockets by Jack Finney

This free, printable Pixton lesson plan brings fiction to life with comics and storyboards.

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Pixton Lesson Plan on Contents of the Dead Man's Pockets by Jack Finney
Pixton Lesson Plan on Contents of the Dead Man's Pockets by Jack Finney
Pixton Lesson Plan on Contents of the Dead Man's Pockets by Jack Finney

Main Characters

Contents of the Dead Man's Pockets by Jack Finney

When you import any of the activities below, you can choose to share these ready-made characters with your students.

  • Tom Benecke from Contents of the Dead Man's Pockets by Jack Finney
    Tom Benecke

    The protagonist, who loses an important paper out the window

  • Clare Benecke from Contents of the Dead Man's Pockets by Jack Finney
    Clare Benecke

    Tom’s wife

Featured Props

Contents of the Dead Man's Pockets by Jack Finney

Student creations come alive with these themed objects – in addition to our library of over 3,000 props!

  • Building
    Building
  • Door
    Door
  • Explosion
    Explosion
  • Glass
    Glass
  • Ledge
    Ledge
  • Paper
    Paper
  • Road
    Road
  • Theater
    Theater
  • Wind
    Wind
  • Window
    Window
Print this Teacher Guide

Teacher Guide

Contents of the Dead Man's Pockets by Jack Finney

Step 1Class discussion with students
  • Ask students to consider the following: What is the balance between work and play? How do you know if you have achieved that balance? Have students first discuss in small groups, and then share as a class.

  • Have students write a journal entry about something that they worked very hard on. It could be a skill or idea, or something more concrete, like a project. How did it feel to work on that? How would you react if one day you lost it?
Step 2Pixton comic-making activities
Step 3Concluding discussion with students
  • How do you think this experience changed Tom’s life? Support your answer with examples.
  • What is your opinion of the way this story ended? Explain using examples from the text.
  • How does the title change your predictions when reading the story? What do you think the author’s intent was when creating this title?
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Pixton Activity: Contents of the Dead Man's Pockets 1 Character Sketch

Intro

Understanding characterization is an important skill that will help reinforce key attributes of the story’s characters, and help create connections with the plot and theme. The characteristics that make up the protagonist and other characters help shape the outcome of the narrative.

Instructions

Create a character sketch for Tom Benecke.

  • It's important to add sufficient detail to all the parts of the map.
  • Include an appropriate illustration based on the character's attributes that are outlined in the story. See the rubric for grading guidelines.

Rubric: Character Sketch

Use this interactive rubric for easy, thorough assessment. It can even be used by students for self-assessment!

5 4 3 2 1
Overview The character map is thoughtful; descriptions are detailed and informative. The character map is fully developed; accurate details and insightful descriptions. The character map is complete; descriptions are simple and settings are accurate. The character map includes basic details, but is not fully developed. The character map does not accurately reflect the characters.
Meaning Ideas, information and use of detail • strong point of view
• summary is clear and highly detailed
• descriptions are thoughtful and highly developed
• significant details that make characters unique and dynamic
• relevant ideas with consistent analysis
• summary is clear and accurate
• logical descriptions that clarify and develop the idea
• characters are similar; includes relevant details
• relevant ideas with some analysis
• summary is short, but accurate
• descriptions are simple and consistent
• characters similar to description
• some relevant ideas
• summary has several errors
• descriptions are brief and lack detail
• characters vaguely looks like description
• often very brief
• summary is has significant errors
• descriptions are difficult to follow
• characters do not look like description
Style Clarity, variety, impact of visuals and language • language is clear, varied
• flows smoothly; variety in sentences
• images and characters are fully developed; high attention to detail
• language is clear with some variety
• includes a variety of sentence lengths and patterns
• images and characters have purpose and significance
• language is clear with little variety
• basic sentence structures with a few variations
• images and characters are basic, but have purpose
• basic language; vague at times
• repeats a few basic sentence structures
• images and characters have minimal development
• vague, incorrect and repetitive language
• poorly constructed sentences; little variety
• images and characters are poorly developed
Form Organization and sequence • proper organization
• panels are thoughtful and detailed
• all panels are organized or logical
• all panels are present
• most panels are organized or logical
• all panels are present
• some panels are organized or logical
• some panels may be missing
• panels are not organized or logical
• panels are missing
Conventions The text demonstrates standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses eloquent words, rich sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses precise words, controlled sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates standard English conventions
• uses words and phrases, telling details and sensory language to convey a vivid picture
• demonstrates some accuracy in standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • contains multiple inaccuracies in Standard English conventions of usage and mechanics
Total
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Pixton Activity: Contents of the Dead Man's Pockets 2 Plot Diagram

Instructions

Summarize Contents of the Dead Man’s Pockets using the structure identified in a Plot Diagram. As a starting point, use the 6 panel Storyboard template below to organize your summary.

  • Include a brief description and an illustration for each part (introduction, conflict, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution).
  • Be sure to identify the key points that are essential in defining that specific part.
  • Think about relevant quotes that could be used to help create meaning in each panel. See the rubric for grading guidelines.

Rubric: Plot Diagram

Use this interactive rubric for easy, thorough assessment. It can even be used by students for self-assessment!

5 4 3 2 1
Overview The plot diagram is focused, with advanced use of language/ideas. The plot diagram is accurate, well developed, with consistent use of details. The plot diagram is complete and accurate; lacks consistent use of specific details. The plot diagram is basic; has several errors,or lacks detail. The plot diagram is inaccurate and difficult to follow.
Meaning Ideas, information and use of detail • strong point of view
• summary is clear and highly detailed
• descriptions are thoughtful and highly developed
• relevant ideas with consistent analysis
• summary is clear and accurate
• logical descriptions that clarify and develop the idea
• relevant ideas with some analysis
• summary is short, but accurate
• descriptions are simple and consistent
• some relevant ideas
• summary has several errors
• descriptions are brief and lack detail
• often very brief
• summary is has significant errors
• descriptions are difficult to follow
Style Clarity, variety, impact of visuals and language • varies language to develop meaning
• varies sentence structure for effect
• images and characters have impact on the meaning of the panel
• language is clear with some variety
• varies sentence structure
• makes attempts to use descriptive language
• images and characters have purpose and significance
• language is clear with little variety
• basic sentence structure with a few variations
• images and characters are basic, but have purpose
• basic language; vague at times
• some variety in sentence length and type
• images and characters have minimal development
• vague, incorrect and repetitive language
• poorly constructed sentences; little variety
• images and characters are poorly developed
Form Organization and sequence (beginning, middle, end) • proper organization
• sequence is highly effective and has purpose
• all panels are thoughtful and detailed
• all panels are organized or logical
• logical sequence
• all panels are present
• most panels are organized or logical
• consistent attention to sequence
• all panels are present
• some panels are organized or logical
• some attention to sequence
• some panels may be missing
• panels are not organized or logical
• no attention to sequence
• panels are missing
Conventions The text demonstrates standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses eloquent words, rich sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses precise words, controlled sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates standard English conventions
• uses words and phrases, telling details and sensory language to convey a vivid picture
• demonstrates some accuracy in standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • contains multiple inaccuracies in Standard English conventions of usage and mechanics
Total

Example Plot Diagram

Conflict and Plot in “Contents of the Dead Man's Pockets” by Student
ExpositionTom's wife, Clare, is going to the theatre, but Tom chooses to stay home to work, hoping to get his project done by the end of the week so he can pitch it to his boss. Main ConflictAs he kisses Clare goodbye and closes the door, an important paper, containing months of data collection, flies out the open window. Rising ActionNot willing to let his hard work go, Tom decides to climb out the window and on to a very narrow ledge to retrieve it. Without too much thought, he shuffles out to where the paper is sitting. ClimaxAs Tom bends down to pick up his paper, he sees the ground below him and realizes what a dangerous situation he is in. He manages to retrieve the paper, but is then paralyzed with fear and cannot move. Finally, he is able to get back to the window, but it closes on him. Clinging to only the window frame, he realizes he cannot wait until Clare comes home, and faces the fact that he might die. Falling ActionHe has an epiphany at this moment, realizing that he has spent too much time on work, and not enough on other aspects. After attempting various ways to get people's attention, his last chance is to punch the window and break the class. He does so and is able to back inside the apartment. DenouementAs soon as he is in the apartment, he places the paper back on his desk. He grabs his topcoat and hat and heads out to meet his wife at the theatre. As he opens the door, he sees the same yellow paper fly out the window once again. He laughs, and closes the door behind him.

Here's the link to share this comic:

Student Handout

Share this comic with your students to demonstrate the activity without giving away the farm :)

Conflict and Plot in “Cinderella” by Pixton
ExpositionCinderella lives a humble life with her father, and is very happy. However, soon after taking a new wife, Cinderella's father passes away. Main ConflictWith her new husband now deceased, Lady Tremaine and her two daughters take over the house. Rather than welcoming Cinderella into the family, they make her a servant and treat her cruelly. Rising ActionThe Prince, looking to get married, announces there will be a ball for all the ladies in the kingdom to attend. Cinderella plans to go but her stepsisters ruin her dress. As she sits in tears, her fairy godmother appears and gives her everything she needs for a grand experience at the ball. But there is a catch; at midnight, everything will return to how it was before. ClimaxCinderella enters the ballroom and immediately catches Prince Charming's eye. After a night of dancing, the two are in love. Cinderella loses track of time, however, and when the clock strikes midnight, she flees from the ball. Prince Charming is left with nothing but her glass slipper. Falling ActionThe prince is determined to find the mysterious woman from the ball. He sends his men to visit every household in the kingdom and have them try on the glass slipper. The woman whom the shoe fits will be the new princess. DenouementAt last, Cinderella gets a chance to try on the glass slipper and it fits perfectly. Prince Charming knows she is the one he fell in love with at the ball. He rescues her from her wicked stepfamily and they live happily ever after.
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Pixton Activity: Contents of the Dead Man's Pockets 3 Symbolism

Instructions

Using the template provided, create a Mind Map identifying the importance of a symbol in Contents of the Dead Man’s Pockets. Describe its importance giving two or three examples from the text. Your panels should include:

  • A title that identifies the scene.
  • A description that explains how the symbol is important in the text.
  • An illustration that matches. See the rubric for grading guidelines.

Rubric: Symbolism

Use this interactive rubric for easy, thorough assessment. It can even be used by students for self-assessment!

5 4 3 2 1
Overview The symbolism is highly developed; examples have significant purpose and engage the reader. The symbolism is well developed; examples are specific and provide sufficient support. The symbolism is briefly discussed; examples are accurate but not fully explained. The symbolism is briefly discussed; vague or irrelevant examples. The symbolism is not identified; lacks any supporting examples.
Meaning Ideas, information and use of detail • strong point of view
• develops ideas clearly and logically with details, examples, and descriptions
• relevant ideas with consistent analysis
• logical descriptions or examples clarify and develop the ideas
• relevant ideas with some analysis
• examples or descriptions are simple and consistent
• few relevant ideas
• examples or descriptions may be poorly developed or illogical
• ideas are not developed
• few details or descriptions
Style Clarity, variety, impact of visuals and language • language is clear, varied
• flows smoothly; variety in sentences
• images and characters are fully developed; high attention to detail
• language is clear with some variety
• includes a variety of sentence lengths and patterns
• images and characters have purpose and significance
• language is clear with little variety
• basic sentence structures with a few variations
• images and characters are basic, but have purpose
• basic language; vague at times
• repeats a few basic sentence structures
• images and characters have minimal development
• vague, incorrect and repetitive language
• poorly constructed sentences; little variety
• images and characters are poorly developed
Form Organization and sequence (supporting examples identified) • proper organization
• examples are properly referenced
• panels are thoughtful and detailed
• all panels are organized or logical
• examples are properly referenced
• all panels are present
• most panels are organized or logical
• examples are properly referenced
• all panels are present
• some panels are organized or logical
• examples are not/improperly referenced
• some panels may be missing
• panels are not organized or logical
• examples are not referenced
• panels are missing
Conventions The text demonstrates standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses eloquent words, rich sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses precise words, controlled sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates standard English conventions
• uses words and phrases, telling details and sensory language to convey a vivid picture
• demonstrates some accuracy in standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • contains multiple inaccuracies in Standard English conventions of usage and mechanics
Total

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