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Short stories are great teaching tools.

This lesson plan will help your students summarizes and analyze the short story ‘On the Sidewalk Bleeding.’ Guided questions and activities included.

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Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • summarize On the Sidewalk Bleeding
  • analyze On the Sidewalk Bleeding
  • determine and explain theme in On the Sidewalk Bleeding


  • 1 hour


  • Copies of the lesson plan On the Sidewalk Bleeding: Summary & Themes
  • Copies of the short story On the Sidewalk Bleeding

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.


Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.


Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to the characters, setting, and plot; provide an objective summary of the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.


By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, at the high end of grades 6-8 text complexity band independently and proficient.


  • Connect students to learning by asking them to write a description of themselves. Briefly share and discuss, then tuck away for later.
  • Tell students they will be reading a short story dealing with the death of a gang member. If necessary, set the stage and tone with your students by discussing these themes and addressing bias.

  • Distribute copies of the short story On the Sidewalk Bleeding; read together as a class.
  • Have students highlight key ideas and terms, making notes on the margins of questions or reactions.
  • Stop and ask students to make predictions at key points during the story.
  • Ask:
    • Why are some words all bold or italics?
    • How does the way the story is told impact you as a reader? Why do you think the author chose this style?
    • Why didn’t any of the characters help Andy?
    • How does Andy change from the beginning of the story to the end?
  • Tell students they will be reading a lesson to help with summarizing and analyzing the story.

  • Distribute copies of the lesson On the Sidewalk Bleeding: Summary ; Themes.
  • Ask students to read the ‘Story Summary’ section. Have them work in small groups to complete a plot diagram.
  • Review the concept of theme, then instruct students to read the sections ‘Social Responsibility’ and ‘Identity.’
  • Instruct students to choose one theme to examine further. Partner them up with another student who chose the same theme and have them find examples from the text that support the analysis.

  • Share and discuss theme analysis.
  • Have students read the Lesson Summary.


  • Discuss the concept of Andy’s death and the author’s choice to have the character die.

    Was it necessary to get the point across in the story?

  • Ask students to write an alternative ending to the story that will keep the main idea yet add a more complex aspect to the story.
  • Finally, ask students to return to their self-descriptions. Ask them to review and determine if these words truly describe them as individuals or are labels, like being a Royal is in the story.

Related Lessons

  • Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart: Summary, Themes & Analysis
  • The Most Dangerous Games: Summary & Themes

Post Author: admin


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