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Students should have already read The Open Window by Saki. This lesson plan includes two lessons, discussion questions, an activity, and two quizzes to ensure students’ understanding of the characters, scenes, and themes.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

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  • complete a character analysis of the main characters
  • discuss how direct intentions impact people’s perception
  • identify the major themes in the storyline


60 minutes

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.


Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.


Analyze how particular elements of a story or drama interact (e.g., how setting shapes the characters or plot).


  • Hard copies of:
    • The Open Window Summary and lesson quiz
    • The Open Window by Saki: Theme & Analysis and lesson quiz


  • Begin by asking students what they learned from reading The Open Window by Saki.

  • Then explain that they are going to read a summary and analyze the storyline.
  • Distribute The Open Window Summary and ask students to read the summary independently, then pose the following discussion points:
    • Identify the main characters in the story and use at least three adjectives to describe each.
    • Framton moved to a rural area for more peace and tranquility.

      Did his visit to Mrs. Sappleton’s meet his expectations? Explain.

    • How does the tragedy Vera explained to Framton impact him?
    • Based on the question above, were Vera’s actions intentional? If so, why would she do such a thing to a stranger?
    • Do you think it’s easier to dupe a stranger than someone you know? Explain.
    • Describe the symbolism of the open window.

    • Discuss the scene that sends Framton into shockwaves where he makes an abrupt exit.
  • Now distribute The Open Window by Saki: Theme ; Analysis and ask a volunteer to read ‘Background’, then start the following discussion:
    • Define protagonist and antagonist. The lesson identifies the protagonist, who is the antagonist in this storyline? Explain your rationale.
    • Is there ever an appropriate time to tell a lie? Explain.
  • Now choose another person to read ‘Escape’ and ask the class to describe how the main characters are escaping from their reality.
  • Next, select a volunteer to read ‘Empowerment’ and ask each student to pair and define empowerment and discuss how Vera empowered herself over the adult characters.
  • Allow students to share their responses.
  • Lastly, choose a student to read ‘Deception’ and lead a discussion on the lies that Vera told and how they impacted Framton.
  • Afterward, require students to read the ‘Lesson Summary’ independently.
  • Then pair students and distribute The Open Window summary lesson quiz and theme and analysis lesson quiz and ask them to read the questions and identify each answer.
  • Now review the answers to ensure accuracy.


  • Begin by asking students to discuss their favorite scene in the book.
  • Now explain that they are going to create a skit based on the major themes in the storyline.
  • Divide the class into three groups and assign one of the following themes to each:
    • Escape
    • Empowerment
    • Deception
  • Then ask each group to follow these instructions:
    • Review the hard copy lessons and identify a scene, major event, or conversation within the storyline based on your assigned theme.
    • Create a skit and ensure every group member has a role.
    • Include a modern-day twist on your skit, such as the use of a cell phone or social media.
  • After all groups are finished, allow each to present their skit.

Related Lessons

  • The Interlopers by Saki: Theme ; Analysis
  • Saki: Biography, Books ; Short Stories

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