Language Arts 9
Unit 3: Short Stories
Lesson: 2 "Lamb to the Slaughter"
Time Required: 4 days (4 x 60 min + Homework)


Sightlines 9, "Lamb to the Slaughter", page 10
Resource Lines 9/10


evaluate information to distinguish between fact and opinion, evaluate sources to detect bias


2.1.1 Use prior knowledge to write a response judging Mary's actions
2.1.3 Use textual cues and key vocabulary to analyse information
3.2.3 Evaluate sources in discussion of stereotypes
3.3.3 Evaluate information in discussion of stereotypes
5.1.2 Work in groups to plan and create a role play


“I have a passion for teaching kids to become readers, to become comfortable with a book, not daunted. Books shouldn't be daunting, they should be funny, exciting and wonderful; and learning to be a reader gives a terrific advantage.” Roald Dahl. And I couldn't agree more!!

Likely most well-known for his children's works like James and the Giant Peach, The Witches, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Mr Fox, Matilda, and so many more! A master storyteller and skilled and surprising and delightful endings, he also wrote many other works, including the short story, Lamb to the Slaughter.

Lamb to the Slaughter. What does this mean? It it means that one is unaware of an impending tragedy or catastrophe. Have you ever experienced a situation where you were completely shocked by the outcome? In this story, you will find the outcome, in more than one way, to be completely shocking!!

readOn page 10 of your Sightlines 9 text book please read "Lamb to the Slaughter" by Roald Dahl. Enjoy!!

Once you finish reading the short story, watch Alfred Hitchcock's version of "Lamb to the Slaughter".


Refer, once again, to page 10 of your Sightlines 9 text book "Lamb to the Slaughter" by Roald Dahl and answer the comprehension questions below.

Exercise 1: Respond to each of the following questions in complete sentences, with direct reference to "Lamb to the Slaughter" by Roald Dahl.

1. How is the character of Mary Maloney presented? Directly or indirectly? Provide direct evidence from the story to support your answer. (2 marks)
2. Identify and explain the situational irony in this story. (2 marks)
3. Explain how bias and stereotypes effect the behavior of the characters in the story. Why do the police not consider Mary a suspect? (3 marks)
4. Describe Mary's conversation with Sam the grocer. How does this conversation become very important in the story? (2 marks)
5. Describe Mary Maloney at the beginning of the story. What kind of wife does she appear to be? (2 marks)
6.Complete activity #1 from page 18 of your Sightlines 9 anthology; "Write a response to the story, defending or condemning Mary Maloney's actions..."(5 marks)
7.Complete activity #4 from page 18 of your Sightlines 9 anthology: "Dramatic irony occurs when the reader of a story has information that the other characters do not have..." (5 marks)
8.Complete the quiz 9U3L2lambtotheslaughter in the quizzes/test section of LA9 homepage You are encouraged to and expected to use your text book to answer the questions and verify those answers. (9 marks)

Construct your responses in a Word document and label it LA9U3L2a.lastname and post it in the Dropbox for: LA9U3L2a Lamb to the Slaughter and indicate that the quiz is complete.
Each question will be marked according to the weight indicated.
TOTAL 30 marks comprehension

Find another example of a suspenseful story and compare how the two authors build suspense.

What techniques are the same? Different? What effects do the techniques have on the reader? Which story was more effective?

Construct your Liturature Comparison in a Word document labeled LA9U3L2b.lastname and post this in the Dropbox for: LA9U3L2b Comparing Literature.

5 marks for outlining the similarities and 5 marks for outlining the differences, 5 marks for outlining which story was more effective? 15 marks (writing).


This material is simply supplied here as enrichment for those students that are reading at a higher grade level, or have language skills that require them to be challenged. In other words, this is NOT additional work for those of you that feel that the lesson meets your needs as a learner.

Links within Sightlines 9: Transformation Mask, p. 9, The Execution, p. 19, The Open Window, p. 22, Coup de Grace, p. 32, Sophie, p. 268.

I also encourage you to read stories such as Roald Dahl's "The Hitchhiker", James and the Giant Peach, The Witches, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Mr Fox, Matilda, Sir Aurthur Conan Doyle's "The Adventure of the Speckled Band", and Edgar Allen Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado".

Remember, the point of view a writer chooses can give us insight into the characters. However, we have to take that information and interpret and judge the validity of that information for ourselves. In our last unit, (The Pigman) we learned that there are two different ways for a writer to present his/her character:

indirect presentation- the author reveals the character through actions, other characters reactions, dialogue, and behavior, etc.
direct presentation
- the author reveals character directly through information given.

Both of these methods are effective in their own ways; each is applicable and appropriate to different settings and circumstances. Please keep these definitions in your notes and re-write them in your own words.


You will be evaluated based on the assignments outlined above.