• Small-Group Activity: Activate Prior Knowledge


    Discussion: If you had three wishes what would they be (wishing for more wishes doesn't count!)?

    Alternative Digital Activity:  Flipgrid Response 

    If I had three wishes...girl thinking.

    Note: Videos are moderated before being published. After being published, they are available for public viewing.  Feedback, likes, etc. have been turned off.

    If you have your own free Flipgrid account, click here to access the topic and copy it to your own grid. You can create your free account here

Background Activities

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    Background Activity 1: Presentation 

    The Monkey's Paw

    Display and discuss the presentation above to ensure students have the facts they need in order to fully understand some of the details in the story.


    Background Activity 2: Historic Timeline

    Timeline of inventions between 1860 and 1915

    Display and discuss the timeline of historic inventions and discuss what life must have been like in the early 1900s when the story is thought to have taken place.

    Background Activity 3: Individual or paired Activity

    British Pounds

    What is the difference between and pound and a dollar? How much was a pound worth in 1900?  Assign students to complete the Conversion Riddle to find out how much 200 pounds would be worth today. 

    Create a copy of the activity for your own Google Drive in order to capture student answers.

    Also available as PDF

    Answer Key



ASL Storytelling: "The Monkey's Paw"

Reading Activities

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    Pre-Reading Guide: Small Group Activity

    The Monkey's Paw Worksheet

    Help students prepare to read "The Monkey's Paw" with this group activity.

    Word DocPDF / Fillable PDF / Google Doc

    Or to use this worksheet as a Google Form, click here to create a copy for your Google Drive. (Note:  Once saved, it will appear as a Google Sheet.  Click on the  "Form" menu, and click “Edit Form.”)


    Guided Reading: Whole Group Activity

    Guided reading questions for the Monkey's paw

    Ensure student understanding with these discussion questions during the reading of "The Monkey's Paw." 

    Word Doc / PDF / Google Doc 


    Critical Thinking Questions: Individual Activity

    Critical Thinking for The Monkey's Paw

    Help students exercise their critical thinking skills with these questions about "The Monkey's Paw." 

    Word Doc / PDF / Fillable PDF  / Google Doc 


Writing Activities

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    Is the Paw Cursed? Prove It!

    In the short story "The Monkey's Paw," the author provides ample evidence that the paw may be cursed. You will write a paragraph using textual evidence to prove the paw is cursed. First, identify three pieces of evidence (direct quotes from the story). After identifying the evidence, explain how each piece of evidence proves that the monkey's paw is cursed. The paragraph must follow the guidelines below:

    • Indent the paragraph.
    • Include the story title and topic in the topic sentence.
    • Include three "evidence" sentences.
    • An explanation sentence must follow each of the evidence sentences.
    • Concluding sentence must include the topic of the paragraph and story title. 
    • Eight sentence minimum.

    The following guide will help students collect evidence to write their paragraphs.

Insert Learning Activity

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    Insert Learning is a Google extension that allows teachers to annotate web pages with notes, highlighting, and questions. The short video below shows how students can interact with a "The Monkey's Paw" web page on

    By signing up for a free account, teachers can "insert learning," assign it to their students and capture the learning on the back end.  You can monitor student responses in real-time and respond to students who need help the most. 

    If you already have the Google extension, you and your students can see the annotations that have been added to the text of "The Monkey's Paw" by clicking here.  The page includes explanations of the text, open-ended questions, multiple-choice questions, a Google map showing India and England, and even a Flipgrid response at the end. 

    Sign up for a free account and access the Google extension by clicking here.


Culminating Activity: Creative Writing Project

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    Display and discuss the video above.  Brainstorm with students together to generate different story ideas. 

    The Story Arc

    Understanding the rise and fall of the story arc is important to all story-writing.  Use the video below to explain and discuss.

    The Story Arc Practice

    Use the worksheet below to discuss (in groups or as a class) the story arc of "The Monkey's Paw."

    Word Doc, PDF, Fillable PDF, Google Doc

    How to Make Your Writing Suspenseful

    Students love scary stories, so why not help them write their own?  Use the video below to jump-start their suspenseful writing skills.

     Key points for discussion:

    1. Tell the story from the characters’ point of view.  
    2. Choose the right setting like castles and spooky forests. 
    3. Use imagery to paint a picture of your story. 
    4. Use style to create tension like short sentences when you want to show something is happening fast. 
    5. Use dramatic irony by revealing key parts of the secret to the audience, but not to the characters.
    6. You might want to use a cliffhanger, but some think this is a quick and easy trick.

Project Assignments

  • Click below to expand each section's instructions with corresponding links and material.

  • Instructions

  • Brainstorming

  • Planning Your Story

  • Characters

  • Plot Structure

  • First Draft

  • Editing

  • Peer Editing

  • Title

  • Final Draft

  • Rubric Check

  • Publishing

Extension Activities

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    Text Animation

    Character text messages:  Have students create conversations between the characters at


    Fate or Coincidence Debate:  Students debate whether things happen in life because of fate or coincidence and use examples from their own lives to support their beliefs.  Here is a great lesson plan for this activity.

    Have students find another of W.W. Jacobs' short stories, read it, and write a brief analysis comparing and contrasting it to The Monkey's Paw.

    Watch "The Monkey’s Paw" Reenactment. Students will write a comparative analysis in which they discuss the similarities and differences that exist in how the film and text develop the tone, events in the plot, complex characters, and setting.  Students should take a position in their responses about how the film causes them to interpret the actual events in the short story.

    The Monkey's Paw Escape Room Use your knowledge of the story to escape the room before the 45 minutes have elapsed.

    Watch an adaptation. This is not a full list, as there are several adaptions that appear even in sitcoms (like Gilligan's Island) that are not listed, but it's a good start.

    Research Monkeys in India:  Use this website  and this news article to research monkeys common to India. Then, answer the questions in this Google Doc.  

    More Activities and Ideas

    For more ideas on The Monkey's Paw activities, including writing tie-ins, bulletin board ideas, art projects and more, visit our Monkey's Paw Pinterest board.