After Twenty Years Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Check student understanding of and analyze characters in the story 'After Twenty Years' with this lesson plan. A video lesson helps summarize plot and characters as students discuss content and finish with a culminating activity.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • summarize After Twenty Years by O. Henry
  • analyze characters in After Twenty Years


Two 1-hour lessons

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1

Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.2

Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3

Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme.


Key Vocabulary and Characters

  • Twist ending
  • O. Henry
  • Silky Bob
  • Jimmy Wells

Warm-Up and Preparation

  • Start the lesson by having students reflect on the following questions:
    • What does it mean to have good character?
    • What character traits make a good friend?
  • After a couple of minutes of reflection, break students into small groups to share their ideas.
  • Discuss as a whole class, recording character traits and other descriptive vocabulary about friends and good character on the board.
    • What do most students think makes a good friend?
    • What is good character?
  • Introduce vocabulary words and discuss the meaning of the twist ending. What may this mean about the story they're about to read?
  • Have students make a t-chart with the character names Silky Bob and Jimmy Wells and instruct them to record character traits for each as they read.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account