Ernest Hemingway Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Teach your students about the legendary Ernest Hemingway with the help of this lesson plan. Students will watch an informative video outlining Hemingway's life, work, and style of writing, view samples of his work to apply learning, then apply their new-found knowledge to an activity.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • discuss and explain the relationship between Hemingway's life and work
  • generate questions and find answers about Hemingway and his work
  • cite text evidence to support analysis of Hemingway's work


1 hour


  • Copies of short stories by Ernst Hemingway
  • Copies of the lesson quiz, one for each student

Key Vocabulary

  • Ernst Hemingway
  • The Old Man and the Sea
  • A Farewell to Arms
  • The Sun Also Rises

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.5

Analyze how an author's choices concerning how to structure a text, order events within it (e.g., parallel plots), and manipulate time (e.g., pacing, flashbacks) create such effects as mystery, tension, or surprise.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.9

Analyze how an author draws on and transforms source material in a specific work (e.g., how Shakespeare treats a theme or topic from Ovid or the Bible or how a later author draws on a play by Shakespeare).

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1

Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.


  • Connect students to the topic by asking them to read a short story by Ernst Hemingway and journal in response to the prompts:
    • Where do you think the author get inspiration for the story and characters?
    • What do you think the author was like? Why?
  • When students are finished writing, divide them into small groups and instruct them to share and discuss answers, then talk about as a whole group.
  • Tell students the author is named Ernest Hemingway and they will be learning about his life, style of work, and the connection between these two ideas.
  • Start the video lesson Ernest Hemingway: Biography, Works, and Style and pause at 1:34. Discuss:
    • How are Ernest Hemingway and Stephanie Meyer alike? How are they different?
    • What does it mean that both authors could 'connect with people?'
  • Resume the lesson and pause at 3:07 to ask:
    • Why was Hemingway criticized for his early work?
    • How was The Old Man and the Sea autobiographical?
  • Restart the lesson and pause at 6:55. Discuss how some larger works of Hemingway mirrored his life and experiences, then ask students to take out the short story they read at the beginning of class.
  • Work with students to find examples of how Hemingway's life experiences influenced his work. Underline or highlight passages and discuss the context as it relates to information from the video lesson.
  • Make a two-column chart on the board labeled 'Work Citation' and 'Relation to Hemingway,' then fill it in with the data you created.
  • Play the remainder of the lesson and allow students to ask any remaining questions.

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