Shirley Jackson's The Lottery Activities

Instructor: Jaclyn Scotto

Jaclyn is a high school English teacher and college professor. She has a doctorate in Education.

'The Lottery' by Shirley Jackson is a short story with many interesting themes. Because of this, there are a myriad of activities you can use in your classroom when you teach this story in your class. Read on for activity ideas for 'The Lottery.'

Writing Activities

'The Lottery' gives students lots to think about in regards to themes like conformity, rule-following, and tradition. Having students write about these topics can also make for great class discussions. Here are some writing activity ideas.

Journal Topic

Encourage students to engage in some honest reflection. Would you engage in the lottery because it is a town tradition? Why? Or if not, how would you go against it?

You could also use this writing topic as a jumping off point for discussing the dangers of the blind following of tradition.

Essay Topic

The black box is an important symbol in the story. How is the box described? Why is it so important to the town and the lottery process? What theme(s) does the box represent?

For more advanced students, ask them to use quotes/citations from the story to support their claims.

Creative Topic

Pretend you are Tessie Hutchinson, and write a diary entry explaining your feelings about the lottery system. Be sure to focus on the fairness aspect.

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