DOC

the last leaf

By Melvin Smith,2014-10-26 18:39
10 views 0
the last leaf

The Last Leaf by O. Henry

    from The Gift of the Magi and Other Stories

This Level 1 ELLSA lesson can be accessed on the internet at

    http://www.rdlthai.com/ellsa_lastleaf1.html

Lesson plan and text: Jeffrey Taschner, 1999

    Print and web-adaptation: John Morgan, 1999

    ? USIA, 1999. All rights reserved

1. SYNOPSIS

1a) Synopsis

     Johnsy and Sue are artists who move into Greenwich Village in New York City. As Winter approaches and the weather gets colder, Johnsy becomes ill with pneumonia. She gets so sick that she believes that when the last leaf falls from the vine outside her window, she will die. An old artist, named Behrman, who lives in the same building as the girls, braves a storm one night to paint a leaf on the wall a leaf that will never fall.

    Cold and wet from painting in the icy rain, he catches pneumonia and dies. This gives Johnsy the hope to survive her illness, and it also creates the masterpiece Behrman had always dreamed of painting.

1b) Vocab checkpoint

    • approaches (verb) To approach is to move towards. It is often used with seasons and special occasions (New Year, Christmas, birthdays) as in the example here, as well as with people and moving objects (vehicles, etc).

    • becomes (verb) In this example, becomes has the same meaning as "gets". With illnesses, we often use "to fall", or "to be taken": Johnsy fell ill/Johnsy was taken ill

• pneumonia (noun) Pneumonia is a serious illness of the lungs.

    • vine (noun) A vine is like a branch (of a tree), but is actually a stem of a climbing plant (it may also be used to describe the climbing plant itself, e.g. grape vine).

    • braves (verb) To brave as a verb, means to face an adverse or difficult situation, even though the person may not be brave (as in the meaning of the adjective: courageous).

    • survive (verb) To survive something is to overcome a problem, illness or adverse situation. It may also be, simply, to stay alive. The noun is survivor.

    • masterpiece (noun) A masterpiece is a great work of art, like a painting, sculpture or piece of music or writing (poetry, fiction, etc.)

2. PRE-STORY

2a) Seasons...

     • How many seasons are there in your country?

     • What are they?

     • What time of year do they occur?

     • Which season do you like best?

     • In which season is it easiest to fall ill?

     ...and Settings

     The Last Leaf takes place in New York City, the largest city in America. The

     location of the story is a small part of New York known as Greenwich Village

     (pronounced "grennitch", not "green-witch").

     • Have you ever been to New York City?

     • Have any of your family or friends been there?

     • Did they like it there?

     • How many seasons does New York have?

     • Do you know another common name for Autumn?

     • Why do you suppose Autumn has its other name?

     Setting is an important element in any short story, and it is particularly important

     in The Last Leaf.

     What are the two main parts of a story's setting?

     T______ & P______

     We can think of these aspects in terms of "where the story takes place" and

     "when the story takes place".

3. IN-STORY

    3a) A masterpiece is the greatest piece of art an artist creates. The Mona Lisa, for

     example, is Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece. It is simple and beautiful and the

     painting shows great technique and use of color.

     There are 3 painters in this story. What are their names?

     S___________

     J___________

     Mr __________N

     Another main character is Mr Pneumonia, though he doesn't sound much like a

     painter. How would you describe Mr Pneumonia?

    3b) If you have already read the Last Leaf try to remember the ending of the story. If

     you have not read the story yet, this would be good time to read it before trying this exercise.

     Ten Lines from The Last Leaf

     Here are ten lines from the end of the story. Put them into the correct order to

     find out how Mr Behrman created his masterpiece. Try to do this without looking

     at the book.

     a) There was a light he had taken outside. ___

     b) Mr Behrman died of pneumonia today in the hospital. ___

     c) There was green and yellow paint. ___

     d) He was helpless with pain. ___

     e) He painted his great masterpiece before the last leaf fell. ___

     f) And they found some things. ___

     g) The night had been so cold and wild. ___

     h) Someone found him in his room. ___

     i) There were materials for painting. ___

     j) His clothes were as wet and cold as ice. ___

3b) The O' Henry Twist

     O' Henry is famous for surprise endings or "twists" in his stories. In The Last

     Leaf, Johnsy seems to be dying of pneumonia when the story begins, but it is Mr

     Behrman who dies in the end, while Johnsy survives. Now we know how Mr

     Behrman died, think of these other points and discuss them with a friend:

     • What did Mr. Behrman paint before he died?

     • Try to describe his masterpiece.

     • What did Mr. Behrman's painting do for Johnsy to help her survive?

     • What feeling did it give her?

     • Why does Sue call "The Last Leaf" Behrman's masterpiece?

4. EXERCISES

4a) There are 3 main types of art: Visual Arts (V), Literary Arts (L) and Performing

     Arts (P). You will find an example of each in the columns below. How would

     you categorize the other art forms listed here? Some might be able to go into

     two or even all three columns.

     • drama (acting) V L P

     • painting V L P

     • music V L P

     • fashion design V L P

     • cartoons (animation) V L P

     • film (cinema, movies) V L P

     • short stories V L P

     • novels V L P

     • photography V L P

4b) Art and Artists: suffixes

     What do you call the people who perform or create these arts?

     There are five suffixes that we commonly use for artists.

     Be careful of spellings with some endings.

     -ist -er -or -ian -ess

     • sculpture ___________________________________

     • dance ___________________________________

     • poetry ___________________________________

     • drama (acting) ___________________________________

     • painting ___________________________________

     • music ___________________________________

     • fashion design ___________________________________

     • movie making ___________________________________

     • short stories ___________________________________

     • novels ___________________________________

     • photography ___________________________________

     • cartoons (animation) ___________________________________

4c) What kind of artist is...?

     • What kind of artists are the following people?

     • What are they famous for?

     Choose one of these artists, or one of your own favorite artists and describe

     what you think their "masterpiece" is.

     Steven Spielberg ___________________________________

     O' Henry ___________________________________

     Ralph Lauren ___________________________________

     Michael Jackson ___________________________________

     Pablo Picasso ___________________________________

     William Shakespeare ___________________________________

     Mozart ___________________________________

     Leonardo Da Vinci ___________________________________

     Harrison Ford ___________________________________

5. FOLLOW-UP

     Writing exercises

     a) A Rainy Season Setting

     Write a one page composition describing the following place and time:

     your home during the rainy season. Think of some of the sounds, smells

     and sights inside and outside your house, both during the day and during

     the night. Think of some of the real situations you have had to face.

     Alternatively, you could use some experiences that friends or family have had and still use them with you as the main character.

     b) A Sacrifice

     A sacrifice is the act of giving up something, or not having something or

     doing something yourself, to help somebody else. We saw how Mr

     Behrman gave his life to help Johnsy in The Last Leaf. He made the

     greatest sacrifice anybody could make. But sacrifices are not always as

     great as Mr Behrman's. We make small sacrifices almost every day.

     How a bout you? What is the greatest sacrifice you have ever made for

     your family or friends? An example of this may be when you have stayed

     at home to help your family instead of going out with friends. Write a short

    story about something you decided not to do, so that you could

    help somebody else.

ANSWER KEY

3b) Ten lines from The Last Leaf: answer key

     1) Mr Behrman died of pneumonia today in the hospital. (b)

     2) Someone found him in his room. (h)

     3) He was helpless with pain. (d)

     4) His clothes were as wet and cold as ice. (j)

     5) The night had been so cold and wild. (g)

     6) And they found some things. (f)

     7) There was a light he had taken outside. (a)

     8) There were materials for painting. (i)

     9) There was green and yellow paint. (c)

     10) He painted his great masterpiece before the last leaf fell. (e) 4b) Art and Artists: suffixesanswer key

     • sculpture sculptor, sculptress

     • dance dancer

     • poetry poet, poetess

     • drama (acting) dramatist, actor, actress

     • painting painter, artist

     • music musician

     • fashion design fashion designer

     • movie making movie-maker, director

     • short stories short story writer, author, writer

     • novels novelist

     • photography photographer

     • cartoons (animation) cartoonist, animator

    A Ladder Edition at the 1000-word

    level

    Adapted by Elinor Chamberlain

     O. The Gift of the Magi & other stories

    The setting of a short story is the

    time and place in which it

    happens. Authors often use

     descriptions of landscape,

    scenery, buildings, seasons or

    weather to provide a strong

    sense of setting.

    about O.

    Henry

    map of ELLSA

    ••• contents ••• Title Page ••• synopsis ••• pre-story ••• in-story ••• exercises ••• follow-up •••

    Synopsis

     O. The Gift of the Magi & other stories

    Johnsy and Sue are artists who move

    into Greenwich Village in New York

    City. As Winter approaches and the

    weather gets colder, Johnsy becomes

    ill with pneumonia. She gets so sick

    that she believes that when the last

    leaf falls from the vine outside her

    window, she will die.

     An old artist, named Behrman, who

    lives in the same building as the girls,

    braves a storm one night to paint a leaf

     on the wall a leaf that will never fall.

    Cold and wet from painting in the icy

    rain, he catches pneumonia and dies.

    This gives Johnsy the hope to survive

    her illness, and it also creates the

    masterpiece Behrman had always

    dreamed of painting.

approaches verb braves verb

    To approach is to move towards. It is To brave as a verb, means to face often used with seasons and special an adverse or difficult situation, even

    though the person may not be brave occasions (New Year, Christmas,

    birthdays) as in the example here, as (as in the meaning of the adjective: well as with people and moving objects courageous).

    (vehicles, etc).

    survive verb

    becomes verb

    To survive something is to In this example, becomes has the same overcome a problem, illness or

    meaning as "gets". With illnesses, we adverse situation. It may also be, often use "to fall", or "to be taken": simply, to stay alive. The noun is

    survivor.

    Johnsy fell ill/Johnsy was taken ill

    masterpiece noun

    pneumonia noun

    A masterpiece is a great work of art, Pneumonia is a serious illness of the like a painting, sculpture or piece of

    music or writing (poetry, fiction, etc.) lungs.

vine noun

    A vine is like a branch (of a tree), but is actually a stem of a climbing plant (it

    may also be used to describe the climbing plant itself, e.g. grape vine).

    top of the

    page

    map of ELLSA

••• contents ••• Title Page ••• synopsis ••• pre-story ••• in-story ••• exercises ••• follow-up •••

Pre-story

     O. The Gift of the Magi & other stories

Seasons... ...and Settings

    How many seasons are there in your The Last Leaf takes place in New York country? City, the largest city in America. The

    location of the story is a small part of What are they? New York known as Greenwich Village (pronounced "grennitch", not

    "green-witch"). What time of year do they occur?

    Have you ever been to New York Which season do you like best?

    City?

    In which season is it easiest to fall ill?

    Setting is an important element in any Have any of your family or friends

    been there? short story, and it is particularly

    important in The Last Leaf.

    Did they like it there?

    What are the two main parts of a

     How many seasons does New York story's setting?

    have?

    T______ & P______

    Do you know another common name

    for Autumn? Why do you suppose We can think of these aspects in terms

    Autumn has its other name? of "where the story takes place" and

    top of the "when the story takes place".

    page

    map of ELLSA

••• contents ••• Title Page ••• synopsis ••• pre-story ••• in-story ••• exercises ••• follow-up •••

In-story

     O. The Gift of the Magi & other stories

Report this document

For any questions or suggestions please email
cust-service@docsford.com