CBC Digital Archives

Lesson Plan: For Teachers: Literature Reflects Life

English Language Arts
1 lesson
To write a short story.
Students will write a short story based on elements of their own life.

Lesson Plan

Before exploring

Ask students in a class discussion to outline the components of a short story. Follow by asking them about how inspiration happens. In this discussion, they should talk about the ways they become inspired to write and create a list of inspirations they like to use as a focus.

Outline the Opportunity

Direct students to the topic Alberta @ 100 on the CBC Digital Archives website. Have students listen to the clips titled "W.O. Mitchell on coming home" and "W.O. Mitchell calls his own work 'filth' and 'trash'".  Using W.O. Mitchell's stated approach for inspiration, the people and places around him, have students consider their own lives and the people and places around them as inspiration for a short story. Give them time to write a first draft of a short story based on this.

Revisit and reflect

With first drafts complete, place students into groups of four or five and have them share their stories. Give each student the download sheet Literature Reflects Life and ask students to self-assess for adherence to the principles of using life to create their art. Students can revise their work.


Collect finished stories to create a class book.

Download PDF

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