Description: Craft and Structure Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure specific parts of a text (e.g., the choice of where to begin or end a story, the choice to provide a comedic or tragic resolution) contribute to its overall structure and meaning as well as its aesthetic impact.
Maps to Reading Plus skills: 5B


5B: Examining Sequence

5B: Examining Sequence

Description: Examining Sequence of Ideas and Events

✓ standard met

Selection: K-23


Grade level: 11
Word count: 2412 words
Author: Anton Chekhov
Synopsis: A wager between a banker and a lawyer yields an unexpected result.
Excerpt: During the first year of solitary imprisonment, the lawyer, judging from his frantic short notes, suffered terribly from loneliness and boredom; from his cell day and night came the sound of the piano. He was sent books of whimsical character: novels with complicated yet preposterous love interests, stories of crime and fantasy, comedies, and so on.

In the second year the piano was abandoned and the lawyer requested only classic literature.

In the second half of the sixth year, the prisoner began zealously to study languages, philosophy, and history; in the space of four years about six hundred volumes were purchased at his request.

Later, after the tenth year, the lawyer sat immovable before his table and read only the New Testament; the banker found it peculiar that a man who in four years had mastered six hundred erudite volumes should have spent nearly a year examining one book, easy to understand and by no means thick.

Question: Place these characterizations of the lawyer's years of solitary imprisonment in order, from first to last.
  1. He played the piano as he suffered from loneliness and boredom.
  2. He requested only classic literature.
  3. He intensively studied languages, philosophy, and history.
  4. He read only the New Testament.

✓ standard met

Writing prompt: Describe how the author of a selection uses details to advance the plot.


Organization: Certica Solutions