Charles: Focusing on Literacy Skills [Annotating]

You will READ the short story Charles by Shirley Jackson.  As you read through the story you will ANNOTATE your page using either STICKY NOTES or INK.  You are free to write on and mark up the page however you wish.  Once you have annotated your piece you will record the KEY DETAILS that you have self-selected.


Charles: A Focus on Literacy Skills

Charles is a short story written by Shirley Jackson in 1948.  A full copy of the text can be READ HERE.  This SERIES will focus on all TEN KEY LITERACY SKILLS.  The lessons are arranged in SEQUENTIAL ORDER which builds a strong foundation before moving on to the next skill.

This series is an excellent way to BEGIN your class’s semester, ensuring everyone has a strong understanding of BASIC LITERACY SKILLS before you gradually release responsibility, asking them to put those skills into practice.

Explore other SHORT STORY LITERACY SKILLS ASSIGNMENTS for more ways to instruct your students.





One annotates their text by physically altering their text.  This can be done either by WRITING DIRECTLY on a text, or using STICKY NOTES to arrange and re-arrange thoughts and ideas.  The act of annotating ensures the reader identifies details while considering the text as an artefact.  Annotations also allow readers return to a text at a later date, with their notes already collected.

Annotate the Following

  • Pay close attention to the DAYS in the story.
    • CIRCLE the word each time a day is mentioned
  • Make a note of each time Charles does something he SHOULD NOT
    • Draw a BOX around each action that gets Charles in trouble
  • Consider how Laurie’s PARENTS feel about Charles
    • Write an adjective in the margin that explains how they FEEL each time they mention Charles

The Most Important on Each Page…

For the next section, you will choose the most important SENTENCE, WORD, and PARAGRAPH on each page.  You are free to select whatever you want.  There are NO wrong answers.

  • UNDERLINE the most important WORD on each page
  • WAVY LINE the most important SENTENCE on each page
  • Draw a STAR beside the most important PARAGRAPH on each page

Now, use the SPACE BELOW to collect your thoughts.

Page One

The Most Important Word

The Most Important Sentence

The Most Important Paragraph

Page Two

The Most Important Word

The Most Important Sentence

The Most Important Paragraph

What’s Next

Now that students are familiar with the SHORT STORY and have demonstrated an ability to ANNOTATE they are going to apply those skills by WRITING A P.E.E. PARAGRAPH that explains their most important sentence.  They will use DETERMINING IMPORTANCE to support their decisions.





Charles – WhatBinderDotCom – Literacy Skills – Annotating.PDF






Charles: Literacy Skills Series











Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s