The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant

Teacher Guide by Rebecca Ray

Find this Common Core aligned Teacher Guide and more like it in our High School ELA Category!

The Necklace Lesson Plans

Student Activities for The Necklace Include:

My students' reactions after reading "The Necklace" always excites me! When the students realize, at the end, that the necklace is fake, I usually get a riot of hypothetical questions. One of these questions is always, “Why didn't she tell the woman she lost the necklace in the first place?!” Just like a good piece of gossip, short stories are notorious for stimulating readers, and keep us questioning.

The Necklace Lesson Plans, Student Activities and Graphic Organizers

The Necklace Summary

Copy Assignment

A common use for Storyboard That is to help students create a plot diagram of the events from a novel. Not only is this a great way to teach the parts of the plot, but it reinforces major events and help students develop greater understanding of literary structures.

Students can create a storyboard capturing the narrative arc in a novel with a six-cell storyboard containing the major parts of the plot diagram. For each cell have students create a scene that follows the novel in sequence using; Exposition, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.

Example "The Necklace" Plot Diagram


Set in Paris, France in 1880. A young middle-class woman dreams of a lifestyle far beyond her reach. One day, her husband comes home with tickets to attend a very affluent party, and she is excited to attend, but upset that she will look dowdy.

Major Inciting Conflict

Mathilde Loisel is not wealthy, yet she dreams to be. Her husband gives her money to buy a dress, but she is not satisfied until she asks a wealthy friend for a necklace to borrow.

Rising Action

At the ball, Mme. Loisel is a hit, everyone loves her. Upon leaving she reaches for the necklace, and finds it missing. After days of searching, she and her husband decide to replace it with a one that looks identical. The replacement cost more money than they make, and it takes them ten years to pay it off.


After ten years of hard work and struggles, the couple pays off all their debts.

Falling Action

One day Mathilde is walking to the market and sees the friend that she borrowed the necklace from. She decides to tell her what happened.


The friend Mme. Forestier, tells Mathilde that the necklace was “false”, a fake. The reader is left contemplating the irony of the situation.

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)

Student Instructions

Create a visual plot diagram of The Necklace.

  1. Separate the story into the Exposition, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.
  2. Create an image that represents an important moment or set of events for each of the story components.
  3. Write a description of each of the steps in the plot diagram.

(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

Copy Assignment

Start My Free Trial

The Necklace Vocabulary Lesson Plan

Copy Assignment

Another great way to engage your students is with storyboards that use vocabulary from "The Necklace". Here are a few vocabulary words commonly taught with the short story, and an example of a visual vocabulary board.

Example "The Necklace" Vocabulary Words

  • adulation
  • exorbitant
  • garret
  • blunder
  • adorn
  • fortune
  • caste
  • hierarchy
  • lofty
  • native
  • elegance
  • luxury
  • poverty
  • desolate

In the vocabulary board, students can choose between coming up with their use of the vocabulary word, finding the specific example from the text, or depicting the definition without words.

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)

Student Instructions

Demonstrate your understanding of the vocabulary words in "The Necklace" by creating visualizations.

  1. Choose three vocabulary words from the story and type them in the title boxes.
  2. Find the definition in a print or online dictionary.
  3. Write a sentence that uses the vocabulary word.
  4. Illustrate the meaning of the word in the cell using a combination of scenes, characters, and items.
    • Alternatively, use Photos for Class to show the meaning of the words with the search bar.
  5. Save and submit your storyboard.

(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

Copy Assignment

Start My Free Trial

The Necklace Situational Irony

One of the most common literary terms taught is irony. In the short story "The Necklace", irony is the main focus of the work. It is not until the very last line when Mme. Loisel finds out that the necklace is fake does the reader learn the intent of the story. Mme. Loisel goes into debt for ten years, just to replace a necklace that, in the end, was almost worthless.

Example of "The Necklace" Situational Irony

  • Situational Irony is when actions or events have an effect that is opposite from what was intended, or where the outcome is contrary to expectations.

  • The plot of "The Necklace" has situational irony because after replacing her friend's expensive-looking necklace, and working for ten years to pay off the debt, Mme. Loisel finds out it was fake!

Start My Free Trial

A Quick Synopsis of “The Necklace” (Contains Plot Spoilers)

The story is set in Paris in the 1880s. The protagonist Mathilde Loisel, a young middle-class woman, and her husband, a modest clerk, are invited to a prestigious ball. Mathilde, being very vain, complains to her husband that she cannot go without a new dress and some jewelry. To appease her, her husband gives her money he had been saving, so she can buy a dress. However, she still feels poor without a bauble to wear. Thinking quickly, she goes to a wealthy friend, Mme. Forestier, to borrow a necklace.

At the ball, Mme. Loisel is a success, and has the evening of her life. Her happiness dissipates when she realizes she has lost the necklace. The couple struggles to find it to no avail. They are forced to replace it with an identical looking piece, so expensive that they'll have to work ten years to pay it off. Mme. Loisel runs into her friend at the market years later, and finds out that the necklace was fake - merely costume jewelry.

Essential Questions for “The Necklace”

  1. Is it okay to want more than you have?
  2. Are material possessions important in a relationship?
  3. What would you do if you borrowed something from a friend and you lost it?

Help Share Storyboard That!

Looking for More?

Check out the rest of our Teacher Guides and Lesson Plans!

All Teacher Guides and Lesson Plans Ed Tech BlogElementary SchoolMiddle School ELAHigh School ELAForeign LanguageSpecial EdUS History and Social StudiesWorld History

Our Posters on ZazzleOur Lessons on Teachers Pay Teachers
© 2018 - Clever Prototypes, LLC - All rights reserved.
Start My Free Trial
Explore Our Articles and Examples

Try Our Other Websites!

Photos for Class – Search for School-Safe, Creative Commons Photos (It Even Cites for You!)
Quick Rubric – Easily Make and Share Great-Looking Rubrics
abcBABYart – Create Custom Nursery Art
Prefer a different language?

•   (English) The Necklace   •   (Español) El Collar   •   (Français) Le Collier   •   (Deutsch) Die Halskette   •   (Italiana) La Collana   •   (Nederlands) De Ketting   •   (Português) O Colar   •   (עברית) השרשרת   •   (العَرَبِيَّة) العقد   •   (हिन्दी) गले की हार   •   (ру́сский язы́к) Ожерелье   •   (Dansk) den Halskæde   •   (Svenska) Halsbandet   •   (Suomi) Kaulakoru   •   (Norsk) Halskjedet   •   (Türkçe) Kolye   •   (Polski) Naszyjnik   •   (Româna) Colierul   •   (Ceština) Náhrdelník   •   (Slovenský) Náhrdelník   •   (Magyar) A Nyaklánc   •   (Hrvatski) Ogrlica   •   (български) Огърлицата   •   (Lietuvos) Karoliai   •   (Slovenščina) Ogrlica   •   (Latvijas) Kaklarota   •   (eesti) Kaelakee