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Name: Date: Block: Due:

“Three Skeleton Key” Alternate Ending
You are going to write a different ending for the short story “Three Skeleton Key.” The ending
must be one that fits the story. Think about the setting and the characters.

You may continue the story at one of two places in the story.
Choose ONE of these as your opening paragraph. Start with this paragraph:

1) P 46 “At two in the morning, while Itchoua was dozing in his room, the sheet of metal
sealing his window gave way. The chief had just time enough to leap to his feet and cry for help,
the rats swarming over him.”

Or this one

2) P 48 “But all this did nothing to get us out of our jail. The small ship could not approach
but steamed around the light at a safe distance, and the tower must have seemed fantastic,
some weird, many-mouthed beast hurling defiance at them.”

● The ending must be written in first-person point of view, told by the narrator.
● There must be some mentioning of the title (Three Skeleton Key).
● There must be a clear resolution that answers the readers’ questions.
● Four out of our five vocabulary words will need to be incorporated into the ending:
phosphorescent, fathom, suffice, derisive, and derelict.
● Pay attention to the connotation in your ending. Is there a certain feeling you want the
readers to have? Happy? Terrified? Sad?
○ Tips for Improving your use of connotation- Avoid vague or general terms. When
proofreading, identify and replace them with more specific words. Use “sensory”
words, words that invoke one or more of the senses. Choose “descriptive” verbs
and avoid using forms of the verb “to be” when possible (for example, instead of
using “she walked,” consider “she ambled, shuffled, strolled, marched, etc.).



-The ending
-Connects with
does not tie in
-Has relevant and the story. -Lacks
with the story.
accurate details -There is a information from
-There is not a
for the story basic the story. The assignment
Ideas and resolution.
-Thoughtful resolution. -Resolution is is not an ending
Organization transitions and -Content clear ineffective.
to the story.
and transitions
organization are but reader may - Few transitions
used are
included be left with are used.
confusing or not

Three vocab Two vocab words are
Four vocab words One vocab word
Vocabulary words used words used missing or they
used correctly used correctly
correctly correctly are all used

-Powerful and
engaging words -Vocabulary is
-Wording limited
correct words
accurate/ -Strong active -Some active -Words do not
-Words convey
specific/precise verbs and verbs and convey meaning
Word general
-Words and precise nouns precise nouns (lack of
Choice language create -Imagery is -Words enhance
meanings (does
not provoke
meaningful apparent the meaning words)
pictures -Simple words
used incorrectly

-Spelling -Spelling correct

-Spelling correct, -Spelling errors
generally on common
even on more make readability
correct words
difficult words difficult
-Punctuation -End
-Accurate -Incorrect
and punctuation and
punctuation and punctuation and
capitalization easy
capitalization capitalization Rough Draft
Conventions usually correct capitalization
-Grammar and -Many usage Quality
-Grammar and mostly correct
usage contribute and grammar
usage are -Grammar errors
to clarity errors
correct not serious
-Paragraphing -Lack of
-Paragraphing -Paragraphing
enhances style paragraphing
correct irregular