"To Build a Fire" by Jack London
Lesson plans and teaching resources

Crane, London, and Literary Naturalism
Students use Crane's "The Open Boat" and Jack London's "To Build a Fire" to explore the key characteristics of American literary naturalism.

Knowledge or Instinct? Jack London's "To Build a Fire"
Students examine the relationship of man and nature, discuss London's juxtaposition of knowledge and instinct, understand third person omniscient point of view, and conduct in-depth character analysis.

Miles Canyon, Yukon, Canada
What does the Yukon look like? Photo and additional information.

Information and activities about wilderness survival. Good nonfiction companion piece for this story. 6 pages; Adobe Reader required.

Survival in the American Wilderness: Fiction v. Nonfiction
Over the course of four lessons, students will compare and contrast the dangers of the American West in the mid-to-late nineteenth century as described in the short story "To Build a Fire" by Jack London and in the historical events surrounding the Donner Party as recorded in the diary of emigrant Patrick Breen. Students will use textual evidence to draw their conclusions and present arguments as directed in each lesson. Includes links to London's story and Breen's diary.

"To Build a Fire"
Synopsis, vocabulary, types of conflict, sequencing, postreading writing tasks. This lesson is designed for ESL students. 7 pages; Adobe Reader required.

"To Build a Fire"
Background information about the author and discussion questions to enhance understanding and stimulate conversation about the story. In addition, the guide includes a series of short video discussions about the story.

"To Build a Fire" Study Questions
These questions are designed to guide analysis. 3 pages; Adobe Reader required.

"To Build a Fire"
Introduction and text of the story, available in both PDF and Google Docs formats.

Other works by Jack London