English Language Arts, Composition and Rhetoric
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
High School
  • Character Analysis
  • Grade 12 ELA
  • Writing
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial

    Discussion On The Plays Ending

    Discussion On The Plays Ending


    In this lesson, students finish reading, annotating, and discussing Pygmalion. They’ll write about what they think will happen to Liza after the play ends and discuss how satisfying they found the ending.


    • Read the lesson and student content.
    • Anticipate student difficulties and identify the differentiation options you will choose for working with your students.


    • Give students a couple of minutes to share in their triads before sharing with the whole class.


    In today’s lesson you will finish reading Pygmalion and begin to sort out what the ending means.

    With your triad group, briefly review the action in act 5 up to the point where Doolittle and Pickering leave for the wedding.

    Share your responses to the question from Lesson 22’s Closing about what Doolittle is implying, first with your triad group and then with the whole class.

    • What is Doolittle implying about the motives of Higgins, Pickering, and Liza?

    Act 5 of Pygmalion

    • As students read, use your time conferring with students about reading or writing.
    • Facilitate a Whole Group Discussion.
    • Update the Social Class Terms class chart as needed.
    • Remember that References to Social Class in Pygmalion is provided to you and offers examples of lines and phrases in the play having to do with social class.


    There are a number of film versions of Pygmalion available, including the musicalMy Fair Lady. If you have access to any of these movies, consider showing all or part of them as the class reading of the play progresses.

    Work Time

    Finish reading and annotating act 5 of Pygmalion, from “Eliza goes out on the balcony to avoid being alone with Higgins.”

    Write your responses to the following questions about the play’s resolution.

    • How will life change now for Liza and Higgins?
    • How have Liza and Higgins reconciled?

    Open Notebook

    Then discuss your responses with your classmates. Also consider these questions during your discussion:

    • Would it have been possible for Liza to improve her circumstances without the help of Higgins and Pickering?
    • What are the continuing responsibilities of Higgins and Pickering for Liza? You Have a Choice

    You can choose whether to read and think about the text independently or read, discuss, and respond to the text in your triad.


    • Give students about 3 minutes for the Quick Write.
    • Then have students share their Quick Write responses about what will happen to Liza.
    • If students have seen the film version of Pygmalion or My Fair Lady, they may remember that those films end with scenes that are not written into the play.
      • ✓ In the play, Liza is leaving for her father’s wedding with Mrs. Higgins; Pickering has gone on ahead; and Higgins has been banned from attendance.
      • ✓ In both film versions, the final scene takes place back at Higgins’ home and laboratory. After Higgins expresses his bitterness about Liza, she comes to him, bringing his slippers.
      • ✓ There is more than a hint that the two may become romantic partners.
    • In the myth that Shaw chose for the title of his play, Pygmalion marries his statue, Galatea.
    • However, in the “Sequel” to the play, Shaw argues that Liza will marry Freddy Eynsford Hill. Pickering will finance her flower shop, and eventually Liza, Higgins, and Pickering develop a real friendship.
    • Recommend to students that they read Shaw’s “Sequel” to the play if they are interested in his claims and explanations.

    Work Time

    Complete a Quick Write.

    • What will happen to Liza after the closing scene?

    Open Notebook

    Share your response with your reading triad.

    Now that you have finished reading Pygmalion and have thought about its ending, share your answers about what happens to Liza with your classmates.

    If you are interested in finding out what the writer, George Bernard Shaw, said happened to the characters, read the “Sequel” section of the play on your own.

    Vocabulary in Pygmalion

    • Monitor students and lend assistance as needed.
      • SWD: Preview difficult vocabulary words prior to reading and then review them in context to foster better word retrieval later on.
      • ELL: In defining words, check in with the students to be sure you define words they don’t understand, even if native speakers might understand them.
    • Some vocabulary words and British terms are defined in Vocabulary and British Terms in Pygmalion.

    Work Time

    Note any unknown words in Pygmalion.

    • Work with a partner to look up definitions and rewrite them in your own words.

    Open Notebook

    Satisfying Ending

    • Facilitate a class discussion after students first discuss their responses in their small groups.


    Discuss the following with your triad and then with the whole class.

    • How satisfying or unsatisfying did you find the ending to Pygmalion and why?

    Character Analysis Essay Questions

    • Note that the questions students are answering for homework all align with the language of the rubric.


    Review the Grade 12 Informational Writing Rubric, keeping in mind your choice of literary work and character. In addition to the information on the Grade 12 Informational Writing Rubric, keep in mind the following questions.

    • How will you introduce your topic and organize the information?
    • What quotations and other support will you use to develop the ideas in your essay?
    • How is the setting of the literary piece important? For example, how does understanding the context (where and when the story takes place) result in particular practices of law or particular determinants of social class?
    • What differences did you note between versions of the work (play, movie, novel)?
    • What specific vocabulary will you include?
    • How might you use figurative language (metaphor, simile, analogy) to explain complexities?
    • What will be necessary to conclude the essay, to go beyond summarizing and establish significance of the topic?

    Open Notebook