Growing a Story
Students discover how to grow their own story from a single idea. They create a list of fairy-tale items, such as magic wands, glass slippers, pumpkin coaches, and magic beans. They choose a single item from the class list and answer questions.
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The Man Who Planted Trees
Grow an understanding of short story with a well-sequenced plan built around an Academy Award-winning short film. Class members explore the elements of an effective short story, and practice writing their own. They also watch the short...
9th - 12th English Language Arts CCSS: Adaptable
Asking the Right Questions
It can be difficult to find the theme of a book or story if you don't know the questions to ask. Teach your kids to discern the universal theme in works of literature with a set of activities that promote critical thinking and active...
7th - 12th English Language Arts CCSS: Adaptable
The Big Trip Up Yonder
What would the world look like if there were a way to stop the aging process? Take a look at Kurt Vonnegut's vision of this future in "The Big Trip Up Yonder." Class members read the short story and then respond to a series of text-based...
8th - 11th English Language Arts CCSS: Adaptable
Five Elements of a Short Story
The five elements of a short story are described in detail in this resource. This is not an activity, nor an assignment, but rather a reference sheet for teacher or class member. You might give this to learners to look at as they read,...
6th - 12th English Language Arts
Brown Bagging with Short Stories
Students participate in a study of short story elements, applying their knowledge and understanding to a selection of short stories. In this short stories lesson, students read five short story selections, identifying conflict, plot,...
7th - 9th English Language Arts
Interpreting the Story: Focus on Characterization
The inner drive, ambition, and obsession of the complex main character in Brennan Stasiewicz’s “Prophets,” are the focus of a post-reading discussion. Class members record words that reveal something about Jim Charlton’s personality....
11th - 12th English Language Arts
Analyzing Social Commentary in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn continues to be one of the most frequently banned books. The satire and social commentary present challenges when using the book as a core text. Direct readers' attention to how Twain uses plot,...
11th - 12th English Language Arts CCSS: Adaptable