Short story for 8th graders

Discussion in 'Middle School / Junior High' started by dkjackson, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. dkjackson

    dkjackson Companion

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    Apr 5, 2011

    I'm in need of some suggestions. We just finished state testing today, and had planned on doing a short story next week before we start our poetry unit. I had everyone sold on doing Legend of Sleepy Hollow because of the great language and descriptions and vocabulary and... just everything, I think it's a great story. But as I was reading through to pick out figurative language, I came across the mentions of ghosts and witchcraft and one mention of Satan. I was basically told this will not fly with our parents. We can draft a letter to the parents and make preemptive phone calls to the ones we worry about the most. Which would be fine, except I'm going to be out at a conference for the majority of the time we're reading it, and my SAC is afraid that the one parent that calls will be of one of my students and they'll call while I'm out of town and can't do anything about it! We thought about doing The Lottery, but it's only 8 pages, and I'm out for four days.

    Any suggestions would be so greatly apprecaited. The biggest thing is that I'm looking for something that will last at least those four days I'm out. I'm so looking forward to this conference and I want to be able to enjoy it and know my students are actually doing something of value instead of four days of busy work.
     
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  3. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Apr 5, 2011

    I loved The Lottery when I was in 8th grade. We also read The Most Dangerous Game and The Gift of the Magi.
     
  4. dkjackson

    dkjackson Companion

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    Apr 5, 2011

    The Lottery is too short, despite being a great story. I may make that the alternate reading assignment for anyone who objects and just stick with Sleepy Hollow for everyone else. The Most Dangerous Game isn't one I've read before, although the length looks good. Gift of the Magi is, again, too short and they do it in high school here, and we'd be stepping on some toes if we did it.
     
  5. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Apr 5, 2011

    The Most Dangerous game is a little bit concept heavy. But we really enjoyed it in middle school. The basic story line is about hunting humans.
     
  6. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Apr 5, 2011

    You could try something like the Cinderella Project for the time you are gone. Students read different versions of the fairy tale and then do some kind of activity. It could be an analysis of story elements with an essay....
     
  7. teachntexas

    teachntexas Rookie

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    Apr 5, 2011

    I love The Scarlet Ibis.
     
  8. dkjackson

    dkjackson Companion

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    Apr 6, 2011

    The Scarlet Ibis, as much as I enjoyed that one myself, is reserved for high school here.

    Turns out, though, that Sleepy Hollow was in last year's textbook, so since it's already been approved by the state, we don't have to send a letter home or anything! So it looks like problem solved. But I'm definitely going to keep all the ideas you gave me and tuck them away for next year!
     
  9. nstructor

    nstructor Cohort

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    Apr 6, 2011

    Edgar Allen Poe. Have them read some of his short stories and give them activities to do with that-compare/contrast, mood, tone, etc. . .
     

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