suggestions for short stories

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Linguist92021, Apr 22, 2016.

  1. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Messages:
    4,964
    Likes Received:
    1,155

    Apr 22, 2016

    For the rest of the year, or at least the next few weeks I decided to read short stories with my students. We have so many disruptions going on, fieldtrips, sport tournaments (during the day), testing, etc, that it's easier to tailor my lessons for my students. Also it's more fast paced, the stories would take 3-5 days and then move on to another, the kids are less likely to get bored. These kind of lessons somehow keep the behaviors down, there is some note taking, vocabulary, reading, short answer questions, I make some worksheets with the concepts, so it's always something different.

    So far we've read The Lottery, and the concepts we covered were settings and irony. The next one will be The Gift of the Magi, and continue with irony.
    Any other suggestions? These are high school students, but 8th grade level stories can be ok. I was going to do Building a fire, but it turns out some of them have read it so I decided against it.

    I'd like stories that can take 1 or 2 class periods to finish.

    Thank you
     
  2.  
  3. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Messages:
    3,432
    Likes Received:
    603

    Apr 22, 2016

    Some of the common ones I've seen taught before are Lamb to the Slaughter, The Lady or the Tiger, and The Most Unusual Game.

    I'll add more later. All of my English stuff is at home because I don't teach English this year.

    Oh! Look at the books Texts and Lessons. There's a fiction one and a nonfiction one that are text sets. Also Teachers Pay Teachers has a bunch of text sets.
     
    miatorres likes this.
  4. miatorres

    miatorres Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2005
    Messages:
    369
    Likes Received:
    97

    Apr 22, 2016

    Have they read "The Monkey's Paw" by W. W. Jacobs? This story can be used to teach setting, theme, and irony. As an introduction, students can respond to this prompt: "If you were able to receive three wishes and can ask for anything besides more wishes, what would they be?" After students have read and discussed this story, they can go back to their original prompt and discuss if they would change what they initially wished for or change the way they worded their wishes.
     
  5. miatorres

    miatorres Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2005
    Messages:
    369
    Likes Received:
    97

    Apr 22, 2016

    I just thought of other short stories that might be viable options for your students.

    Short stories for a thematic unit on "Growing Up":
    1. "The Horned Toad" by Gerald Haslam
    2. "The Scholarship Jacket" by Marta Salinas
    3. "Eleven" by Sandra Cisneros
    4. "The Castle" by Ron Arias

    Short stories for a thematic unit on "The Need for Self-Identity"
    1. "On the Sidewalk Bleeding" by Ed McBain
    2. "The Last Spin" by Evan Hunter
     
    MissCeliaB likes this.
  6. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Messages:
    4,964
    Likes Received:
    1,155

    Apr 22, 2016

    Thank you so much for the suggestions! I actually already thought about the Lady or the tiger, just forgot about it. I will check out the others.

    My P told me a long time ago to read the story On the Sidewalk Bleeding, she told me what it's about and how it would be great for our students to read it, but I forgot the title so I couldn't search it. Thank you for that, we're def. reading it. My students need to read it and we need to talk about it. Do you know any other stories that are especially relevant for troubled, at-risk youth?
     
  7. laf10

    laf10 Rookie

    Joined:
    May 28, 2010
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    1

    Apr 22, 2016

    We are doing a Roald Dahl author study in my high school resource English class. He has great short stories with creepy, twisted endings that my students love. Read "The Landlady," "The Way Up to Heaven," "Man from the South," etc. He has a ton and there was show called "Tales of the Unexpected" made from his short stories so you would have some video options too. That's what my last few weeks will consist of!
     
  8. nstructor

    nstructor Cohort

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2010
    Messages:
    600
    Likes Received:
    51

    Apr 22, 2016

    Anything by Edgar Allen Poe is great to read with your students too-Tell Tale Heart and Black Cat are especially intriguing to kids!
     
  9. miatorres

    miatorres Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2005
    Messages:
    369
    Likes Received:
    97

    Apr 22, 2016

    Linguist, I'm glad that you liked my suggestion to read "On the Sidewalk Bleeding." I likewise taught at-risk and troubled youth several years ago and used this story almost every year.

    About stories that would be a great match for at-risk youth, one that you might want to look into is "The Last Spin" by Evan Hunter. I realize that I mentioned it earlier on this thread, but I just thought that I'd note that this story is one that at-risk students can relate to and are likely to be interested in discussing.

    Another great story for at-risk students is "Treasure of Lemon Brown" by Walter Dean Myers. It's about a teen who meets a homeless man and discovers specifics of what this individual has gone through. This story can teach students about being compassionate towards others and to not judge others so quickly.

    Although "Freedom Writers Diary" isn't a short story, maybe you can select a few excerpts for students to read and respond to. On Amazon, there is a teacher's guide available entitled "The Freedom Writers Diary Teacher's Guide" by Erin Gruwell. One of the nice features of this teacher's guide is that it offers a writing prompt for each journal entry that was published in "Freedom Writers Diary." There are also many ideas for hands-on activities and effective assessments.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2016
    Upsadaisy likes this.
  10. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,564
    Likes Received:
    743

    Apr 25, 2016

    Also check out The Circuit by Francisco Jimenez...it is a collection of related stories about his childhood growing up as the son of migrant laborers in the Central Valley. He came to speak at our school recently and was amazing!
     
    miatorres likes this.
  11. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Messages:
    4,964
    Likes Received:
    1,155

    Apr 25, 2016

    Thank you for all the suggestions! I'll check them all out. Ms. Irene, we are in the Central Valley :) Lots of our students' families, or even students work the fields.
     
  12. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,564
    Likes Received:
    743

    Apr 25, 2016

    I was thinking of you on that one! It is so cool to have a local, living author that many of our students can connect with. I really love his work, too.
     
  13. miatorres

    miatorres Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2005
    Messages:
    369
    Likes Received:
    97

    Apr 25, 2016

    Now I'm curious about The Circuit by Francisco Jimenez and plan to read it soon.

    Would short stories by Gary Soto be an option as well?
     
  14. Letsgo

    Letsgo Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    7

    Apr 25, 2016

    Sherman Alexie has some engaging, high interest short stories. "What You Pawn I Will Redeem" is one you can find for free. The content is a bit adult, but I would still use it for older high schoolers.
     
    ms.irene likes this.
  15. pinkcupcake90

    pinkcupcake90 Companion

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2015
    Messages:
    217
    Likes Received:
    41

    Apr 25, 2016

    One of my favorite short stories we read in 8th grade was called "The Scarlet Ibis." I can't remember the author's name, but it was such a beautiful story.
     
  16. miatorres

    miatorres Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2005
    Messages:
    369
    Likes Received:
    97

    Apr 25, 2016

    Pinkcupcake90, I think that this is a great suggestion! James Hurst is the author of "The Scarlet Ibis." This was a required short story for ninth graders to read at one of the rough high schools that I taught at. Troubled students were able to relate to this story for many reasons. For example, they believed that they themselves were "throwaway kids," just like the character of Doodle.
     
    pinkcupcake90 likes this.
  17. creativemonster

    creativemonster Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Messages:
    484
    Likes Received:
    160

    Apr 25, 2016

    Although he's a bit dated, I love JD Salinger. "A Perfect Day For a Banana Fish" is one of my favorites. The New Yorker Magazine has contemporary short fiction and I think you can link to it for free...although I'm not sure about that. And I second or third the posters who mentioned Sherman Alexie.
     
  18. miatorres

    miatorres Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2005
    Messages:
    369
    Likes Received:
    97

    Apr 26, 2016

    "All Summer in a Day" by Ray Bradbury might be an enticing choice for your students. There are many relevant themes that at-risk students can discuss, such as anti-bullying, the courage to think for oneself, and regret for mistreating others.
     
  19. miatorres

    miatorres Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2005
    Messages:
    369
    Likes Received:
    97

    Apr 26, 2016

     
  20. MLB711

    MLB711 Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Messages:
    376
    Likes Received:
    53

    Apr 26, 2016

    I remember reading "The Most Dangerous Game" in 8th or 9th grade and LOVING it. I also suggest "Monster" by Walter Dean Myers. It should be a quick and high interest read for high schoolers. Its a pretty common book so they may have read it already, but I wanted to put it out there.
     
  21. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Messages:
    4,964
    Likes Received:
    1,155

    May 17, 2016

    These were great suggestions! So far we've read The Lottery, The Gift of the Magi, On the Sidewalk bleeding (students loved it and many had a strong reaction), and Treasure of Lemon Brown, this was also a very much liked story.
    Next we'll read The Last Spin and I think this is an amazing story. You would think it would get students to think, but none of the gangbanger will change their minds. But at least it'll get them to think for a little while.
    After that we'll read the Scarlet Ibis. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what activities to pair this with? I know symbolism is a good lesson, but what else can I do?

    The Circuit by Jimenez is a novel so we won't be able to read it, but I'd love stories like that. And I will look into chapters from the Freedom Writers Diary.

    Any other suggestions? We have time for a few more stories. Thank you!
     
  22. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,564
    Likes Received:
    743

    May 17, 2016

    The Circuit is technically a novel, but the stories can stand alone. My favorite is one about a teacher who teaches the main character to play the trumpet, only to have to leave to follow the harvest. Here is a link to the story in PDF form.
     
    miatorres likes this.
  23. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,564
    Likes Received:
    743

    May 17, 2016

  24. heatherberm

    heatherberm Cohort

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2014
    Messages:
    509
    Likes Received:
    204

    May 17, 2016

    We just read this exact chapter from The Circuit and my kids *loved* it. There was a lot they could relate to in it which is, of course, always helpful. Three of them have checked out the book from the library to read the rest of it. Definitely worth taking a look because like ms. irene said, the chapters are more like little vignettes.
     
    ms.irene likes this.
  25. miatorres

    miatorres Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2005
    Messages:
    369
    Likes Received:
    97

    May 17, 2016

    Possible activities to consider using with "The Scarlet Ibis":
    1. Journal topics:
    A. What did the narrator want?
    B. What did Doodle want?
    C. How should the narrator have treated his brother?

    2. Additional journal topics:
    What is your reaction to:
    A. Doodle's love for his brother
    B. The narrator's treatment of his brother
    C. Doodle's courage

    3. A type of visual (like a Venn diagram) that compares and contrasts this question:
    How was Doodle like the scarlet ibis (not how he looked, but in other ways)? Keep in mind what happens to these birds in captivity as well as how these birds would react from being far away from their homes.

    4. A version of a mock trial activity in which students take a stand on whether or not the narrator should be charged with the willful negligence that led to Doodle's untimely death. If students aren't mature enough to participate in mock trial, maybe they can instead brainstorm both the "innocent" and "guilty" views and then create a storyboard of how a trial would play out.
     
  26. miatorres

    miatorres Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2005
    Messages:
    369
    Likes Received:
    97

    May 17, 2016

    If your students aren't already familiar with Sandra Cisneros' The House on Mango Street, this might be a great choice. Like The Circuit, The House on Mango Street is technically a novel but each chapter is understandable on its own. In fact, I have attended several literature workshops where a different chapter from Mango Street was used as the reading selection.

    Many troubled teens were able to relate to Mango Street because of the themes/events of abusive homes, absentee parents, gender inequality, and lack of role models/stimulus to name a few.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2016
    ms.irene likes this.

Share This Page

Members Online Now

Total: 212 (members: 3, guests: 170, robots: 39)
test