How to Create an Awesome Short Story Unit for Your Middle School Students: Part 2 - EB Academics

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How to Create an Awesome Short Story Unit for Your Middle School Students: Part 2

November 13, 2018 2 min read

How to Create an Awesome Short Story Unit for Your Middle School Students: Part 2

November 13, 2018 2 min read
Welcome back to our 4-part series where we’re walking you through 4 easy steps to creating an awesome short story unit! If you missed Part 1 where we talked all about the hook, you can read it here.

This 4-part series utilizes Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery,” (one of our 8th graders’ favorites) as an example. You can use this example and framework to begin creating your own 🙂

Part 2 of How to Create a Short Story Unit continues with A HIGH-INTEREST STORY

The benefits of analyzing a high-interest story are many.

Students are obviously engaged from the beginning and remain engaged throughout the activities. Discussions are more lively, and enthusiasm is contagious … even your reluctant readers are drawn in when there’s excitement/debate over the text. Thus, students may have stronger opinions and better analysis of the text.

Some High-Interest Short Stories We Love Include:

“The Lottery” is most definitely a high-interest story! It starts off on a beautiful summer day, June 27th to be exact, and the town is gathered for the annual lottery. All is pleasant and happy, but upon closer inspection, subtle clues add tension and suspense. We won’t spoil the ending, but it definitely sparks an interesting conversation among students!

“The Necklace” is another story that our students love every year. We’ve both used it with varying age groups – from 4th grade all the way to 9th grade (in the lower grades, you’ll just have to offer a lot of assistance with the challenging language). A diamond necklace and a surprise ending is all you need to know to get hooked on this one! Our students’ reactions at the end of the story are priceless every year!

Click here to check out one of our posts where she share our 9 favorite short stories for middle school.

We also want to point out that just because everyone else has been teaching a specific short story in their classrooms for years, does not mean that it is going to work well for your students. You know your students and their interests best! So use that knowledge when you go to pick the stories you’ll use for your unit 🙂

You can read the rest of this series through the links below:


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Hi there! We're two middle school ELA teachers with a mission to share ideas, tips, and tricks for effectively teaching reading and writing in the secondary classroom. We're so happy you stopped by!

Caitlin + Jessica

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