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May 27, 2016

13 short stories for engaging secondary students & teaching literary elements.

Don't let your literature anthology dictate the short stories you read with your middle school and high school students. There are so many wonderful short stories out there, many of which can be used to teach a variety of literary elements and paired with other texts. Read on for 13 of my favorites, which literary terms and skills they lend themselves to teaching, plus suggested text pairings and activities.

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best short stories to teach in high school

These are great selections. I don't, however, think Big is similar to Sound of Thunder or Groundhog Day.

I'm not a teacher but your list prompted me to sigh up for your blog. thought provoking and well written

I would love a list of engaging short stories for my 10th grade English class that include African American characters

Sharon, That would be a great list to have. "Thank You Ma'm," which is one the above list, would work. I've also taught "Marigolds" and used excerpts from larger works like Black Boy and Invisible Man.

"A Worn Path" is a great option.

Great list! I've used many of them in my high school English classes over the years. The Scarlet Ibis is one of my personal favorites, too.

What short stories by a Mexican-background or Central American-background writer might you suggest? I saw the Cisneros' recommendation. Thank you.

Hi Christine, "American History" by Judith Ortiz Cofer or any of her other short stories would be good. I've used excerpts from Jimmy Santiago Baca's autobiography, A Place to Stand, excerpts from Luis Rodriguez's autobiography, Always Running, and short stories from Drown by Junot Diaz with high school students. Hope those help! Thanks, Brynn Allison

I purchased the lesson 4. The Lady, or The Tiger? by Frank Stockton, however I am not able to open it. It keeps giving me an error message.

Hi Stacy, Thanks for reaching out to me. It sounds like a tech issue with the download so it might be best to contact TPT Help directly about your purchase or send me an email at [email protected] and I can put in a help ticket for you. Thanks, Brynn Allison

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41 Short Stories for High School: Free PDF Downloads

best short stories to teach in high school

Below you will find the best short stories for high school across multiple genres: horror stories, mystery stories, humorous stories, classic stories, and more. Each story includes a link (READ IT) that will take you to a free copy you can read, copy, download or print.

We’ve also included a free PDF of our favorite short stories that you can download and print (see below) titled The Best Short Stories for High School . It includes stories by Edgar Allan Poe, John Steinbeck, Flannery O’Connor, Madeline Yale Wynne, Ambrose Bierce, Ray Bradbury, McKnight Malmar and Frank O’Connor.

Want great stories for middle school? Go here.

Looking for scary stories for kids? Go here .

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best short stories to teach in high school

Best Short Stories for High School: Free PDF

Here are the Best Short Stories for High School (at least according to us).

We’ve taught each of these stories to high school students. Kids of all reading levels (including reluctant readers ) found them engaging and suspenseful. They are thought-provoking with plenty of spectacular twists.

To preview, click the thumbnail image below. You can download a free PDF copy by clicking the download button.

Want lesson plans for these stories? We’ve got those too. See what’s in the lesson plans . Lesson plans include material for 16 stories (the 8 in our PDF plus 8 more!).

Click to download our Free PDF.

best short stories to teach in high school

Funny Short Stories For High School

best short stories to teach in high school

Lord Oakhurst’s Curse

By O. Henry Lord Oakhurst lay dying in the oak chamber in the eastern wing of Oakhurst Castle.

Machiavelli in Kindergarten

By Peter Schooff A hilarious story told as a series of letters from the kindergarten teachers of young Nicolo Machiavelli.

best short stories to teach in high school

By Anton Chekhov A young man rushes to his parent’s house to tell them the joyous news about how his name is in the newspaper and he has become famous.

Cannibalism in the Cars

By Mark Twain A train is snowbound and the passengers must find a way to survive. Twain turns the ghastly into the wickedly hilarious.

best short stories to teach in high school

Mystery Short Stories for High School

best short stories to teach in high school

Full Circle

By Sue Grafton Private detective Kinsey Millhone witnesses a tragic car accident in which a girl is also shot.

Slowly, Slowly in the Wind

By Patricia Highsmith A man wants to purchase land from his neighbor, but the neighbor refuses. When the man’s daughter runs off with the neighbor’s son, bad goes to worse.

best short stories to teach in high school

Possibilities

By Bill Pronzini I had been in the backyard no more than two minutes when Roger Telford’s bald head popped up above the boundary fence.

Uncle Auguste

By Andrew Allen No one seemed to know exactly who Uncle Auguste was. There certainly hadn’t been any members of the family by that name. 

best short stories to teach in high school

Scary Short Stories For High School

Love horror? Check out our page on 40 Scary Stories to Read Online .

best short stories to teach in high school

Mars Will Have Blood

By Marc Laidlaw “Too much ichor,” said red-faced Jack Magnusson, scowling into a playbook. “The whole tragedy is sopping in it. Blood, blood, blood. 

By Robert Louis Stevenson Markheim enters an antique shop late one night to sell a rare item but ends up murdering the shop owner instead.

best short stories to teach in high school

The Great God Pan

By Arthur Machen An experiment designed to reveal the spirit world goes horribly wrong, leading to a series of disappearances and deaths.

The Armless Man

By WG Litt I had for some months been trying to find gold or diamonds by digging holes in the veldt.

best short stories to teach in high school

An Original Revenge

By WC Morrow A soldier intends to kill himself in order to return as a vengeful spirit and take his revenge upon his commanding officer.

The Little Room

By Madeline Yale Wynn A tiny room in a farm house holds a mysterious secret, appearing to be a different room to each person who enters it.

best short stories to teach in high school

The God of Dark Laughter

By Michael Chabon Thirteen days after the Entwhistle-Ealing Bros. circus left Ashtown two boys stumbled on a body that was dressed in a mad suit of purple and orange velour. 

best short stories to teach in high school

Literary Short Stories For High School

best short stories to teach in high school

The Other Woman

By Sherwood Anderson A man struggles with his final days before marriage as he falls for a young barista.

The Scarlet Ibis

By James Hurst The intense relationship between two brothers pushes one boy over the edge into death.

best short stories to teach in high school

Your Body is a Jewel Box

By Kay Boyle The rain was falling just as it did every day at this time of the year, and when Olive got out of bed she saw that Mildred was sitting on the roof again and crying in the rain.

The Love of My Life

By TC Boyle A haunting story of two high schoolers in love as they enter college, get pregnant and decide what to do about the baby and their future.

best short stories to teach in high school

A Father’s Story

By Andre Dubus A father frames himself for a potential crime to shield his daughter after she is in a car accident that may have killed someone.

best short stories to teach in high school

Adventure Short Stories for High School

best short stories to teach in high school

The Strange Ride of Morrowbie Jukes

By Rudyard Kipling There is, as the conjurers say, no deception about this tale. Jukes by accident stumbled upon a village that is well known to exist, though he is the only Englishman who has been there.

A Descent Into the Maelstrom

By Edgar Allan Poe A seemingly old man recounts his horrific tale of being sucked into a massive whirlpool at sea and how he managed to survive.

best short stories to teach in high school

The Boar Hunt

By Jose Vasconcelos A group of hunters stalk wild boars through the jungle. When they begin shooting a herd from the trees, they mistakenly believe it’s their lucky day.

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

By Ambrose Bierce A man set for execution escapes his fate when the noose breaks. He flees, desperate to escape from his executioners.

best short stories to teach in high school

Science Fiction Short Stories for High School

best short stories to teach in high school

Everything’s Eventual

By Stephen King A young man with very special powers is enlisted to quietly and mysteriously kill people around the country.

The Nine Billion Names of God

By Arthur C. Clarke A group of monks living atop the mountains purchase a supercomputer to help them identify all the names of God and bring an end to the universe.

best short stories to teach in high school

By Isaac Asimov The planet Lagash has known nothing but sunlight for over 2,000 years. Now they are preparing to experience their first nightfall in millenia.

By Frederic Brown Escalating conflict between Earth and the alien Outsiders must be resolved through single combat between an earthling and an Outsider.

best short stories to teach in high school

Microcosmic God

By Theodore Sturgeon A brilliant biochemist creates a synthetic lifeform in an attempt to improve mankind, but the results are not at all what he imagined.

best short stories to teach in high school

Classic Short Stories for High School

best short stories to teach in high school

By John Steinbeck A man finds his wife in the arms of another man, leading to a horrible murder and its aftermath.

The Tall Men

By William Faulkner Two men arrive at a house with a warrant for the McCallum brothers, but they must first deal with the McCallum relatives, one of whom has had a terrible accident and needs his leg amputated.

best short stories to teach in high school

The Blue Hotel

By Stephen Crane An intense card game leads to a brutal fight in a blizzard.

The Gambler, the Nun & the Radio

By Ernest Hemingway They brought them in around midnight and then, all night long, everyone along the corridor heard the Russian. ‘Where is he shot?’ Mr. Frazer asked the night nurse.

best short stories to teach in high school

A Good Man is Hard to Find

By Flannery O’Connor A family finds themselves in dire straits on the road when they run into the Misfit, an insane, murderous escaped convict. 

best short stories to teach in high school

41 Short Stories for Middle School

best short stories to teach in high school

8 Diverse Memoirs for the Classroom

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best short stories to teach in high school

best short stories to teach in high school

Modern Short Stories for High School English Class

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Addison Rizer

Addison Rizer is a writer and reader of anything that can be described as weird, sad, or scary. She has an MA in Professional Writing and a BA in English. She writes for Book Riot and Publishers Weekly and is always looking for more ways to gush about the books she loves. Find her published work or contact her on her website or at addisonrizer at gmaildotcom.

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I think we all read at least some of the same short stories in high school English class. “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson or “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. “All Summer in a Day” by Ray Bradbury or “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” by Ursula K. Le Guin. Throw in some Kate Chopin, Edgar Allen Poe, maybe James Joyce or Nathaniel Hawthorne or Mark Twain and you’ve covered the majority of what I read through junior high and high school. No modern short stories for high school readers to be found.

For decades, these stories have been on the reading lists of teenagers everywhere. And they’re good short stories. Honestly, they are. Good for teaching voice or theme or pacing in bite-sized chunks, just hard enough to challenge students without frustrating them to the point of quitting. I still think about Omelas and the woman in the wallpaper and the one day of sunlight even now. They’re good and they serve the purpose they are meant to, whether students get annoyed or not.

But they’re not very contemporary. They don’t necessarily account for modern events, perspectives, or context. Many of them, while reading, feel too removed from the modern day to really connect to them. And they’re mostly written by white men and women.

So, for a little variety and newness for your reading list, here are 15 modern short stories for high school English class.

“Synchronicity” by John Keeble

In a world where environmental strife is rampant in the form of multiple droughts, fires, and the dying of the natural world, farmers-out-of-modern-time Ward and Irene give advice to the narrator of the story about the running of their own farm. As they do, Ward tells the narrator the story of his brother-in-law Leland and the contrasting way his family was coping with the environmental issues. This is a great option to teach subtext, dynamics, and action vs. inaction in characters.

“Moments Earlier” by Kate Doyle

A friend group of four is left shattered after one of their members, Kelly, suffers a cardiac incident and falls down the stairs. The short story jumps between the different members of the group, exploring how they feel and what they do after Kelly’s fall and the aftermath. Because you get the perspective of the three different characters dealing with the same incident, this is a great option to use for studying character, their relationships, grief, regret, and the inciting incident plot point.

“Chance Me” by Caitlin Horrocks

A father and his 15-year estranged son visit potential colleges together in this short story. The dynamic between the father and son, and the flashbacks to the father’s time in a cult-like living situation with his son’s mother, are excellent ways of teaching students about character and dialogue. Though not much happens, the story is engaging and interesting, and will likely resonate with kids soon to be going on their own visits to college and re-evaluating their relationships with their parents.

“What the Dead Man Said” by Chinelo Onwualu

Set in a future plagued by climate change and AI implants, a woman returns to her home city for her father’s funeral. While struggling with memories of a sexual assault as a child and how her community and family isolated her in the aftermath, Azuka speaks to a manifestation of her dead father. She asks him questions and confronts his turning away from her as a child. Use this to teach setting, the way fiction can be an outlet for grief, and speculative fiction. An exercise suggestion: have students write a dialogue with a ghost of their own.

“A Contract Overseas” by Mia Alvar

A young Filipino girl discovers her love for writing while her brother takes a contract in Saudi to provide for her, her mother, and his girlfriend who is pregnant with twins. Her brother writes home, often sending friends with money for the family when they come to visit. When her brother gets himself into trouble, the money to put her through school and to provide for the rest of the family is threatened. This one is excellent for teaching the way characters can propel plot with beautiful prose.

“A Ride Out of Phrao” by Dina Nayeri

A Persian woman leaves America after being unable to hold down a job. She joins the Peace Corps in Thailand where she gets a job teaching children how to speak English. She notices one boy who shows up to school with bruises and seems to have no mother figure. And when her daughter comes to visit, the two have a complicated relationship. This one’s great for teaching setting, community, and mother-daughter relationships.

“You, Disappearing” by Alexandra Kleeman

The apocalypse is slow in this second-person narrative about the things of the world disappearing in seemingly random patterns. One day, your car keys, the next your pet cat. The narrator’s relationship, under the stress of the “disapocalypse” falls apart, and their memories start to go, too. Add this to your syllabus for teaching second-person narratives, metaphors, and how to balance brevity and detail.

“The Janitor in Space” by Amber Sparks

A woman works as a janitor on board a spaceship, cleaning up after astronauts in the night. As she cleans, she thinks about her old life on Earth, her time in prison, and her relationship with God. As astronauts come and go, she sinks into the shadows as much as she can. This is a quick read, chock full of description and detail for students to sink their teeth into.

“The Hawk” by Jules Chung

A mother and her adolescent daughter find an injured baby hawk on the side of the road. With glimpses into the daughter’s struggle growing up and the mother’s with understanding her daughter and their Korean identity, the pair try to determine what to do to help the injured animal. This one is a great way to teach word choice and the way seemingly unrelated incidents can add to a reader’s understanding of theme.

“Such Great Height and Consequence” by Kelsey Norris

For a lighthearted, laughter-inducing short story, this one is great. A statue is removed in a public park in Aberdeen, leaving an empty concrete slab. Residents of the town begin to rent out time on the platform, using it for whatever they wish as long as it is lawful. With funny footnotes tacked on, this one’s great for teaching unique ways of telling story. Try reading once without the footnotes and once with to show how asides/additional information can change a narrative or perhaps give students their own pedestal to use as they please (within class rules, of course). Do take note: this one has some cursing. It might not be appropriate for all ages.

“When the Tide of Misfortune Hits, Even Jelly Will Break Your Teeth” by Porochista Khakpour

A man with a laundry list of bad luck goes to see The Spiritualist, a woman in town who is said to be psychic. Through her instructions, he gets the money, family, and occupation he was missing in his miserable life before. But, eventually it all must come to an end when she predicts illness and death in his future. This one is rife with imagery to dissect and ambiguity to show students the ways in which literature, and life, isn’t as clear-cut as we may wish it was.

“The Deer-Vehicle Collision Survivors Support Group” by Porochista Khakpour

A couple in a tumultuous relationship moves from New York City to an isolated part of the United States for a job. After purchasing a new car, they decide to take a trip to their old city in the hopes that it will help things between them. A collision with a deer while driving, through, sends things in a different direction. This one has great tension and an unexpected plot.

“Standard Loneliness Package” by Charles Yu

A man works at a company where people can pay to have other people experience bad things for them. Funerals, medical procedures, quitting their jobs. In some instances, people sell away their whole lives. The narrator is working towards a Normal Life, but the ones at the second-hand shop keep selling before he can save enough money. This one is a great way to teach emotion and how to choose the right POV. Try having students write the story from another character’s point of view to see how that might change things.

“Open House on Haunted Hill” by John Wiswell

From the perspective of an uninhabited house, the short story follows the events of an open house. The house notices a young father and his daughter and tries to get them to move in. The point of view allows the reader to witness conversations with the realtor, small acts of kindness between the father and daughter, and makes you root for the house despite its “haunted” nature. Great for teaching unique points of view, like inanimate objects, while still making them easy to connect to understand and emotional. Fun idea: listen to LeVar Burton read it on his podcast LeVar Burton Reads .

“My Country is a Ghost” by Eugenia Triantafyllou

A woman must leave behind the ghost of her mother as she immigrates into a new country. There, she gets a job washing dishes and shrinks away from those who have the privilege of keeping their ghosts with them. She worries about losing memories of her mother now that she isn’t there any longer to remind her of things like old recipes and stories of their past. One day, she meets a man at the restaurant who tries to help bring her ghost back. This one is great for teaching allegory while demonstrating the importance of community and connection.

I hope you found one of these modern short stories for high school interesting! If you want more short story options, try these best short stories of all time or these short scary stories !

best short stories to teach in high school

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Great Short Stories to Teach to High-Schoolers

September 30, 2019 • Short Stories • Teaching Ideas

best short stories to teach in high school

I’d like to share with you a list of my favorite short stories to teach to high-schoolers. This list might surprise you—not because of what is listed, but because of what isn’t . Since I don’t teach an age group younger than sophomores, my students have already read many of the most famous short stories:  “The Monkey’s Paw,” “The Telltale Heart,” “The Lottery,” “The Most Dangerous Game,” “The Gift of the Magi,” etc. So that means I have to get creative! The result is that my favorite short stories to teach might be ones you’ve never heard of before!

  • “The Black Cat” by Edgar Allan Poe This short story still has the power to shock modern readers (and that’s saying something). When the unnamed narrator mutilates and later hangs his pet cat, simply out of a spirit of perverseness, my students are genuinely horrified (and rightfully so). Their horror is soon replaced by intrigue as the cat (seemingly) comes back from the dead to seek its revenge. The ending, which I won’t say here in case you’ve never read the story before, is pure Poe!
  • “Man from the South” by Roald Dahl Leave all your preconceptions about the author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory behind as you see that Roald Dahl wrote stories for adults, too. This story centers around a bet: A man will win a car if he can light a lighter ten times in a row. If he loses, he will have his pinky finger severed with a chopping knife. Morbid? Yes. Intriguing for high-schoolers? You betcha. This story is perfect for teaching rising action and climax—as well as twist endings.
  • “The Bass, the River, and Shelia Mant” by W.D. Wetherell I had never heard of this story before until I found it in the sophomore-level literature book. Judging from the title, I was pretty sure it wasn’t going to be a story that I would use with my students, but I was pleasantly surprised. Here’s the premise: A teenage asks out a dream girl, but he’s too young to drive, so he takes her for a date in a canoe instead. Along the way, he accidentally hooks his dream fish on a fishing line he has hidden from his date. Now he must choose:  the girl or the fish? It’s an entertaining story that gets kids debating what the main character should do. I usually begin the school year by reading this story.
  • “Miriam” by Truman Capote I read this short story when I was in high school, and because I remembered it years later, I teach it to my students. It’s creepy—in a good way. An elderly woman, who lives alone, is haunted by a pale, little girl named Miriam. Is Miriam a ghost? A psychological projection of the woman’s fears? No matter what she is, Miriam seems to have moved in for good.
  • “A & P” by John Updike Going into the mind of a teenage boy is a startling journey for some! The first person narrator of this short story (a teenage boy) witnesses a very mundane experience (watching three girls violating the dress code of a grocery story) and decides to take a stand. This story is a great springboard for discussing when to stand up for what you believe to be right.
  • “Prey” by Richard Matheson Written by the author of I Am Legend (which I also highly recommend), this story is a small masterpiece. When a miniature idol, given as a gift, comes to life in a young woman’s apartment, the result is pure horror. I would read this story ahead of time to make sure it is suitable for your students, but if you’re looking for a creepy thrill near Halloween, this story fits the bill perfectly!

All of these short stories are under copyright protection—except for “The Black Cat,” which is available as a script-story download on this website . Happy reading!

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Short Stories for High School

We recommend these stories for high school students based on their literary significance and to deepen student appreciation for the short story genre. Many are iconic works, often anthologized, and serve as common cultural reference points in literature, film, music, and popular culture. These are the stories that well-read students should know as they prepare for college and life! Short Stories for High School II is our encore collection. You may also enjoy Poetry for Students , Civil War Stories and WWI Stories .

The Story of an Hour

  • An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce This famous story, set during the American Civil War, is widely regarded as a short story masterpiece. The story of Peyton Farquhar is about a man about to be hanged, whose love for his wife and children help him envision his escape. We offer a useful Study Guide
  • The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin This short story takes the reader on an emotional journey and was quite controversial when it was published in 1894 as The Dream of an Hour before being republished under this title in 1895. Most readers experience varying degrees of discomfort while reading this story, a testament to its power. This selection is an excellent entry point for a discussion about why feminist literature began to appear at this time and how people reacted. Here's our Study Guide
  • The Storm by Kate Chopin If you have read The Story of an Hour then you probably understand that Ms. Chopin was willing to write about love and relationships in their entirety, embracing the complexities and mysteries of that realm. In this story she takes on the sensitive issue of infidelity. This is a story for more mature and advanced high school classes.

A Dark Brown Dog

  • A Dark Brown Dog by Stephen Crane This is a story that works at several levels and is easily read as a sad and tragic morality tale about animal cruelty. For advanced readers, this story merits classroom discussion as a symbolic tale. Probably written in 1893, it's an interesting cross-section of literature and history that might be commenting on Reconstruction and the Jim Crow era. What if the dog, still dragging a rope, is representative of recently freed slaves? If we accept that symbolic starting point, who is the little boy? The mother, the father? And what does the story mean in that context? Use our Study Guide
  • Trifles by Susan Glaspell Before Henrik Ibsen wrote A Doll's House, he noted in 1878 that, “A woman cannot be herself in the society of the present day which is an exclusively masculine society with laws framed by men and with the judicial system that judges feminine conduct from a masculine point of view.” Glaspell drives the point home brilliantly in this short play, which she later adapted into a short story, A Jury of Her Peers .

The Hanging Stranger

  • The Hanging Stranger by Philip K. Dick Ed had always been a practical man, when he saw something was wrong he tried to correct it. Then one day he saw it hanging in the town square.
  • Home Burial by Robert Frost This is a poem. Not a short story. Don't let that stop you. Frost uses about 1,010 words to teach you something about the complexity of life, death, marriage, longing, loss, and parenthood. Take note of the emotional and physical position of the characters in relationship to one another over the course of the poem. And please take the time to consider the historical context: Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Lincoln, McKinley, Roosevelt, Kennedy, Reagan, Bush. An incomplete list of presidents? No. That is an incomplete list of presidential couples that lost at least one child. This poem was not addressing a remote emotional experience when written in 1914. It was addressing a tragedy and emotional trauma that was all too common in the United States then and is still too common in many parts of the world today.

High School Short Stories: Sherwood Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio

  • The Girl Who Got Rattled by Stewart Edward White This story was adapted in the Coen Brothers' movie, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018), in the vignette titled The Gal Who Got Rattled .
  • The Interlopers by H.H. Munro In this man versus man versus nature story, two feuding neighbors venture into the woods carrying guns; one to hunt, the other to put down a trespasser. The two are fated to meet and reap the rewards of their bitter quarrel over a piece of land.
  • The Fly by Katherine Mansfield We now turn to New Zealander Katherine Mansfield for a short story that is multi-themed and laden with symbolism. What are the messages the author delivers in this story? What does the fly represent? Are there any ideas that reappear in the story? The Fly is a great candidate story for an essay or classroom discussion. The story provides the literary experience of looking at a mountain field; the longer you look, the more you see. Every student's perspective is different and so is their view of this story's field.
  • Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson A delightful mosaic of stand-alone, but related stories describing the development of a young man, George Willard , as he comes of age. The stories mark the significant episodes and relationships that have shaped his life and formed his character. The stories build toward the moment when he will leave Winesburg and his youth behind. Each story can be enjoyed independently, revealing flawed yet endearing characters in Anderson's naturalist style.

Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town

  • Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town by Stephen Leacock This is a fantastically funny short story collection from the Canadian author Stephen Leacock. Though largely lost to modern readers, it was once commonly said that "more people had heard of Stephen Leacock than Canada." If this one is not on your reading list, I advise you to negotiate with your teacher for some extra credit and read this one independently.
  • The Open Boat by Stephen Crane This sublime story is based on the true-life ordeal that Crane endured in 1897 when a ship he boarded for Cuba ran aground and sank off the Florida coast. A ten-foot long dinghy is a small boat for four men in calm water, it must have been rather harrowing in rough seas. While this is another man versus nature story, it focuses more on nature's indiscriminate carelessness, and I admire this narrative's understated style.
  • Desiree's Baby by Kate Chopin It is hard to comment on this story's content without spoiling its powerful effect on the reader, so I will refrain other than to recommend it for classrooms that are ready for mature discussions of sensitive topics. I think this story is best when previewed by the teacher, then assigned to the whole class for reading and a follow-up discussion.
  • Araby by James Joyce Araby is a compelling short story with valuable lessons and revelations for the adolescent reader. It deals with the hazards of romance and follows a young man that has developed a crush on his friend's sister; "I had never spoken to her, except for a few casual words, and yet her name was like a summons to all my foolish blood. " Many readers consider Araby to be their favorite James Joyce short story, perhaps a precursor to Ulysses .
  • Two Friends by Guy de Maupassant A story about loyalty in which Sauvage and Morissot share far more than a passion for fishing during wartime.

The Minister's Black Veil

  • Eve's Diary by Mark Twain In this playful and funny short story, Mark Twain makes a humorous accounting of the differences between the sexes, writing first from Eve's point of view and then following up with Adam's point of view. This story is a gentle reminder that it's okay to lighten up and laugh at our differences.
  • The Minister's Black Veil by Nathaniel Hawthorne Hawthorne's story is one of the finest in the genre of Dark Romanticism. Why will no one ask Reverend Hooper why he wears it? Read our helpful Study Guide
  • The Boarded Window by Ambrose Bierce "There is a point at which terror may turn to madness . . ." Physically, this story is set on the American frontier -- hint coming -- but that may not be where all the action takes place! The Boarded Window is a great story for in-class reading and discussion.

More recommended titles are available in Short Stories for High School II . You may also enjoy Morality Tales and 25 Great American Novels

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best short stories to teach in high school

  • June 30, 2022
  • Uncategorized

I love short stories!

In fact, one of my favorite units to teach is my short story unit. It’s the first unit I start each year with (after the first two weeks of requisite back to school and procedure lessons). 

Short stories are ideal for keeping students engaged. The reader gets an immediate reward – as you can finish them easily in a single class session or sitting, but they are anything but simple! 

Short stories are complex enough to stretch out over a week to several weeks and can be used to teach countless concepts such as elements of story, plot structure, figurative language, identifying theme, and the importance of considering diverse perspectives! 

I especially love to pick one or two focus elements per story that I teach.

The teaching possibilities are flexible and endless..

How I teach my short story unit:

I always start off my short story unit by giving my students’ the academic vocabulary they need to understand, discuss, and explore the texts. 

best short stories to teach in high school

To do so, I use a couple of trusty “fan favorite” lessons – the elements of story guided note lesson and the parts of plot Pixar shorts lesson. 

With the elements of story guided notes lesson, students complete scaffolded notes to learn the fundamental vocabulary to identify parts of a story (plot, theme, characters, etc.)  Then, we practice identifying those elements in Pixar shorts. Students LOVE Pixar shorts. I once had a student say,”We get to watch videos AND learn?” Viewing animated shorts feels like such a treat to them AND it helps them remember the key terms.

Then, we start reading short stories! I pick from my list of prepared lessons based on the unique personalities and skill levels of my students.   With each short story I introduce I focus on building 1-3 key skills. For example, my focus with the very first short story I introduce is always identifying theme. 

For each short story, I also follow the same basic lesson plan structure. This also helps students understand what is expected of them over the course of the short story unit.  First, we begin with the pre-reading and context – in this phase we learn about the author, the historical context, relevant critical lenses, and any other important tid bits necessary to comprehending the text.

 Then, we read the story with audiobook accompaniment! I just love a good audiobook – an artful and theatrical reading makes all the difference in student engagement. You might also try reader’s theater (students get a huge kick out of this activity) to switch up your classroom routine and give students the opportunity to shine. 

Depending upon the length of the story, I will break the reading down across multiple days. As a group we will close read and annotate each portion after we have read it.

Then, we will discuss the short story with discussion questions I have prepared in advance. Our discussions will cover recapping the significant events of the story as well as higher-order analytical thinking.

Post-reading activities will include some or all of the following: focused writing and reflecting on key story elements, practice of key skills, vocabulary work, and a final comprehension check quiz. 

For some short stories I may also show short movie adaptations or thematically relevant videos that I find compelling.

Check out a free sample of how I approach teaching short stories with the popular and riveting story The Necklace by Guy De Maupassant. 

Best Short Stories for High School Students 

Being an avid reader and lover of the short story, I’ve found many excellent short stories for high school students, 30 of which I’ve developed lessons for that are available in my TPT store. Some of these stories would also work very well for middle school students (you know your students best). 

best short stories to teach in high school

  • Names/Nombres – Julia Alvarez (available HERE )
  • Honor Society – Sherman Alexie (available HERE )
  • The Yellow Wallpaper – Charlotte Gilman (available HERE )
  • The Veldt – Ray Bradbury (available HERE )
  • Everyday Use – Alice Walker (available HERE )
  • Eleven – Sandra Cisneros (available HERE )
  • Shame – Dick Gregory (available HERE )
  • The Scholarship Jacket – Martha Salinas (available HERE )
  • Rules of the Game – Amy Tan (available HERE )
  • The Necklace – Mauppasant (available HERE )
  • The Pedestrian – Ray Bradbury (available HERE )
  • The Story of an Hour – Kate Chopin (available HERE )
  • To Build A Fire – Jack London (available  HERE )
  • Thank You Ma’am – Langston Hughes (available HERE )
  • The Tell Tale Heart – Edgar Allan Poe (available HERE )
  • Harrison Bergeron – Kurt Vonnegut (available HERE )
  • All Summer in a Day – Ray Bradbury (available HERE )
  • Civil Peace – Chinua Achebe (available HERE )
  • The Landlady – Roald Dahl (available HERE )
  • Button, Button – Richard Matheson (available HERE )
  • The Most Dangerous Game Mini-Unit – Richard Connell (available HERE )
  • The Chaser – John Collier (available HERE )
  • Lamb to the Slaughter – Dahl (available HERE )
  • A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings – Marquez (available HERE )
  • Only Daughter – Sandra Cisneros (available HERE )
  • The Raven – Edgar Allan Poe (available HERE )
  • The Black Cat – Edgar Allan Poe (available HERE )
  • The Gift of the Magi – O Henry (available  HERE )
  • The Lottery – Shirley Jackson (available HERE )
  • A Sound of Thunder (available HERE )

 Having so many to choose from allows me the flexibility of picking ones that fit my classes’ unique personalities and skill levels. 

Perfect for incorporating diverse voices! 

Short stories are also incredible because they allow you to cover so many different diverse voices and life experiences over a short period of time. 

best short stories to teach in high school

Short stories by authors from varying backgrounds and time periods allow students to experience windows, mirrors, and sliding glass doors. ( The Danger of A Single Story , a Ted Talk by author Chimamanda Adiche, makes an excellent introductory activity for the importance of the exploration of diverse perspectives.)

(Check out this blog post for more information about why diverse texts matter so much: https://www.edutopia.org/article/why-diverse-classroom-libraries-matter ) 

Some of my favorite short stories by diverse (POC) authors include: 

  • Rules of the Game – Amy Tan (available   HERE )
  • A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings – Marquez (available   HERE )

Perfect for holidays! 

Get festive with your students no matter the season or holiday with short stories! Short stories are a stress-free and simple way to bring the spirit and fun of holidays into your classroom.

Christmas / Thanksgiving / Holiday Season

  • The Gift of the Magi – O Henry (available   HERE )
  • Civil Peace – Chinua Achebe (available   HERE )
  • The Chaser – John Collier (available for sale individually HERE )

halloween short stories

My absolute FAVORITE time of year to incorporate short stories in my classroom would have to be spooky season! Students love creepy tales. I especially love to set the scene for spooky reads by dimming the lights in the classroom and “lighting” some of my beloved (battery powered) candles.

My favorite spooky short stories are all included in my mega Halloween bundle (available HERE ). The short stories included are:

  • The Most Dangerous Mini-Unit – Richard Connell (mini-unit available HERE )
  • 8.The Raven – Edgar Allan Poe (available HERE )

Variety & Extension Activities: 

Short stories are also wonderful because they lend themselves to countless creative offshoots and extension activities. 

Some examples of creative assignments include:

  • Write your own ending or what happens next..
  • Write a letter or diary entry from a character’s perspective..
  • Create a one pager or theme poster.
  • Create a character analysis poster.
  • Draw a movie/book cover that represents the themes and significant symbols of the text.
  • Create a comic strip representing the most significant events of the text.
  • Culminate your short story unit with a March Madness style contest. Allow students to vote between 2 short stories progressively until one short story wins class favorite. (Check out more info on March Madness style bracket competitions HERE .)

Wrapping Up: 

Short stories might just be my favorite type of literature. The emotions and the payoff are so immediate (perfect for the modern world of instant gratification) without sacrificing depth and complexity.

short story lesson plans

My love for short stories is reflected in my TPT store.. There you can find 30 different short stories that I love teaching to my students and have experienced great success with. Check out my many short story bundles to save big and skip the planning time! 

I’d love to hear from you – what short stories are your favorites to teach? Which short stories are your students’ absolute favorites year after year? 

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best short stories to teach in high school

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“It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain; but once conceived, it haunted me day and night.”

~ “the tell tale heart” by edgar allen poe.

Running out of my room, I found my brother and cornered him.

“You have to read this story!”

“Come on, Chelle!” He rolled his eyes at his hopelessly nerdy older sister. “Fine,” He relented, knowing I wasn’t going to give up.

Instead of letting him read it himself, I began dramatically narrating it, and continued, pausing to explain the exposition so that he could fully appreciate the conflict and climax of the story. (By the way, this was when I was “never” going to be a teacher because that’s what everyone expected me to be.) At some point, his eyebrows raised and he leaned in. My mom also joined us on the bed, and soon, we were all sucked into Poe’s gripping world of sorrow and guilt. Thankfully, he was adequately wowed, and “The Tell Tale Heart” has since been one of our favorites.

Oh, the Short Story!

Middle and high school short stories are powerful. There’s no underestimating what a masterful author can craft in just a few short pages. It’s also written at just the right length for adolescents. Which stories should we choose though?

Here’s where the experts come in! Hear from our ELA experts about what middle and high school short stories they love and what to teach with the short stories. While you’re at it, check out their blogs and social media accounts for other great literacy ideas!

The most helpful part of this collaborative post is that it includes the skills that we teach through these texts.  Researched based practices are that we choose the skills to teach first, and then select the text – planning with then end in mind.

best short stories to teach in high school

Middle and High School Short Stories

Short story 1: “ desiree’s baby ” by kate chopin.

  • Audience: Middle 6th – 8th Grades
  • Use to teach: Comprehension and Vocabulary
  • Bonus: The theme of the story correlates to our required readings, The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass and Plessy vs Ferguson.
  • Contributor: Dacia Cobb –  I am a lifelong reader who loves to pass down stories from my grandmother and other ancestors about the struggles and greatness of African Americans. Recently, I completed year 16 of teaching and it was anything but sweet with the current demonstrations and attacks on American’s public education system. Educators interested in reform may follow schoolemdacia on Facebook, Instagram , and Twitter.

Short Story 2: “ Big Joe’s Funeral ” (from 145th Street) by Walter Dean Myers

  • Audience: 7th – 12th Grades
  • Use to teach: plot structure, prediction, major vs. minor characters, types of conflict, character traits, dialect
  • Bonus: I love teaching this short story because it is so different from most stories. Big Joe cashes out his insurance money and has a funeral for himself while still alive to enjoy the attention of it. His actions throughout the story provide a great classroom debate set-up.
  • Contributor: Jennifer Koss – This will be my 13th year teaching English and I have taught every grade from 6-12. Currently I teach English 9. I am the advisor for Link Crew, National Honor Society, and Student Council; I also coach volleyball and chess. You can find me on Instagram .

Short Story 3: “ Flowers for Algernon “

  • Use to teach:  Point of view, discussion (socratic seminar), characterization, symbolism
  • Bonus:  Students connect emotionally to this story, can clearly see in a unique way how the character changes throughout, it’s great for teaching symbolism and having deep class discussion
  • Contributor: Stacey Wassif – I have been teaching secondary ELA since 2012 in Southern California. I have taught both middle and high school grades. Before settling into public school, I taught ESL in America and Japan! I’m married to another teacher and we have a two-year-old son. I’m a new TPT author and enjoy sharing my ideas with other teachers (and getting ideas in return!) I love teaching my students to connect with stories and diving deep into meaningful discussion. TPT store, Instagram , and Facebook .

Short Story 4: “ The Story of an Hour ” by Kate Chopin

  • Audience: 8th – 9th Grade
  • Use to teach: This story is replete in symbolism. I have my students “act out” the events in the story (such as having a chair for Mrs. Mallard to sit in and using another piece of furniture to represent the door that the other characters remain on the other side of) and use simple props (mostly made of construction paper) to represent objects from the story that are symbolic of greater truths in the text. I make a cardboard cutout of the window Louise looks through and use construction paper to draw a musical note on and have a student hold that, tantalizingly, several feet from the open window (“The notes of a distant song which some one was singing reached her faintly, and countless sparrows were twittering in the eaves.”) That student moves the musical note back and forth towards the window throughout the story until it is moved right up to the window, through the window, and right up to Louise when she realizes she is free of Brently Mallard and all that goes with being his wife in that era. There are several other quite tangible symbols in the story that can also be represented and manipulated to demonstrate the symbol’s influence in the story.
  • Bonus: This story is winning because of its: short length, shock value, interest in the oppressive stature of women in the past, extensive symbolism
  • Contributor: Carol McNally – Well, I’m a retired teacher who just can’t seem to stop teaching. read more on my website – Youtube channel – TPT   – Facebook – Linked in :

Short Story 5: “ The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas ” by Ursula K. Le Guin

  • Audience: 10th – 12th
  • Use to Teach: Point of View, Theme, Shift, Close Reading, Imagery, Metaphor
  • Bonus: It has the rare use of 2nd person point of view and my students “felt something” when they read it, which is hard to come by sometimes. This story affected them emotionally and that is a great moment as a teacher.
  • Contributor: Tara Heimberger I’m a first year teacher of 10th graders and AP Literature students in rural Georgia who loves Harry Potter and stories that make me cry. My Instagram is: @litwithmissh

Short Story 6: “Cinderella” by The Brothers Grimm (plus other versions of Cinderella from around the world)

  • Audience: 9th – 12th
  • Use to Teach: Critical thinking & analysis, comparing & contrasting literary works
  • Bonus Ideas: I love to look at how almost all cultures around the world have their own version of the Cinderella story, and to have students discuss the cautionary tale aspect of fairy tales. We also watch Disney’s film version and talk about its cultural impact.
  • Contributor : Marie Morris I have been teaching for over 10 years, most of which were in high school English and Theatre Arts. My teaching style is energetic and fast-paced, but I constantly check for student understanding. I like to engage students with references they can connect with and give students a sense of belonging to my classroom community. I should also mention that I am quite loud. 😉 Teaching is in my blood. I have been unsure of many things over the course of my life, but of two things I have always been certain – I wanted to be a mom and I wanted to be a teacher. I love to connect with other educators! Instagram –  Blog –  TPT –

Short Story 7: “ Harrison Bergeron ” Kurt Vonnegut

  • Use to Teach: Inference and evidence, theme, story elements, comparing and contrasting to film (“2081”)
  • Bonus Ideas: Ties into short unit that wraps up dystopian texts, students’ reactions to the concepts of dystopian texts
  • Contributor: Allyssa Graham I’m a 7th/8th grade ELA teacher in CNY. I spent the last 5 years teaching in ENC and moved back to my home state in the summer of 2017. I just finished my first year teaching back in NY! My IG and TPT is under @grahamcrackerela.

Short Story 8: “ The Gold Coin” by Alma Flor Ada

  • Audience: 3rd – 12th
  • Use to Teach : Character analysis, conflicts, text evidence for analysis
  • Bonus Ideas: There are great discussions of what makes someone a good/bad person. Can people change? What makes someone rich?
  • Contributor: Lisa Kalinowski – I’ve taught 8 years (7 years in 4th grade and 1 year in middle school 6-8). I have an MA in Reading and Literacy. I am Reading Specialist, Master Reading Teacher, ESL certified. I am just starting to build my online/social media presence. My Pinterest account is lisakal and my Instagram account is @mrskteachesela

Short Story 9 : “ Harrison Bergeron ” (by: Kurt Vonnegut Jr.)

  • Use to Teach: This story can be used for a myriad of literacy skills such as Characterization, Diction/Vocabulary Analysis, Connotation, Foreshadowing, Irony…etc.
  • Bonus Ideas: The BEST part of teaching this story is the thematic discussion. This can be used to introduce students to dystopian literature and they can debate about the pros and cons of Equality and Media.
  • Contributor: Griselis Reyes-Gil I’m a 9th/10th grade ELA Teacher entering Year 14! I also run our Capstone program and teach AP Seminar and AP Research. I was recently awarded the Education Merit and Inspiration Award as High School Teacher of the Year for the City of Hialeah. You can follow me on Instagram: @_reyesrules, Twitter: @_reyesrules, and my TpT Store (Reyes Rules) will be opening soon!

More Short Stories

Short stories should pack that powerful punch that stays with you until the end. They often include a gut-wrenching twist at the end that leaves you puzzling. Also, don’t forget to S ign up to receive the topic/theme chart printable download!

best short stories to teach in high school

  • Eleven by Sandra Cisneros
  • All Summer in a Day by Ray Bradbury
  • Shame by Dick Gregory 
  • The Fun They Had by Issac Asimov
  • The Lottery by Shirley Jackson
  • Thank You Ma’am by Langston Hughes
  • Names/Nombres by Julia Alvarez
  • Fish Cheeks by Amy Tan
  • The Land Lady by Roald Dahl
  • Seventh Grade by Gary Soto
  • The Pie by Gary Soto
  • The Stone by Lloyd Alexander
  • The Scholarship Jacket by Martha Salinas
  • The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs

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1550+ High School Short Stories to read

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“ multiple choice ” by zack powell.

🏆 Winner of Contest #199

Okay class! Pop quiz. If you've been doing the readings, this should be a piece of cake. Remember to fill out both sides of this paper. You have the whole class period to finish. Good luck.1. Christopher Columbus first traveled to the Americas using which means of transportation?A) A cargo shipB) A steam locomotiveC) A Boeing 747 airliner D) A vintage red 1985 Camaro with a crack in the middle of the windshield and no heated seats2. What is the term...

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🏆 Winner of Contest #83

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best short stories to teach in high school

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“ sweet hearts ” by eleanor j winstanley.

Submitted to Contest #238

July 1992 I’ve always had crushes - since around the age of seven. Looking back, even then, I seemed hopelessly doomed to long for those boys who hardly noticed I had been in their class for an entire year (or more) . There was Gareth, Ryan, Tommy, oh and Rupert of course!  That had been the ultimate worst case of unrequited love for me - well - up until Angus .  I’m not certain why I’ve not written anything about him until now; mind you, whether I’ve written something or not is irrelevant. No one is going to read th...

“ Just Like That ” by D'Spencer Luyao

           When I was old enough to talk, but also old enough to know that I didn’t particularly want to, I bounced between different means of communicating until I found one that I actually enjoyed. Writing was tedious and complex, almost as much as talking was. I preferred simpler, more structured interactions.           My parents tried to get me to talk to professionals who could coax conversation out of me, and sometimes I humor...

“ The Pale Blue First Kiss ” by Zoe Zarubin

**This story briefly mentions suicide and physical abuse. Reader discretion is advised.** The first kiss wasn’t anything special. Just a peck.  The next day, he left her—changed schools.  They find themselves on Sunday mornings thinking about each other. What happened that afternoon. What they could’ve done. What they could’ve been.  She finds herself pacing and thinking about the way he spreads Skippy peanut butter on his favorite sandwich, or the way his eyes glitter when the sun sets, or the way his nose twitches when he’s ...

“ Dear Vera ” by Grace Sortland

To: [email protected] From: [email protected] Topic: I miss you. Dear Vera,  I don’t even know if you still use this email anymore, but I wanted to try. After having a depressing fit of depressi...

“ Teenage Dream ” by Brittaney Gambrell

The doorbell rings late in the evening. I lay sprawled out on the bed, attempting to memorize Pharaohs’ names and the dates they reined. The gentle notes of Silent Night whisper from my stereo. I attempt to ignore the noise downstairs, pretending I’m not interested. It won’t be for me. The door is never for me. I’m a freshman band nerd with a couple other outcast friends. Rarely do I speak to anyone on the phone, let alone see them in person. Still, I close my eyes and dream. Dream with every beat of my heart, that he is on the other s...

“ Unrivaled ” by Amanda Parker

The thud-squeal of the brakes, as the bus pulled into South Station, woke me from my daze. I wasn’t changing buses, but I was ready to change seats. After being hunkered down near the front of the bus since I boarded in Rhode Island, I was done with the driver’s endless prattle. He clearly thought he was a New England tour guide. He’d started with a monologue about the weather and moved on to steady commentary about othe...

“ The Last First Kiss ” by Jim LaFleur

On the outstretched canvas of Chesterfield, a quaint English village, time itself took humble breaths, pacing gently with the cycle of the seasons. It was a town cradled by the loving arms of tradition, where each spring gave rise to more than just a tapestry of wildflowers. It sowed the seeds of stories that would, in time, weave themselves into the hearts of its people. This story, among the tapestries,...

“ First sight ” by Ginger M Crabb

Jonathan's first true love was the Red Devil vacuum cleaner but then again, he was only a toddler. He hugged it tight as he rode around the living room while his mother, Elaine tidied up. Elaine remembered those easy early days as Jonathan entered the halls of Truman High School. As a senior, he rushed off without a word. She watched him walk away thinking about who he was becoming, how his tastes seemed to change overni...

“ Be Kind. Rewind. ” by Jonathan Page

Submitted to Contest #237

I would never have thought that Mr. Arnold was a meathead back in the day. That’s the thing about time. It’s like an Instagram post you’ve run through a hundred filters. It gets to the point where you wouldn’t even recognize where that final image started. I believe the film buffs call the story that is about to unfold a ‘romp.’ Buckle up. You’re not gonna believe where this one is going. I sure didn’t.Our story begins when the substitute English teacher drops the “C” word. The tea is that they caught the cancer late—lik...

“ Ethereal Expedition ” by Myranda Marie

Semiramis waited patiently for her turn; after all there is no more virtuous being than a Guardian Angel, is there? She sat, hands folded, posture straight, luminating smile; all consistent with the proud feeling of being chosen. Pride, not as much a sin as it once was, considering it was perfectly acceptable and quite encouraged to take some pride in this type of work, God’s work. Oh, but the word still sat heavily with Semiramis as she searched for a more appropriate, holy, angelic descriptive, honor, yes honor. She was honored to be se...

“ Breath of Resilience ” by Regina Jiang

Submitted to Contest #236

I stand at the start line, my heart pounding with anticipation, my feet jiggling with excitement. The cool morning air fills my lungs as I glance around, taking in the scene around me. The crowd, buzzing with energy around me, cheering for their loved ones. Runners, of all age and size, each determined to complete these 26 miles. They all seem so strong, so capable, and for a moment, doubt creeps into my mind. How could ...

“ The Final Bell Tolls ” by Roger Whistle

It was the waning months of the school year at Jefferson High, and Mr. Thompson was a nervous wreck. Disheveled and unkempt, with his ill-fitting suit and expanding waistline, he knew his time was nearly up. The principal had no plans to renew his contract when it expired soon. He loathed Thompson's tedious and convoluted global studies assignments, as did the students. But Thompson fancied himself a phenomenal educator,...

“ Call Me Sean ” by Clyde Laffan

Sean runs down the rear stairs from his small apartment, stopping at the bottom to check his shoelaces. “I’m just going for a run,” he tells himself, as though hearing the words out loud makes his intentions truthful. And in part, what he tells himself is the truth. Sean runs most Saturdays; as the saying goes, rain, hail or shine. Today, however, is different. And Sean knows it...

“ Horse ” by Gregg Voss

A fully inflated basketball weighs about twenty-two ounces, give or take, with a circumference of around 29 inches. The air inside, measured in pounds per square inch, is what makes it bounce.             That said, how could this saffron ball, with its black lines and smooth dimples and blocky Wilson logo, feel so heavy to Jimmy, almost as if it was a boulder?              The ball wasn’t any different tha...

The Best High School Short Stories

Let’s face it, it can be hard to get high schoolers excited about reading short stories. Between the distractions of Netflix, TikTok, and the latest games, there’s a lot of things your high school students may prefer over analyzing a new story.

But what if you offered them stories that were fresh, feisty, and relatable? Instead of only presenting them with famous short stories that are at least 50 years out of date, our collection of high school short stories provides you with a consistently fresh and updated collection teens can actually get behind.

The freshest high school short stories

If you’re looking for new and emerging voices to keep your students engaged, you’ve come to the right place. We at Reedsy use our weekly short story contest to fill a never-ending well of exciting new short stories for high school students. These may not be the same old stories you’re used to teaching, but they’re ones that your teens are much more likely to actually want to read. Provided by writers from around the world, these stories present a picture of high school life both modern and historical, and are written in more styles than you could ever cover in a single semester.

So if you want to teach something modern and exciting, pull up a chair and get reading our collection of new high school short stories. We’ve highlighted our favorites at the top by pulling up stories that have either been shortlisted or won our contests, but each story here offers something unique. Your students will thank you.

(Psst... If you'd like to read the best of the best entries from across 40+ genres, be sure to check out Prompted , our new literary magazine — there's a free copy waiting for you!)

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Samantha in Secondary

10 Best Short Stories for High School English Class

May 30, 2022 by Samantha H.

Finding the best short stories for high school English class can be difficult, but it’s definitely a worthy pursuit. I totally believe that high school English classes need more short stories, not less. Short stories are the best compromise with my reluctant readers, and I’ve yet to find an ELA standard that I couldn’t cover with a short story. Short stories are perfect for covering a variety of topics if you are pressed for time, and they are great for digging deep into singular topics if you’re looking for variety. Read on for some of my favorite works and learn how I use them in my ELA classroom below.

best-short-stories-for-high-school

#1: “The Veldt” by Ray Bradbury

I almost always start any short story unit with “The Veldt”. It’s a Ray Bradbury classic. This work focuses on letting children be raised by technology. Students certainly have strong opinions about the topic. Parents, George and Lydia, have a wonderful automated home – including a virtual entertainment nursery that their children Peter and Wendy spend most of their time in. When some of their fantasies turn disturbing, George and Lydia go so far as to decide they will move to the country and abandon the house entirely. The twisted ending is enough to keep this in the “best of’ list. Students are ALWAYS shocked by the ending.

I love this short story as a literary element review. I start with it to show students that short stories can be interesting and have a lot of depth, but this one in particular tends to be very easy to point out literary elements. I have a great literary element review activity that you can use for this story right here . It is definitely one of the best short stories for high school you will be able to find.

the-veldt-questions-answer-key

#2: “The Pedestrian” by Ray Bradbury

This story follows a single night in the life of Leonard Mead in 2053. I find it highly telling to discuss Bradbury’s premonitions about the future of our society’s dependence on technology and its effects. It’s a great example of a strong man vs. technology conflict. You can also discuss what “authority” or “majority” think about those who stand out from the crowd and are nonconformers. You can find activities for this short story here . 

Ray Bradbury’s writing is full of intriguing plot lines, ties to technology and science fiction, and focuses on strong themes. If you’re looking for insight on why Bradbury is still a relevant author to your secondary ELA classrooms, read my input and suggestions here .  He’s one of my favorite “classic” storytellers that I still include year after year.

the-pedestrian-worksheet-answer-key-pdf

#3: “The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry

This short story follows young husband and wife, Della and Jim, and their quest to find each other the perfect gift. I love this classic. It’s so wholesome, and a great story for around the holidays or before a break when you aren’t quite ready to start a whole new unit. The theme is strong and it’s a great reminder for anyone. I have a bundle of activities that are ready to go and easily modified to fit the timeframe you are working under. Before, during, and after reading activities are all available, as well as a quiz and children’s book activity. The book activity is a PERFECT day before holiday break activity. Students can even use the template to share with their families as a gift if they’d like.

gift-of-the-magi-pdf

#4: “Marigolds” by Eugenia Collier

This is a story about moments we lose our innocence or learn we’re leaving our childhood. This story is a reflection for the narrator, remembering her childhood during the Great Depression. Your high school students can reflect on their own childhood, moments they realized they were dealing with “grown up” issues, or felt like the innocence of childhood was over. This touching story is also available in my store with a variety of activities to choose from. “Marigolds” is certainly one of the best short stories for high school.

marigolds-answer-key

#5: “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson

The Lottery by Shirley Jackson is a classic short story that has been read by high school students for generations. The story is set in a small town where the residents hold an annual lottery to determine who will be sacrificed to ensure a good harvest. Although the story is fiction, it contains many elements that are relevant to real life. For example, the theme of mob mentality is something that everyone can relate to. Additionally, the story highlights the dangers of blindly following tradition. As a result, The Lottery is a thought-provoking story that can encourage high school students to question the status quo and think for themselves.

This is the type of short story that stays with you long after you’ve read. Students love this one and it creates great discussions. The ending is both morbid and insightful. Your students will love digging into this one.

#6: “The Scarlet Ibis” by James Hurst

The Scarlet Ibis is a novel by James Hurst that tells the story of two brothers who are very different from each other. One brother, Doodle, is born with a heart condition and is not expected to live very long. The other brother, no larger than Doodle and just as frail, strives to make his brother stronger. This heart-warming story not only teaches the importance of family, but also highlights the power of determination and perseverance. High school students can relate to the challenges that the brothers face, and they will be inspired by the lengths to which the older brother goes to ensure Doodle’s survival. The Scarlet Ibis is a novel that will stay with readers long after they have finished it.

#7: “The Black Cat” by Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “The Black Cat” is a perfect choice for high school students. For one thing, it’s a quick read—perfect for when you’re short on time. But don’t let its brevity fool you; “The Black Cat” is a complex and intricately crafted tale of guilt, madness, and revenge. Poe masterfully builds suspense throughout the story, leaving readers on the edge of their seats until the very end. What’s more, the story provides valuable insights into the dark side of human nature. Through the narrator’s downward spiral into madness, Poe shows how easily good people can be driven to horrific acts by their own demons. In today’s world, where mass shootings and hate crimes seem to be all too common, “The Black Cat” serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of remaining aware of our darkest impulses. For all these reasons, high school students would be wise to give this classic story a try.

Any of Poe’s short stories rank under the best short stories for high school. If you’re studying Edgar Allan Poe, I have a great research organizer to help your students learn more about him, plus an entire blog post with more activity ideas.

edgar-allan-poe-worksheet

#8: “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell

The most dangerous game is a thrilling tale of survival and suspense. Set on a remote island, the story follows the hunt for a human prey by a ruthless hunter. While the novel may seem like a simple tale of good versus evil, it is actually much more complex. The most dangerous game raises important questions about morality, justice, and the nature of violence. As such, it is an excellent choice for high school students who are looking for something more than just entertainment value. In addition to being a great story, the most dangerous game can help to foster critical thinking and discussion among students.

I can clearly remember the first time I read this story myself. It was one of the stories that intrigued me enough to consider that maybe there were books out there worth reading. It’s such a formative memory in my reading history that I can remember it clearly. Short stories can be so powerful in that way. I truly believe your students will love this one.

#9: “Thank You, Ma’am” by Langston Hughes

High school students should read “Thank You, Ma’am” because it is a relatable story with an important message. The story is about a young boy who tries to steal a woman’s purse, but she ends up teaching him a lesson about respect and compassion. Although the story is set in the past, the themes are still relevant today. Students can learn a lot from the characters in the story, and they will be able to relate to the challenges that they face. In addition, the story is beautifully written and it has a powerful ending that will stay with readers long after they finish reading it. This is truly one of the best short stories for high school English class.

#10: “The Sniper” by Liam O’Flaherty

The Sniper is a classic war story that has been thrilling readers for generations. The story follows a sniper as he tries to survive during the Irish Civil War. It is an excellent example of the human capacity for endurance and courage in the face of impossible odds. As such, it is an inspiring read for high school students who may be facing their own challenges. The story also highlights the importance of quick thinking and resourcefulness, both of which are valuable skills for students to develop. In addition, the Sniper provides a realistic and harrowing look at the horrors of war, making it an important read for any student who is interested in history or current events. Overall, The Sniper is a timeless tale that is well worth reading for high school students.

I really love combining short stories into their own unit. If you want to mix classics with contemporary into a seamless unit, look no further than my Short Story Unit . It’s flexible and thorough and offers many of the titles you see above. 

short-story-unit-plan

Happy teaching!

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9 High Interest Short Stories for High School Students

Get a ton of short story for high school students (and middle school students) lesson plans right here., an occurrence at owl creek high school.

best short stories to teach in high school

His lesson bombed and he got fired.

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What he should have done is teach one of these high interest short stories for high school students lesson plans.

Sound of Thunder Lesson Plans

“An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” by Ambrose Bierce . This plot-twisting short story set during the Civil War plays with time and the reader. I recommend you show the Twilight Zone version of the story  after you read it.

Contents of the Dead Man's Pocket Lesson Plans

“ Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut . In the year 2081, people are punished for success. Harrison Bergeron revolts.

“The Lady or the Tiger” by Frank Stockton . Students getting on your nerves? Get even by reading a short story without an ending. Whom does the young man choose: the lady or the tiger?

“The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson . Congratulations! You’ve won the lottery! Of course, winning the lottery in this short story doesn’t mean what you might think it means.

Short Story Lesson Plans

“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” by James Thurber . I once got in trouble for showing a clip of this movie after reading the story. If you’ve seen the movie, you’re probably trying to figure out how that could be. I still am. Anyhow, it’s a great story and a really good movie with nothing in it that could be deemed inappropriate by the most conservative of movie viewers, excepting my over-reactive principal from four years ago.

“Thank You Ma’am” by Langston Hughes . A would-be teenage thief gets more than he bargains for when he tries to steal an old lady’s purse.

Most of these high interest short stories for high school students are available online. Just print it out, bring cookies to your copy guy or girl, and engage students. These stories are often found in high school literature books as well.

*(This was originally posted in February 2017. It has been updated for your benefit.)

Last Updated on February 3, 2021 by Trenton Lorcher

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18+ Best Funny Short Stories To Teach in Middle and High School

These stories will get them giggling … and learning too!

Feature image for funny short stories article

At least once a year, one of my freshmen would ask me why everything we read in ninth grade English was so depressing. A quick look at our curriculum revealed they did have a point. Romeo and Juliet , Of Mice and Men , and short stories like “Lamb to the Slaughter” and “The Most Dangerous Game” all told tales of death and despair. While all are excellent, I began to wonder if I could find some different texts to add to the mix. It turns out, while scary short stories and dramatic short stories are easy to find, good funny short stories for middle and high school students are a bit trickier to track down.

With that in mind, here’s a list of funny short stories to use in your classroom when you want to bring a bit of humor to your lesson.

1. Ruthless by William DeMille

OK, this one might be a bit of a controversial addition to a list of funny short stories, but I’m including it anyway. There’s something darkly humorous in this little tale about a man who goes too far in a plot for revenge only to have it backfire on him in the worst possible way. Some of your students will feel bad for the protagonist while others will feel he deserves his fate. Regardless, your class will have a great discussion about it at the end.

In class: There are so many writing prompts you could use from this story I don’t know where to begin. It could be used as the springboard for an argumentative writing unit, with students arguing whether the main character was justified in his actions or not. It could also be perfect for a discussion on characterization by asking students what can we learn about the main character and his wife by their actions and statements.

2.  They’re Made Out of Meat  by Terry Bisson

I love introducing students to science fiction, especially in the form of funny short stories. We really don’t use sci-fi enough in our English classes. In this story, two aliens discuss the bizarre new life form they’ve discovered and try to figure out how it thinks and lives. Your students will laugh out loud when they discover that the aliens are talking about humans and love figuring out the everyday activities and items the aliens just can’t seem to make sense of.

In class: This is perfect for introducing a new genre to students. After reading, ask students to craft their own science-fiction short story. As a class, brainstorm a list of activities and events that take place all the time that we think are totally normal. Then, ask students to write their version of an alien race trying to figure out a birthday party, after-school detention, or lunch in the school cafeteria.

3. Charles by Shirley Jackson

Written by the same woman who wrote the eerie short story “The Lottery,” this story is guaranteed to make students of all ages chuckle. The tale of the worst kindergarten student ever, as told by a classmate to his mother at the end of every school day, your students will love hearing all about Charles’ antics. The twist at the end of the tale will make students gasp and giggle.

In class: Perfect for lessons on irony , your students can debate whether Jackson’s funny short story demonstrates verbal, situational, or dramatic irony. I’ve also used this story to show students how an author can utilize dialogue as a method for developing characterization.

4. Thank You, Ma’am by Langston Hughes

Like “Charles,” this is another classic, well-known story. An older woman takes a young man under her wing after he attempts to steal her purse. As they spend time together, she teaches him a valuable lesson about life. It’s perfect for upper-elementary and middle school students.

In class: This is one of those funny short stories that lends itself to lessons about dialogue, diction, theme, and characterization. It’s also a great text to use for practice discussions or Socratic seminars. Students could easily develop questions about the actions of the characters. They could consider how they would have responded in the same situation. And they could even reimagine the story as if it were written today.

5. Lord Oakhurst’s Curse by O. Henry

While many students will have read “The Gift of the Magi,” this short story by the same author is much less well known. Lord Oakhurst is dying, his wife is grieving (or is she?), and a doctor arrives to try to help. Your students will be shocked and amused by this quick read.

In class: Indirect characterization leaps to the foreground in this funny short story as students can debate whether Lord Oakhurst’s wife is truly as sad as she says she is throughout the story. The story also makes use of flashbacks, making it great for introducing or reviewing that concept.

6. Wealthy Teen Nearly Experiences Consequence by  The Onion  Staff

Satire is a tough genre for so many students. The popular satirical online news magazine The Onion comes to the rescue here with a hysterical piece that, while not a short story exactly, certainly tells a tale students will guffaw over. In the article, students learn the plight of a young man who almost received severe consequences for driving while under the influence. Some satirical pieces are almost too serious for students to see as satire, but this one does a great job of taking a serious subject and turning it on its head to make a point.

In class: This piece is perfect for students who aren’t ready to grapple with some of the more complex satirical pieces they’re often given in school. If your group isn’t quite ready for Swift’s A Modest Proposal , this is a great place to start. As an introduction to satire, pairing this piece with actual news reports of cases where privileged young people have received shockingly light sentences for serious crimes will definitely keep your students engaged (and enraged?).

7. Maddened by Mystery or The Defective Detective by Stephen Leacock

This short story caper takes on the classic detective trope and mocks it mercilessly. Over-the-top costumes, mistaken identities, and a ridiculous reveal make this a truly funny short story to share with your students.

In class: I wish I still taught the mystery unit I taught for many years so that I could add this funny short story to the mix. This is a perfect piece to introduce satire. It mocks many of the most common elements of typical detective stories in a truly hilarious fashion.

8. There Was Once  by Margaret Atwood

Given her prominence in current popular culture, Margaret Atwood is an author our students should know. This short story about a fairy-tale writer receiving some “constructive criticism” on how to make their story more inclusive is sure to inspire reactions among your middle or high schoolers.

In class: This is a great short story to use when teaching the importance of how dialogue can impact tone. Additionally, it would be a great piece to bring to any discussion of whether or not students should read “old” stories that have language or ideas that are considered problematic today.

9. A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift

Definitely one for older students, this essay is a more complex text than many on this list. That being said, it’s a classic for a reason. Swift’s shocking and controversial (and highly satirical) suggestion that the plight of poor Irish peasants could be solved by having them sell their infants to rich British people to eat continues to resonate to this day. Give this to your high school students without any warning and get ready for some interesting reactions and responses.

In class: This piece is a staple in many high school lessons about satire, but I think it could also be used brilliantly in discussions about current political discourse. We struggle with recognizing satire in media today just as much as people did in Swift’s time. Additionally, the parallels between how the wealthy and elite in society look down at the less fortunate then and now could definitely make for some heavy, yet important, classroom discussions. Finally, it’s a perfect text for a lesson on tone—ask students to consider why Swift chose to write in a logical and emotionless voice about such a horrifying idea.

10. Joy by Anton Chekhov

The main character in this funny short story becomes famous. He rushes home to tell his family. Your students will love the reactions of his stunned family. They’ll also have plenty to say about the protagonist’s glorious new stardom.

In class: Perfect for units covering tragic heroes or characters who fall from grace, Chekhov’s work is a pretty searing commentary on the ideas surrounding what it means to be famous. Your students will have a great time making comparisons between the protagonist and various YouTube or TikTok stars of today.

11. A Dish Best Served Cold by Tristan Jimerson

Time to throw a curveball into the game. Have you heard of The Moth? It’s an organization with the mission to “promote the art and craft of storytelling and to honor and celebrate the diversity and commonality of human experience.” They have open-mic storytelling nights in different cities around the country where people just stand up and tell stories based on a preset theme. You can find lots of them on The Moth’s website and on YouTube. This one is about a man who has his identity stolen by a Domino’s Pizza employee. His mission to get revenge will have you and your students laughing out loud.

In class: Many of the stories do include a swear word or deal with adult themes, so be sure to preview the story first. I love the idea of sharing verbal storytelling with students of all ages, especially in the context of a unit on funny short stories. It’s great for reluctant readers and could make an awesome alternative assessment option.

12. The Catbird Seat by James Thurber

Written by the same author who wrote “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” this story is also about an unhappy man who dreams of improving his life. The way he accomplishes this, however, is where the humor (and some shock!) comes in.

In class: Introducing students to more challenging text can always be a bit of a tough sell, so it’s nice to have a few short stories to warm students up to the idea. Students can practice transacting with text, asking questions about sections that confuse them, and working together to build comprehension.

13. “I’m a Short Afternoon Walk and You’re Putting Way Too Much Pressure on Me” by Emily Delaney

Another curveball addition to this list of funny short stories! I love introducing my students to examples of real-life writing that is actually going on today. While many funny short stories on this list are from the early 1900s, this piece was written in 2020 and appeared in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. The site features humorous pieces on a variety of timely topics. While many aren’t appropriate for school, others, like this one, are perfect examples of how people are still writing and creating today. In this piece, the personified “afternoon walk” explains to the person taking it that it can’t be everything the walker needs it to be.

In class: Best suited for older middle school and high school students, I would love to use this as a mentor text. Imagine the creative writing pieces students could come up with if asked to personify something in their lives.

14. My Financial Career by Stephen Leacock

Confession time—I hate ordering food by phone. It doesn’t matter if it’s healthy or not, or if I’m ordering for one person or 20. I hate it. I get flustered and almost always end up messing something up. Hence why this story, about a man who gets nervous in banks, spoke to me. Leacock’s description of the main character fumbling his way through opening a bank account had me laughing out loud.

In class: Finding characters from the past that students can relate to is tricky. I like the idea of asking students to free-write or discuss what situations make them feel anxious or uncomfortable. They could write down feelings, descriptions, and images. After reading this story, they could create their own humorous (or serious) stories about their own scenario.

15. The Great Automatic Grammatizator by Roald Dahl

I’ll admit this one blew my mind a bit, which is why I love the idea of sharing it with students. This short story, about a young man who invents a device that gathers together all the stories and novels ever written and then, using a mathematical formula, uses them to churn out new stories at lightning-fast speeds, was written in 1954. That’s right, Roald Dahl predicted ChatGPT and AI-generated stories decades ago . Watch your students’ minds be blown as they read this one.

In class: While Dahl may not have meant this short story to be considered science fiction, it certainly could fit into that genre . This piece would be perfect to pair with nonfiction articles about how AI is affecting creative fields as well as an argumentative unit in which students discuss whether or not these stories are better or worse than those written by human authors.

16.  Growing Down  by Shel Silverstein

Yes, it’s a poem. But it also tells a story, which makes it a great addition to this list of funny short stories. In this poem, we meet a grumpy old man who is always telling people to grow up. But one day, someone tells him to “grow down.” When he does, he discovers he likes it much more than growing up.

In class: This piece would be perfect for students who are struggling to grasp concepts like theme or characterization. There’s plenty of direct and indirect characterization throughout the poem, and the message is pretty obvious throughout. Additionally, Shel Silverstein’s voice is perfect for discussions about tone.

17. The Eyes Have It by Philip K. Dick

I chuckle, groan, and, yes, roll my eyes every time I reread this short story. It’s such an enjoyable little piece about a man who discovers “proof” that aliens exist and are hiding among us even though they can do shocking things with their bodies. It was always particularly well received by my students who didn’t really love figurative language and wished authors would just “say what they meant.”

In class: This story would be great as an introduction to dramatic irony. Part of what makes it so great is how we, as readers, groan each time the protagonist finds “proof” of alien life that we recognize as just an author’s use of imagery, hyperbole, and nonliteral language.

18. Television by Roald Dahl

Another poem, I know. But it’s longish, so that counts, right? Your students might pick up on the parallels in theme between this fast-paced poem and the character of Mike Teavee from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory . Dahl was definitely not a fan of young people watching television instead of playing outside or reading books. One can only imagine what he would have thought about how much time our students spend looking at their phones today!

In class: I love the idea of asking students to write a modern version of this poem, substituting cell phones or TikTok in place of Dahl’s loathed television. It’s also a great piece for discussing tone, as Dahl’s feelings are made so abundantly clear throughout the text.

19. First-Day Fly by Jason Reynolds

Jason Reynolds is a genius when it comes to creating characters who seem so real it feels like you’ve met them before. This short story about a young man getting ready for the first day of school will hit your students right in the feels. They’ll laugh, they’ll relate, and they’ll definitely identify with the struggles the protagonist experiences as he prepares to return to school.

In class: This short story would fit beautifully into any lesson about mood and point of view. The main character’s ability to express himself and his feelings is so enjoyable to read. It would also be a great study on how allusions can date a text. While our students will understand immediately why the character cares so much about his sneakers remaining perfectly white, will people in the future? It would be interesting to pair this piece with an older text and compare the allusions of each.

Looking for more short stories to share with your class? Check out  70 Great Short Stories To Teach in Middle School .

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Finding funny short stories to share with your students isn't as easy as it should be. Here's a list guaranteed to get them giggling.

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best short stories to teach in high school

The 3 Best Short Stories for High School

  • June 1, 2022
  • Short Stories

I love teaching short stories in all of my high school English classes. The great thing about short stories is that you can take as much time or as little time as you need. You can select short stories that can be completed in a period or you can use longer stories that take a week or more. Short stories are extremely versatile. That is why this week three high school English teachers are sharing what we believe to be the three best stories high school English.

Three English teachers share three of the best short stories for high school.  The teachers share their favorite stories and ideas how to use them in the high school English  classes.

3 of the Best Short Stories for High School

One of my favorite ways to begin the year is with a Flash Fiction Unit.  You can read all about that here . 

But if you are looking for stories that are a little longer, be sure to check out these:

McLaughlin Teaches English’s Favorite Short Story for High School

Really great short stories for high school students have a twist ending.  And that’s why “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner is one of my favorite stories to use with 11th and 12th graders. The surprise ending gets them every time. (Although unfortunately sometimes they need a little guidance to get to exactly what it means. 🤷‍♀️)

“A Rose for Emily”

If you are unfamiliar with the story, it is Southern Gothic and Miss Emily is the talk of the town. She has never married and has finally passed away. It’s been decades since anyone except Miss Emily’s one servant has been in the once luxurious mansion owned by her controlling father before he passed. The townsfolk are eager to get inside and see just what has been going on for all these many years.

Classroom Activities

One of the best parts for teaching this story (aside from THE TWIST ENDING) is the nonlinear plot line. The story jumps back and forth in time, starting in the present moment of Emily‘s funeral. It then jumps around going back to when she was a young woman, when she was courting a man, when she bought the rat poison and then to when she finally disappeared from society all together. 

A great activity to do with this story is a timeline. Give students events in the story, have them cut them into strips and then put them in the correct order—not the order in which they happened in the story, but the order they happened it time. It challenges them to go back into the story, do close reading, and determine how the events actually transpired.  Finish up with a seminar or writing task in which the students address why Faulkner would have used this structure for his story.

Additionally, Faulkner’s language is so rich. You can do a deep dive into the setting by examining the details he uses to describe the house, past and present. You can have students focus on the characterization. There is a point in the story where he describes Miss Emily as “dough-like.” Great conversations can come out of just that one line. And finally, the point of view is intriguing because it is a collective first person point of view. For more on teaching point of view, check out this post .

Three English teachers share three of their favorite short stories for high school.  The teachers share their favorite stories for high school and ideas how to use them in the high school English  classes.

Smith Teaches 9 to 12’s Best Short Story for High School

Lesa from SmithTeaches9to12 loves an opportunity to incorporate contemporary short fiction and finding “Weight” by Dhonielle Clayton in recent years has been a great addition to her English classes!

“Weight” 

The story is part science fiction and part romance. It focuses on two teenagers in love who go to a ‘clinic’ to have their hearts weighed to see who each loves and how much. The story chronicles their visit and outlines the reason to proceed and the reasons to leave before finding out the answers. Despite a somewhat open ending it still feels resolved in a satisfying way.

There are so many things that can be done with this story. You might start with tracking the structure (exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution). Then dive into character profiles of Marcus and Grace. Ending with writing beyond the ending of the story as it’s left somewhat unresolved. 

You might spend a lesson breaking down the story for the writer’s craft moves – how the characters’ relationship is established, the creation of setting, the use of dialogue, and the imagery in the surgery scene, etc. 

The story also provides the possibilities of discussion about power dynamics, gender roles, and relationship goals. In small groups students could tackle any or all of these topics with a close reading of the story. Include chart paper for documentation, assign different members a different color marker to write with for accountability, and then provide time for sharing with the whole class either through a gallery walk or mini-presentation. 

Lesa’s students from grade 9 through 12 have loved this story and she hopes your students do too!

Three English teachers share three of the best short stories for high school.  The teachers share their favorite stories and ideas how to use them in the high school English  classes.

A Better Way to Teach’s Favorite Short Story for High School

Missy from A Better Way To Teach loves using mentor sentences and mentor texts to teach how to craft sentences, and she finds that short stories are a great opportunity to look at well-written sentences.

One of Missy’s all-time favorite short stories to use with high school students is Langston Hughes’ story Thank You Ma’am . First of all, this story is super short, so your students could read it in about 10-15 minutes. Although  it’s short, it has so much packed into it. It’s an example of a story that makes use of every single word.  It’s also a perfect story for the teacher to read aloud to students and let them just take it in.  

“Thank You M’am”

It’s the story of a young boy, Roger, who attempts to snatch the purse of Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones. When grabbing the purse, he falls, and she grabs him. She takes him home, has him wash his face, and gives him dinner. She doesn’t ask him any questions about his home life, but she gets an idea of who he is and why he attempted to steal her purse. At the end of the story, she gives him money to buy new shoes, which is the reason why he said he wanted to steal her purse. 

The reader is left with a sense of awe at the way Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones handles the entire thing, and we are left feeling like the boy, amazed, grateful, and even questioning some things. 

There are a number of great talking points for this story that will relate to many things you’ll address in your classroom throughout the year: choices, integrity, forgiveness, empathy. It’s also an easy story for teens to relate to–who among us has not made a poor choice? Were we shown empathy and compassion or ridicule? Mrs. Luella is not a soft character, and yet she shows love. There’s just so much great stuff to dig into here. 

Beyond talking about the content of the story, this is the perfect story to talk about form and craft because it is so well crafted. Many sentences showcase the use of action verbs, well-placed modifiers, and specific nouns. By pulling a few of these sentences out of the text and discussing how the author uses, say an action verb or two, students will start to see that writers craft their work–it doesn’t just come flowing out of them perfectly. 

After choosing a sentence, have students write a sentence in a similar style. You could have students even write almost the exact same sentence but change the verbs and see how it affects the meaning of the sentence. 

Missy loves using mentor sentences and sentence frames to get students into the practice of observing craft. You can read more about how I do that here: “How To Use Sentence Frames. ” If you’d like a little more direction on how to use mentor sentences to teaching writing craft and grammar concepts, I’d love to send you a free lesson for teaching vivid verbs, which you can grab here . 

Missy hopes you have a great time digging into this beautifully-written short story that is as relevant now as it was 60 years ago! 

Three English teachers share three of the best short stories for high school.  The teachers share their favorite stories and ideas how to use them in the high school English  classes.

Teaching Really Great Short Stories

Short Stories like “A Rose for Emily,” “Weight,” and “Thank You, Ma’m” are stories full of life and academic possibilities. Above are just a few of the reasons that we think that these are the best short stories for high school students. You can let us know in the comments below what you think the best short stories for high school are. We’d love to know your opinion on our stories or your own pick!

Thank you to Missy Davis of A Better Way to Teach and Lesa Smith of Smith Teaches 9 to 12 for joining me to share our favorite short stories to teach in high school.

The Best Short Stories for High School: Related Resources

A list of even more short fiction perfect for high school students: 20 Short Stories for AP Lit

More from Jeanmarie: 3 Activities for Point of View to Help Students Understand Author’s Purpose

How about some Spooky Season In High School English (Smith Teaches 9 to 12)

Lesa also brings you Three Quick Creative Writing Activities (Smith Teaches 9 to 12)

Writing help from Missy: How to Use Sentence Frames (A Better Way to Teach)

Grammar help for the win: A Proven Way To Teach Nouns, Verbs, Adjectives, and Adverbs (A Better Way to Teach)

Part of this Collaborative Post Series on Texts for High School English

The Best Nonfiction Texts For Teaching ELA (Hosted by A Better Way to Teach)

The Best Poetry for High School English (Hosted by Smith Teaches English)

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I will be teaching “Weight” for the first time and I need advice and/or an example lesson plan to teach it for my observation next week.

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Bell Ringers

Short story mentor texts to teach narrative writing elements.

Raise your hand if teaching narrative writing has you feeling stressed or overwhelmed. I’ve been there. Every writing unit seems to bring its own challenges and narrative writing has a few unique ones. Unlike other types of writing, narrative writing is more flexible and involves more creativity. But that doesn’t mean it’s without “rules”! Getting students to master the narrative writing elements is what will take their stories to the next level.

best short stories to teach in high school

Tips for Teaching Narrative Writing

I spoke about this on another blog about using mentor texts novels, but I am a big fan of using mentor texts to teach narrative writing. Mentor texts allow you to model the skills and narrative writing elements for students, so they aren’t trying to guess at exactly how their writing should look and sound.

Using mentor texts can be as simple as giving students a sentence or excerpt from a text and talking through how it’s a great example of a specific skill. A lot of times, I will pull these mentor texts from novels that the class is reading because students already understand the story.

However, I know there isn’t always time to squeeze in a novel. When you’re in a bind or short on time, using a narrative short story as a mentor text will accomplish the same task as the novel! I recommend reading this short story before or during your writing unit.

Teaching Narrative Writing Elements with Short Stories

Just like you ease students into a narrative writing unit, I don’t want to throw you into the deep end with mentor texts either. I want to walk you through what it looks like to use short stories to teach the narrative writing elements. I’ll give you a few mentor text examples below and show you how I’d use them in the classroom.

best short stories to teach in high school

Develop a Point of View

A lot of times, the conversation about point of view is simply, what is the point of view? First-person or third-person? But it goes deeper than that. Developing a point of view means giving the reader intimate knowledge of the character’s experience. It can allow the reader to experience the same sadness or anger that the character feels.

For this narrative writing element, dig deep into the short story you’ve chosen. Find an example from the text where the point of view allows the reader a peek into a character’s mind or feelings.

I like this example from “The Scholarship Jacket”: “I was almost back at my classroom door when I heard voices raised in anger as if in some sort of argument. I stopped. I didn’t mean to eavesdrop, I just hesitated, not knowing what to do. I needed those shorts and I was going to be late, but I didn’t want to interrupt an argument between my teachers.”

After looking at your mentor text example, dig into what the reader experiences here. Look at what knowledge the reader gains about the character. For example, this mentor text from “The Scholarship Jacket” is a feeling people can relate to. Overhearing an argument and wondering if you pretend you didn’t hear – or you acknowledge that you overhead.

Establish Context

Another narrative writing element is establishing context for the story. Context means putting the topic into perspective for someone who knows nothing about the story. It also means providing the background information that is needed to grasp the story.

When looking through your short story, identify an excerpt where the reader gains necessary information about a character, setting, or event. This is the kind of information that if removed the story could change how the reader understands it.

Here’s an example from “Masque of Red Death”: “But Prospero, the ruler of that land, was happy and strong and wise. When half the people of his land had died, he called to him a thousand healthy, happy friends, and with them went far away to live in one of his palaces. This was a large and beautiful stone building he had planned himself. A strong, high wall circled it.”

This narrative short story excerpt gives the reader key information. It lets us know who the character Prospero is and why he is bringing people to his palace. This sets the stage for later plot points. After reading your chosen excerpt with students, ask them: What key information did this text provide? How does it help you better understand the story?

best short stories to teach in high school

Develop Character Motives

Character motives can be really fun to uncover. With character motives, the reader understands the reason behind the character’s actions.

To find an excerpt for this narrative writing element, think about a pivotal moment in the story. Then, think about the actions and motivations that led to that moment. Try to locate a sentence or passage that showcases those motives.

This is a great example of character motives from “Story of an Hour”: “She knew that she would weep again when she saw the kind, tender hands folded in death; the face that had never looked save with love upon her, fixed and gray and dead. But she saw beyond that bitter moment a long procession of years to come that would belong to her absolutely. And she opened and spread her arms out to them in welcome.”

In this short story, the character is expected to mourn for her dead husband. Instead, she finds joy in it (which is later shown through her whispering, “Free!”) This gives us a glimpse at her motives. When examining a text for character motives, ask students: What action does the character engage in later? What is their reason for that action?

If you want students to be stronger writers, they need to see examples of what good writing looks like. That’s the power of using mentor texts when teaching narrative writing. They’ll know what context looks like or motives sound like, and they can emulate it in their own writing!

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The Best Short Story Collections That Keep You Reading

Which of these captivating collections will you be picking up next?

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Short story collections offer the perfect medium for fiction writers to craft compelling, affecting narratives that simply may not warrant a full-length novel to explore the ideas. The short story collection’s compact form delivers concise, impactful ideas and can free authors to explore a multitude of themes, characters, story arcs and styles within a single collection. Collections of short fiction have allowed writers like Edgar Allen Poe, Flannery O’Connor and James Baldwin to experiment with different tones, voices and plot devices while providing readers with gripping but approachable standalone stories.

These 8 short story collections are extremely readable, cover a variety of genres and authors and may give you a newfound appreciation of writers you already love.

Homesick For Another World by Ottessa Moshfegh

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From one of the most compelling, propulsive voices in contemporary fiction, Moshfegh’s 2017 short story collection is an eclectic compendium of some of her best fiction work—much of which was previously published in places like The Paris Review , The New Yorker and Vice . Exceedingly atmospheric and permeated with Moshfegh’s hallmark sordid wit, Homesick For Another World interrogates the ubiquitous afflictions of the human condition and our capacity for cruelty through the collection’s generally amoral, misanthropic protagonists. A highly anticipated follow-up to Moshfegh’s breakout debut novel Eileen , Homesick was later named a New York Times Book Review Notable Book of 2017 and drew innumerable comparisons to the work of renowned authors like Mary Gaitskill and Flannery O’Connor.

Earth Angel by Madeline Cash

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An electric debut from author Madeline Cash, Earth Angel is a collection of short stories that rockets through the reader’s imagination like a fever dream. Teeming with chimeric vignettes synthesizing the mundanely sinister realities of a capitalist culture with cataclysmic doomsday tropes, Earth Angel manages to be both endlessly funny and deeply poignant without feeling didactic. Cash both parodies and embraces the myopic stylings dominating popular fiction in a way that never feels malicious, but rather like the playful ribbing of a writer that refuses to take herself too seriously. Irreverent, compelling and laugh-out-loud funny, Earth Angel marks the emergence of one of contemporary fiction’s most exciting new figures.

Bliss Montage by Ling Ma

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A surrealist collection from Severance author Ling Ma, Bliss Montage marks Ma’s first published short story collection after her phenomenal debut novel (which has no relation to the recent Apple TV+ series, by the way). Uncanny, otherworldly and above all evocative— Bliss Montage contains eight wildly different stories each touching on universal themes of the human experience against phantasmagoric, though eerily familiar backdrops. Ranging from a tale of two friends bonded by their shared use of a drug that turns you invisible to the story of a tourist caught up in a fatalistic healing ritual, Ma’s unforgettable collection manages to be both ingeniously unique and undoubtedly universal at once. Somehow both outlandish and quotidian, Bliss Montage keeps readers wrapped up in Ma’s captivating prose from start to end.

Daddy by Emma Cline

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A thrilling examination of unspoken power structures (predominantly male power in a patriarchal society), Daddy by Emma Cline offers glimpses into the unexamined lives of each story's protagonist, often playfully alluding to, but never explicitly pointing to, a certain moral paradigm. Fraught familial dynamics, imbalanced romantic relationships and moral nuance permeate Cline’s collection, and each story offers a taste of her infectious prose and incisive style. The ten stories on offer often end achingly realistically, rejecting a tidy, personally gratifying ending—making each story appear as a certain tableau harkening to an idea rather than a traditional beginning, middle and end. Suspenseful, richly descriptive and engrossing—Cline’s collection begs to be devoured.

Skeleton Crew by Stephen King

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First Person Singular by Haruki Murakami

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First published in July 2020, First Person Singular is a collection of eight short stories each told from, you guessed it, the first-person singular perspective. Written by Japanese author Haruki Murakami, First Person Singular explores themes of nostalgia and lost love through stories from the perspective of mostly unnamed, middle-aged male protagonists believed to be based largely on the author himself, though some are more fantastical than others. Ranging from slice-of-life stories wherein the narrator reminisces on a past relationship, to the tale of a monkey doomed to fall in love with human women, the stories employ a myriad of hallmark Murakami techniques like magical realism, music, nostalgia and aging.

The Houseguest and Other Stories by Amparo Dávila

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The first collection by beloved Mexican author Amparo Dávila to be translated into English, The Houseguest is a collection of 12 short stories touching on themes of obsession, paranoia and fear primarily featuring female protagonists and narrators. Often compared to horror writers like Edgar Allen Poe and Shirley Jackson, Dávila’s writing often deals with abstract feelings of dread and paranoia, imbuing them with magical realism to craft jarring, transfixing narratives that seem both eerily familiar and preternatural. Each tale menaced by an unseen, pernicious force, Dávila’s writing revels in its ambiguity with no straightforward answers. The Houseguest is an anxiety-inducing page-turner which will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

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Though technically a short story cycle (a collection of self-contained short stories arranged to convey a concept or theme greater than the sum of its atomized parts), Olive Kitteridge consists of 13 stories each taking place in the fictional town of Crosby, Maine. The stories predominantly center on Olive Kitteridge, a brusque but caring retired school teacher and longtime resident of Crosby. Other stories show Olive only as a secondary character or in a cameo capacity and are from the point of view of other townsfolk. Winner of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the collection was later adapted into a critically acclaimed miniseries starring Frances McDormand, Richard Jenkins, Zoe Kazan and Bill Murray. Profound, heartbreaking and human, Olive Kitteridge is an unforgettable first-read that will still impact you even if you watched the miniseries before.

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Teaching Plot With Short Stories

teaching plot with short stories

When it comes to teaching plot, choosing the right texts is essential. Read on to learn tips for teaching plot with short stories, including a list of titles with strong and engaging plots your students are sure to love.

Are you teaching plot with short stories? If not, by the end of this post, you’ll be eager to.

Sure, teaching students literary terms like plot, theme, and character is easy. However, to deepen their understanding of literature, students need a strong foundation of the elements of literature. Once they understand these elements, they will unlock a new level of enjoying, discussing, and critically analyzing literature.

Maybe you’re gearing up to teach, reteach, or review plot in your classroom. Or, perhaps, you’re simply looking to refresh your approach with scaffolded instruction, strong mentor texts, and engaging activities. Whatever your reason for being here, this post will provide you with teaching tips and tips and engaging short stories you can bring to your classroom.

Why is Teaching Plot Important?

Once students know the plot elements, they can begin diving into the text to identify them as they occur. However, there’s much more to plot than a “series of events.” Teaching plot helps students understand literature on a deeper level.

For example, understanding plot helps students see where authors emphasize themes and develop characterization. Therefore, students must understand the plot to see the whole picture and make sense of the story. After all, isn’t this kind of deeper, critical thinking the goal at the secondary level? (Yes. Yes, it is.)

The Benefit of Teaching Plot with Short Stories

When it comes to teaching plot, short stories are the perfect teaching tool. Sure, you can teach plot with a stand-alone lesson reviewing the elements of a plot structure. But what about the application of knowledge? The interactive experience? The opportunity for student questions and discovery?

But that’s where short stories come in handy.

Teaching plot with short stories allows students to further understand plot and its impact on the story as a whole. Additionally, the shorter length of these stories allows students to explore various plot structures and techniques without taking up weeks or months of the curriculum. With short stories, students don’t have to read through hundreds of pages before making sense of the plot or considering why the author told the story a particular way. In some cases, they can read an entire story and identify and analyze its plot in only a few pages.

Short stories give students a unique advantage over longer texts as they can identify the plot elements more easily, critically think about how they add to the story, and understand why the plot is essential to the author’s craft of developing their overall message. Then, they can apply what they’ve learned to longer, more complex texts and their plots with more clarity and confidence.

Terms to Teach

More specifically, ensure you’re taking full advantage of teaching plot with short stories. Be sure to review the following terms with your students: Exposition, Inciting Incident, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.

But it’s not just the elements of plot structure you should teach – and perhaps this is where short stories come in most handy. Teaching terms that help students understand the various ways authors can reveal and develop a plot is vital too. Working with short stories allows you to expose your students to several examples of different plot techniques, such as flashbacks, foreshadowing and in media res.

The Best Short Stories for Teaching Plot

If you don’t already know, I love using short stories as teaching tools. However, certain short stories really stand out thanks to their plot. Here are a few of what I consider to be the best short stories for teaching plot:

1. “He-y, Come on Ou-t!” by Shinichi Hoshi

This short science fiction tale is sure to grab students’ attention and is a great way to expand how they think about the plot as the climax doesn’t come until the end of the story.

The story takes place in a Japanese fishing town where villagers discover a (seemingly) bottomless hole in the wake of a typhoon. Students will have fun tracking the plot elements as the villagers try to figure out what to do with the gaping hole. Furthermore, “He-y, Come on Ou-t!”  is an excellent example of how a strong plot works to develop a story’s themes.

2. “The Sniper” by Liam O’Flaherty

Even your most reluctant readers will be eager to see how the plot of “The Sniper” unfolds. Like Hoshi’s “He-y, Come on Ou-t!,” the story’s climax doesn’t occur until the end, keeping students on the edge of their seats.

“The Sniper” follows a rooftop sniper contemplating his next move during an Irish revolution in the 1920s. The suspense comes to an end at the story’s climax when the sniper tricks an enemy soldier into exposing himself before shooting him dead. The irony is that the sniper discovered the opposing gunman was his brother, bringing up an interesting question for students: does a resolution always mean a happy ending?

3. “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson

Jackson’s “The Lottery” is a great story all around. However, the story’s plot is particularly well-done. From the pacing to the plot twists, Jackson sure knows how to write a plot that will keep students engaged, guessing and, by the end, slightly horrified.

The story begins with a descriptive exposition, describing a small pastoral town and its townspeople. However, the conflict begins as soon as “jovial” Mr. Sommers begins the annual lottery with the help of the symbolic black box. Between the foreshadowing in the rising action, the shocking climax, and the (perhaps more shocking) falling action, students will have plenty to discuss around the story’s plot.

4. “The Test” by Theodore Thomas

It was all a dream – err simulation – in Thomas’ “The Test.” In a mere 673 words, this short story challenges students’ conception of plot. As protagonist Robert drives down the turnpike, students quickly realize there is much more to this story’s plot than meets the eye.

While the story’s car crash tricks students into thinking it’s the climax, they quickly realize that it’s not . Instead, the rising action leads to a more sinister climactic reveal. (Cue the engaging discussion.)

5. “The Veldt” by Ray Bradbury

I love Ray Bradbury and I love his short story “The Veldt.” The best part? It has a compelling plot that students love. Students always enjoy watching the plot, including the conflict, unfold as it hits close to home thanks to its focus on technology.

The story centers on the Hadleys and their life in their fully automated house, “The Happylife Home.” However, the plot thickens as parents George and Lydia become increasingly concerned about technology’s impact on their children. With that said, students always enjoy the building suspense during the rising action.

Questions to Ask Students when Teaching Plot with Short Stories

Asking students the right questions is key in helping them identify and analyze plot. Consider asking the following questions to guide your students to success:

  • Who is your main character? What do they want? How do you know?
  • What is at stake if the character fails? What is the reward if they succeed?
  • How does the main character attempt to achieve that goal?
  • Who or what gets in their way? How?
  • How does the main character finally succeed (or fail)?
  • What is the final outcome? How is it all resolved?
  • How does this resolution impact the story’s character(s)? The story’s theme?
  • In the end, what message do you think the author is trying to relay?

More Tips for Teaching Plot with Short Stories

  • Review plot with an engaging game. Break up a popular story, like “Cinderella” or “the Three Little Pigs” into six to ten statements, including at least one for each plot element. Then, present the statements out of order to the students. Have them work independently, in partners, or as a class to organize the statements on a plot diagram correctly. This is a fun, quick, and relatively easy way to get students thinking about plot.
  • Save time with a quick homework assignment. Since your students have likely learned plot structure before, there’s no need to spend all the time learning the elements of plot. Instead, assign students a simple review task for homework. Provide them with the names and descriptions of the different plot elements and have them tap into their prior knowledge as they label a plot diagram.
  • Begin with important events. Some short stories have surprisingly complex plots, despite their short length. If your students are struggling or you’re looking to challenge them with one of these texts, consider this trick: begin by identifying important events. Once the class has compiled a list of significant moments, work together to assign each event to the appropriate place in the plot diagram.
  • Scaffold instruction as needed . Start with reading a short story as a whole class and identifying its plot structure. Then, have students go through the same process with a different story, working in small groups before discussing their findings as a class. Finally, choose three to five short stories that best fit the varying abilities of your class. Assign each student the story that best fits them in terms of interest or ability, or, ideally, both to read, identify, and analyze the plot.
  • Use graphic organizers. Graphic organizers are a big help when teaching plot with any story. Whether you call it a plot diagram or story mountain, or anything in between, a graphic organizer helps them label and chart the elements of plot as they identify them. Additionally, visual organizers help them understand the relationship each element has to the others and the overall story. 

So there you have it! My best tips and recommended titles for teaching plot with short stories. And if you’re looking to use short stories to teach other essential literary elements, be sure to check out my posts about teaching characterization and theme as well.

When it comes to better teaching, I truly believe we’re better together. With that said, the ideas mentioned above are far from the only ideas out there. If you’ve had success teaching plot with short stories, share away! Leave your advice and recommendations in the comment below.

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Best EdTech Tools of 2024

Janelle cox.

  • February 16, 2024

A group of students sit together using edtech tools on iPads.

Educational technology , also known as edtech, has emerged as a powerful ally for educators in the classroom offering a range of tools to enhance instructional methods, engage students, and create a dynamic and interactive learning experience for students. From learning management systems to collaborative platforms and educational games, the best edtech tools equip teachers with the resources they need to create a personalized learning environment that caters to diverse learning styles. Here are some of the best edtech tools to keep in your toolbox.

Learning Management Systems

Google Classroom,  Schoology , and  Moodle  are all learning management systems that offer a centralized hub for both students and teachers. This is a place to manage coursework, share resources, and participate in discussions. Many LMS’s offer productivity tools within their platforms. For example,  Google Classroom  which is a widely favored LMS tech tool, integrates other Google tools such as Google Meet, Docs, Gmail, etc. into their LMS platform.

This makes it easy for students and teachers to interact, collaborate, and gain access to information all in one place. This streamlined educational experience is a game-changer for teachers because of all the time they are saving having everything all in one place. Students love it too because of its user-friendly interface and simplified learning experience.

Assessment Tools

Several edtech tools are designed to help teachers evaluate students’ progress and performance.  Kahoot  is one of the most popular tools because it’s a game-based learning platform that engages students through interactive games. Teachers create a fun learning game or access one from the library then add videos, images, or diagrams to engage students further. Student’s answers are saved, and teachers can use this information to gain insight into student knowledge or to help plan future lessons.

Another favorite edtech assessment tool is  Quizizz , which is similar to Kahoot. This tech tool turns quizzes into games, provides instant feedback to students in real time, and gives teachers a detailed report on individual students and the overall class performance. One of its standout features, besides real-time analytics, is how it accommodates diverse learning styles so students can work at their own pace.

Short-form Video Content

Attention spans today are much shorter than they used to be, which is why many educators are choosing short-form videos to help explain the content or illustrate ideas to cater to these short attention spans.  Flip  (formally Flipgrid) is one of the most popular video discussion platforms.

The way it works is that the teacher creates a discussion prompt by using short video clips, then students respond with their own short video about the given topic. It’s a beneficial tool for less sociable students, too, because they can share their thoughts privately without the stress of speaking in front of others.

Another widely used platform is  Edpuzzle , which allows teachers to customize video clips with interactive elements like questions, quizzes, voice notes, and audio notes to help actively engage students. It also provides real-time feedback which is beneficial for both students and teachers. Furthermore, it offers detailed analytics on student performance, making it a great edtech assessment tool. Both edtech tools cater to short-from video content and greatly enhance students’ learning experience.

Artificial Intelligence

AI can be a powerful tech tool in the classroom and is gaining popularity by the day because of its ability to personalize students’ learning experiences. One notable AI edtech tool is  ChatGPT , which says it’s “shaping the future of technology.” Educators are utilizing this tool to assist in the development of their lesson planning by helping to create or refine their plans to be tailored to each student’s specific needs and abilities.

Meanwhile, students use this tool to clarify topics or provide supplementary information. Additionally, the platform’s new ability to see, hear, and speak is helping students learn new information in an instant making it the most frequently used app.

Other AI tools that have gained popularity are  Magicschool.AI , a well-liked lesson plan assistant, and Gradscope , a favored AI-assisted grading tool. Both of these edtech tools are making it easier for teachers to do their job so they can focus more on their students.

Collaboration Tools

Collaboration is an essential component in every classroom and can help empower students and deepen learning. One collaborative platform that should be added to your teacher toolkit is the widely favored Google Classroom. Google Classroom isn’t just one of the best learning management systems because of its centralized hub, it’s also highly popular because of its collaborative platform.

Some key collaborative features include the real-time sharing of documents, discussion boards where students can share thoughts and ask questions, announcements and notifications, collaborative grading, an integrated calendar, and parental involvement where parents receive updates.

Another reputable collaborative platform is  Microsoft Education , specifically Microsoft Teams which is a central hub for communication and collaboration among teachers and students. This is where both students and teachers can communicate through chat or virtual meetings. Additionally, Microsoft Office applications are integrated (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) enabling multiple users to collaborate on the same document and work together on assignments in real-time. Both Google and Microsoft offer an interactive, collaborative work environment that makes it easy to communicate.

The integration of Edtech tools in the classroom has become an integral part of education. From learning management systems to collaborative tools to using artificial intelligence, today’s technology is constantly evolving and adapting to cater to the needs of both teachers and students. Embracing these new technologies opens up endless possibilities for future generations.  

  • #EdTech , #EdTechTools , #EducationalTechnology , #TechnologyInTheClassroom

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best short stories to teach in high school

  • Meghan Mathis
  • Classroom Ideas | High school
  • October 3, 2023

20 Best Funny Short Stories To Teach in Middle and High School

At least once a year, one of my freshmen would ask me why everything we read in ninth grade English was so depressing. A quick look at our curriculum revealed they did have a point. Romeo and Juliet , Of Mice and Men , and short stories like “Lamb to the Slaughter” and “The Most Dangerous Game” all told tales of death and despair. While all are excellent, I began to wonder if I could find some different texts to add to the mix. It turns out, while scary short stories and dramatic short stories are easy to find, good funny short stories for middle and high school students are a bit trickier to track down.

With that in mind, here’s a list of funny short stories to use in your classroom when you want to bring a bit of humor to your lesson.

All of us have experienced the ironic disappointment of getting something we thought we wanted, only to discover we really don’t want it after all. Reading this short story of kidnappers who think they’re going to receive a large ransom for the young boy they’ve stolen, only to end up paying his parents to take him back again, will have your students laughing out loud.

In class: O. Henry loved irony, and this short story is no exception. It’s perfect for a quick review (or introduction) to this literary device. But I would also love to use this short story as a way to introduce or reinforce allusion, as he makes several allusions throughout the story. Finally, it could be a great challenge for older students to ask them to find modern retellings or reimaginings of this concept in other media.

2. Ruthless by William DeMille

OK, this one might be a bit of a controversial addition to a list of funny short stories, but I’m including it anyway. There’s something darkly humorous in this little tale about a man who goes too far in a plot for revenge only to have it backfire on him in the worst possible way. Some of your students will feel bad for the protagonist while others will feel he deserves his fate. Regardless, your class will have a great discussion about it at the end.

In class: There are so many writing prompts you could use from this story I don’t know where to begin. It could be used as the springboard for an argumentative writing unit, with students arguing whether the main character was justified in his actions or not. It could also be perfect for a discussion on characterization by asking students what can we learn about the main character and his wife by their actions and statements.

I love introducing students to science fiction, especially in the form of funny short stories. We really don’t use sci-fi enough in our English classes. In this story, two aliens discuss the bizarre new life form they’ve discovered and try to figure out how it thinks and lives. Your students will laugh out loud when they discover that the aliens are talking about humans and love figuring out the everyday activities and items the aliens just can’t seem to make sense of.

In class: This is perfect for introducing a new genre to students. After reading, ask students to craft their own science-fiction short story. As a class, brainstorm a list of activities and events that take place all the time that we think are totally normal. Then, ask students to write their version of an alien race trying to figure out a birthday party, after-school detention, or lunch in the school cafeteria.

4. Charles by Shirley Jackson

Written by the same woman who wrote the eerie short story “The Lottery,” this story is guaranteed to make students of all ages chuckle. The tale of the worst kindergarten student ever, as told by a classmate to his mother at the end of every school day, your students will love hearing all about Charles’ antics. The twist at the end of the tale will make students gasp and giggle.

In class: Perfect for lessons on irony , your students can debate whether Jackson’s funny short story demonstrates verbal, situational, or dramatic irony. I’ve also used this story to show students how an author can utilize dialogue as a method for developing characterization.

Like “Charles,” this is another classic, well-known story. An older woman takes a young man under her wing after he attempts to steal her purse. As they spend time together, she teaches him a valuable lesson about life. It’s perfect for upper-elementary and middle school students.

In class: This is one of those funny short stories that lends itself to lessons about dialogue, diction, theme, and characterization. It’s also a great text to use for practice discussions or Socratic seminars. Students could easily develop questions about the actions of the characters. They could consider how they would have responded in the same situation. And they could even reimagine the story as if it were written today.

While many students will have read “The Gift of the Magi,” this short story by the same author is much less well known. Lord Oakhurst is dying, his wife is grieving (or is she?), and a doctor arrives to try to help. Your students will be shocked and amused by this quick read.

In class: Indirect characterization leaps to the foreground in this funny short story as students can debate whether Lord Oakhurst’s wife is truly as sad as she says she is throughout the story. The story also makes use of flashbacks, making it great for introducing or reviewing that concept.

Satire is a tough genre for so many students. The popular satirical online news magazine The Onion comes to the rescue here with a hysterical piece that, while not a short story exactly, certainly tells a tale students will guffaw over. In the article, students learn the plight of a young man who almost received severe consequences for driving while under the influence. Some satirical pieces are almost too serious for students to see as satire, but this one does a great job of taking a serious subject and turning it on its head to make a point.

In class: This piece is perfect for students who aren’t ready to grapple with some of the more complex satirical pieces they’re often given in school. If your group isn’t quite ready for Swift’s A Modest Proposal , this is a great place to start. As an introduction to satire, pairing this piece with actual news reports of cases where privileged young people have received shockingly light sentences for serious crimes will definitely keep your students engaged (and enraged?).

This short story caper takes on the classic detective trope and mocks it mercilessly. Over-the-top costumes, mistaken identities, and a ridiculous reveal make this a truly funny short story to share with your students.

In class: I wish I still taught the mystery unit I taught for many years so that I could add this funny short story to the mix. This is a perfect piece to introduce satire. It mocks many of the most common elements of typical detective stories in a truly hilarious fashion.

Given her prominence in current popular culture, Margaret Atwood is an author our students should know. This short story about a fairy-tale writer receiving some “constructive criticism” on how to make their story more inclusive is sure to inspire reactions among your middle or high schoolers.

In class: This is a great short story to use when teaching the importance of how dialogue can impact tone. Additionally, it would be a great piece to bring to any discussion of whether or not students should read “old” stories that have language or ideas that are considered problematic today.

Definitely one for older students, this essay is a more complex text than many on this list. That being said, it’s a classic for a reason. Swift’s shocking and controversial (and highly satirical) suggestion that the plight of poor Irish peasants could be solved by having them sell their infants to rich British people to eat continues to resonate to this day. Give this to your high school students without any warning and get ready for some interesting reactions and responses.

In class: This piece is a staple in many high school lessons about satire, but I think it could also be used brilliantly in discussions about current political discourse. We struggle with recognizing satire in media today just as much as people did in Swift’s time. Additionally, the parallels between how the wealthy and elite in society look down at the less fortunate then and now could definitely make for some heavy, yet important, classroom discussions. Finally, it’s a perfect text for a lesson on tone—ask students to consider why Swift chose to write in a logical and emotionless voice about such a horrifying idea.

11. Joy by Anton Chekhov

The main character in this funny short story becomes famous. He rushes home to tell his family. Your students will love the reactions of his stunned family. They’ll also have plenty to say about the protagonist’s glorious new stardom.

In class: Perfect for units covering tragic heroes or characters who fall from grace, Chekhov’s work is a pretty searing commentary on the ideas surrounding what it means to be famous. Your students will have a great time making comparisons between the protagonist and various YouTube or TikTok stars of today.

Time to throw a curveball into the game. Have you heard of The Moth ? It’s an organization with the mission to “promote the art and craft of storytelling and to honor and celebrate the diversity and commonality of human experience.” They have open-mic storytelling nights in different cities around the country where people just stand up and tell stories based on a preset theme. You can find lots of them on The Moth’s website and on YouTube. This one is about a man who has his identity stolen by a Domino’s Pizza employee. His mission to get revenge will have you and your students laughing out loud.

In class: Many of the stories do include a swear word or deal with adult themes, so be sure to preview the story first. I love the idea of sharing verbal storytelling with students of all ages, especially in the context of a unit on funny short stories. It’s great for reluctant readers and could make an awesome alternative assessment option.

Written by the same author who wrote “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” this story is also about an unhappy man who dreams of improving his life. The way he accomplishes this, however, is where the humor (and some shock!) comes in.

In class: Introducing students to more challenging text can always be a bit of a tough sell, so it’s nice to have a few short stories to warm students up to the idea. Students can practice transacting with text, asking questions about sections that confuse them, and working together to build comprehension.

Another curveball addition to this list of funny short stories! I love introducing my students to examples of real-life writing that is actually going on today. While many funny short stories on this list are from the early 1900s, this piece was written in 2020 and appeared in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. The site features humorous pieces on a variety of timely topics. While many aren’t appropriate for school, others, like this one, are perfect examples of how people are still writing and creating today. In this piece, the personified “afternoon walk” explains to the person taking it that it can’t be everything the walker needs it to be.

In class: Best suited for older middle school and high school students, I would love to use this as a mentor text. Imagine the creative writing pieces students could come up with if asked to personify something in their lives.

Confession time—I hate ordering food by phone. It doesn’t matter if it’s healthy or not, or if I’m ordering for one person or 20. I hate it. I get flustered and almost always end up messing something up. Hence why this story, about a man who gets nervous in banks, spoke to me. Leacock’s description of the main character fumbling his way through opening a bank account had me laughing out loud.

In class: Finding characters from the past that students can relate to is tricky. I like the idea of asking students to free-write or discuss what situations make them feel anxious or uncomfortable. They could write down feelings, descriptions, and images. After reading this story, they could create their own humorous (or serious) stories about their own scenario.

I’ll admit this one blew my mind a bit, which is why I love the idea of sharing it with students. This short story, about a young man who invents a device that gathers together all the stories and novels ever written and then, using a mathematical formula, uses them to churn out new stories at lightning-fast speeds, was written in 1954. That’s right, Roald Dahl predicted ChatGPT and AI-generated stories decades ago . Watch your students’ minds be blown as they read this one.

In class: While Dahl may not have meant this short story to be considered science fiction, it certainly could fit into that genre . This piece would be perfect to pair with nonfiction articles about how AI is affecting creative fields as well as an argumentative unit in which students discuss whether or not these stories are better or worse than those written by human authors.

17.  Growing Down  by Shel Silverstein

Yes, it’s a poem. But it also tells a story, which makes it a great addition to this list of funny short stories. In this poem, we meet a grumpy old man who is always telling people to grow up. But one day, someone tells him to “grow down.” When he does, he discovers he likes it much more than growing up.

In class: This piece would be perfect for students who are struggling to grasp concepts like theme or characterization. There’s plenty of direct and indirect characterization throughout the poem, and the message is pretty obvious throughout. Additionally, Shel Silverstein’s voice is perfect for discussions about tone.

I chuckle, groan, and, yes, roll my eyes every time I reread this short story. It’s such an enjoyable little piece about a man who discovers “proof” that aliens exist and are hiding among us even though they can do shocking things with their bodies. It was always particularly well received by my students who didn’t really love figurative language and wished authors would just “say what they meant.”

In class: This story would be great as an introduction to dramatic irony. Part of what makes it so great is how we, as readers, groan each time the protagonist finds “proof” of alien life that we recognize as just an author’s use of imagery, hyperbole, and nonliteral language.

Another poem, I know. But it’s longish, so that counts, right? Your students might pick up on the parallels in theme between this fast-paced poem and the character of Mike Teavee from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory . Dahl was definitely not a fan of young people watching television instead of playing outside or reading books. One can only imagine what he would have thought about how much time our students spend looking at their phones today!

In class: I love the idea of asking students to write a modern version of this poem, substituting cell phones or TikTok in place of Dahl’s loathed television. It’s also a great piece for discussing tone, as Dahl’s feelings are made so abundantly clear throughout the text.

Jason Reynolds is a genius when it comes to creating characters who seem so real it feels like you’ve met them before. This short story about a young man getting ready for the first day of school will hit your students right in the feels. They’ll laugh, they’ll relate, and they’ll definitely identify with the struggles the protagonist experiences as he prepares to return to school.

In class: This short story would fit beautifully into any lesson about mood and point of view. The main character’s ability to express himself and his feelings is so enjoyable to read. It would also be a great study on how allusions can date a text. While our students will understand immediately why the character cares so much about his sneakers remaining perfectly white, will people in the future? It would be interesting to pair this piece with an older text and compare the allusions of each.

Looking for more short stories to share with your class? Check out  70 Great Short Stories To Teach in Middle School .

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This Article, 20 Best Funny Short Stories To Teach in Middle and High School was written by Meghan Mathis on   October 3, 2023 1:02 pm on the article source website .

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Wednesday 21 February 2024 19:21, UK

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  • Chaos in Commons over Gaza motions - watch and follow live
  • Speaker apologises for his handling of ceasefire votes
  • Tories and SNP walked out over decision that broke convention
  • Labour amendment for 'immediate humanitarian ceasefire' approved
  • Explained: What on Earth is going on in the Commons
  • Explained: Why Speaker's unusual move sparked such anger
  • Live reporting by  Ben Bloch   and (earlier)  Tim Baker ,  Emily Mee   and  Bhvishya Patel

After Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle apologised to MPs in the House of Commons (see post at 19.06), senior MPs had the opportunity to respond.

The government's leader of the Commons, Penny Mordaunt , thanked the Speaker for his statement.

"You're our Speaker, and we wish you to defend the rights of all members of this House, and I thank you for recommitting yourself to those responsibilities today".

The SNP's Westminster leader, Stephen Flynn , acknowledged the Speaker's apology.

But he said: "You were warned by the clerks of the House that your decision could lead to the SNP not having a vote on our very own opposition day."

He said SNP opposition day debate has "turned into a Labour Party opposition day", which is treating the SNP "with complete and utter contempt".

"I will take significant convincing that your position is not now intolerable."

Speaker Hoyle replied that he understands the "feeling", and said he would like to meet with Mr Flynn "as soon as possible".

Labour's shadow leader of the House, Lucy Powell , tried to say that her party's amendment was passed by the House unamended - but Sir Lindsay shut her down, saying it was not the time for that discussion.

Labour's amendment to the SNP's motion calling for a ceasefire in Gaza has been approved by the Commons.

It sends the SNP's motion through as amended.

Labour has called for an "immediate humanitarian ceasefire".

But there was no division for the motion or amendment to be voted on, instead they have gone through "on the nod".

Amid fury over his decisions on procedure in the House of Commons today, Speaker Lindsay Hoyle returned to the chair and to make a statement in the chamber.

He apologised to MPs, saying he will "reflect" on his decisions today.

Here is what he said, as he said it:

  • Sir Lindsay says today's debate was "exceptional in its intensity with which all parties wished to secure a vote on their own propositions";
  • He says his decision to accept all three amendments was to reflect "the widest range of propositions on which to express a view";
  • He says he is "very, very concerned about the security of all members", and he remains so, and he has had meetings to that effect today;
  • "I gotta say, I regret how it ended up. It was not my intention. I wanted all to ensure they could express their views and all sides of the House could vote";
  • Nonetheless, he says he recognises the "strength of feelings of members on this issue", and today "has not shown the House at its best";
  • He says he will "reflect" on his own decisions today, and commits to meeting "with all the key players of each party";
  • A Tory MP suggested he had met with Sir Keir Starmer's chief of staff Sue Gray today, something Sir Lindsay rejected;
  • "It is regrettable, and I apologise for a decision that didn't end up in the place that I wished for".

The House of Commons has voted not to sit in private.

If it had been approved, it would have meant the media and others watching in the gallery would be barred from the session.

The result is:

Our weeknight politics show  Politics Hub With Sophy Ridge  is live now on Sky News.

The fast-paced, extended edition of the show dissects the inner workings of Westminster, with interviews, insights, and analysis - bringing the audience into the corridors of power.

As the House of Commons has descended in chaos, Sophy Ridge and our political team will bring you live updates on events in the chamber, including analysis and reaction.

Watch live in the stream at the top of this page, and follow all the latest updates and key moments right here in the Politics Hub.

Watch Politics Hub With Sophy Ridge from Monday to Thursday on Sky channel 501, Virgin channel 602, Freeview channel 233, on the  Sky News website  and  app  or on  YouTube .

It has been a chaotic afternoon in the House of Commons, and it has descended into a shambolic mess in the last half hour.

So what exactly happened?

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle selected both the Labour and government amendments to the SNP's Gaza ceasefire motion.

This was an unusual move - the convention has been that if the government tabled an amendment to an opposition day motion, amendments from other parties would not be accepted.

The decision provoked fury in the Commons.

Watch that moment below:

Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt accused Sir Lindsay Hoyle of having "undermined the confidence" of the House

She confirmed the government would pull its amendment and would not be taking part in tonight's votes.

SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn demanded his party's motion be put to a vote first (before the Labour amendment) if the government has pulled its amendment - as per the standing orders.

Deputy Speaker Dame Rosie Winterton, who was in the chair in place of Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle for the points of order, said the Labour amendment will be voted on first, which both the SNP and Conservatives MPs were unhappy with.

Many on both benches left the chamber in protest.

Mr Flynn called for the House to be suspended and for Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle to return to the chair, but Dame Rosie refused.

Tory MP William Wragg then moved a proposal on whether the House of Commons should sit in private. It is being voted on as a delaying tactic to delay the votes and try to force Sir Lindsay Hoyle back to the Commons.

With Tory and SNP MPs in abject fury at the Speaker, and tempers running higher than they ever have this year, some members have resorted to delaying tactics to disrupt proceedings and make their displeasure clear.

MPs are voting on a motion that would see the House sit in private - meaning the media and others watching in the gallery would be barred from the session.

It was used during the Second World War for the House to make decisions about the war effort in private without being reported in the media - and therefore being available to the Nazis.

Such a motion is usually a move to delay proceedings in the House and does not usually pass.

It was proposed by senior Tory MP William Wragg.

Amid chaos in parliament, SNP and Conservative MPs have walked out of the chamber in protest at the Speaker's handling of the Gaza ceasefire debate.

Just before the walkout, Tory and SNP MPs were demanding that Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle come to the chamber to answer for his decision to break with convention.

Those seen walking out include many government MPs seated on the front bench.

Tory MP Philip Davies is next to raise a point of order in the Commons.

He says that earlier today, the BBC Newsnight political editor tweeted that senior Labour figures had told the Speaker they would bring him down after the general election if they did not call their amendment today.

He asks if the Deputy Speaker can "assure the House that everything will be done to identify who it was who put that intolerable pressure" on Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle.

There were shouts of "Sue Gray" from the Tory benches.

In response, Deputy Speaker Dame Rosie Winterton told the House: "That tweet is wrong, and the statement is incorrect."

Tory MP William Wragg is raising a point of order in the House of Commons.

He says he is "hugely disappointed by what has transpired" and the House is "not showing ourselves... anywhere near the best of what we are capable of to the country" (see previous post).

The senior Tory goes on to say that he has tabled an early day motion on the matter, and asks if government ministers are eligible to sign such a motion.

He does not state exactly what the early day motion is, and nor does the Deputy Speaker clarify whether government ministers can sign early day motions.

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best short stories to teach in high school

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  1. 50 Best Short Stories for High School Students

    1. "Lamb to the Slaughter" by Roald Dahl "'I'll fix some supper,' she whispered. When she walked across the room, she couldn't feel her feet touching the floor. She couldn't feel anything except a slight sickness. She did everything without thinking. She went downstairs to the freezer and took hold of the first object she found.

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    Allie Liotta These compelling short stories for high school are sure to engage your students! When it's time to plan a new unit, it can be daunting to find high-quality, relatable short stories your students will enjoy. That's why we've put together a roundup of engaging, thematically rich short stories that high school teachers love.

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    1. The Sniper by Liam O'Flaherty I'm always looking for texts that will draw in my reluctant male readers. Anything with war, guns, or a little violence ups the appealing factor immediately. "The Sniper" is set in the 1920s during the Irish revolution.

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    Here are twenty that students will love. 20 Super-Short Stories Your High School Students Will Love "The Story of an Hour" by Kate Chopin This story is popular with teachers not only because it weighs in at just over 1,000 words, but also because it's replete with literary elements to demonstrate craft.

  5. 10 Excellent Short Stories for High School Students

    Lists 10 Excellent Short Stories for High School Students Nikki DeMarco Dec 11, 2020 This content contains affiliate links. When you buy through these links, we may earn an affiliate commission. As a high school English teacher, the quest to keep my curriculum relevant to my students is ongoing.

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    Best Short Stories for High School: Free PDF Here are the Best Short Stories for High School (at least according to us). We've taught each of these stories to high school students. Kids of all reading levels (including reluctant readers) found them engaging and suspenseful. They are thought-provoking with plenty of spectacular twists.

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    "Chance Me" by Caitlin Horrocks A father and his 15-year estranged son visit potential colleges together in this short story. The dynamic between the father and son, and the flashbacks to the father's time in a cult-like living situation with his son's mother, are excellent ways of teaching students about character and dialogue.

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    Short stories are a simple way to toss in new perspectives, authors, literary movements, and genres. If you know you need to teach a list of required classics, short stories are a great way to keep things relevant and spice it up in between longer texts. 4. They make for great replacement texts when needed.

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    Great Short Stories to Teach to High-Schoolers September 30, 2019 • Short Stories • Teaching Ideas I'd like to share with you a list of my favorite short stories to teach to high-schoolers. This list might surprise you—not because of what is listed, but because of what isn't.

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    The Hanging Stranger by Philip K. Dick Ed had always been a practical man, when he saw something was wrong he tried to correct it. Then one day he saw it hanging in the town square. Home Burial by Robert Frost

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    June 30, 2022 Uncategorized I love short stories! In fact, one of my favorite units to teach is my short story unit. It's the first unit I start each year with (after the first two weeks of requisite back to school and procedure lessons). Short stories are ideal for keeping students engaged.

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    "Come on, Chelle!" He rolled his eyes at his hopelessly nerdy older sister. "Fine," He relented, knowing I wasn't going to give up. Instead of letting him read it himself, I began dramatically narrating it, and continued, pausing to explain the exposition so that he could fully appreciate the conflict and climax of the story.

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    Looking for stories that high schoolers actually want to read? The high school short stories in this collection are real and relatable for any teen. 🏆 Winning stories " Multiple Choice " by Zack Powell 🏆 Winner of Contest #199 Okay class! Pop quiz. If you've been doing the readings, this should be a piece of cake.

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    It is definitely one of the best short stories for high school you will be able to find. #2: "The Pedestrian" by Ray Bradbury This story follows a single night in the life of Leonard Mead in 2053. I find it highly telling to discuss Bradbury's premonitions about the future of our society's dependence on technology and its effects.

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    Teaching theme in short stories can accomplish the following ELA Common Core Standards. This is for your administrator, not your kids. Kids need student-friendly worded objectives. RL.9-10.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

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    Harrison Bergeron revolts. "The Lady or the Tiger" by Frank Stockton. Students getting on your nerves? Get even by reading a short story without an ending. Whom does the young man choose: the lady or the tiger? "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson. Congratulations! You've won the lottery!

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    3. Charles by Shirley Jackson Written by the same woman who wrote the eerie short story "The Lottery," this story is guaranteed to make students of all ages chuckle. The tale of the worst kindergarten student ever, as told by a classmate to his mother at the end of every school day, your students will love hearing all about Charles' antics.

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