“Lamb to the Slaughter” Movie with Lesson Plan for High School

It's summer time and I have no cable. That can only mean one thing: It's time for YouTube videos of short stories I teach. The first movie of the summer is Roald Dahl's "Lamb to the Slaughter."But before we get to the … [Read more...]

“Lamb to the Slaughter” Lesson Plans

I won't go into too much detail about the first time I taught "Lamb to the Slaughter." Let's just say, I was the lamb.Then I created these "Lamb to the Slaughter" Lesson Plans (like this one on irony in "Lamb to the … [Read more...]

“The Sniper”: Short Story Lesson Plans

On a rooftop near O'Connell Bridge High School, an assistant principal career sniper lay watching. Beside him lay his red pen and over his shoulders was slung a list of standards you weren't teaching. His face was the face of … [Read more...]

Realism in Mark Twain’s Short Stories: The Realism of “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”

The Notorious Principal of Wastemytime School District In compliance with the request of an administrator of mine, who sent me in an e-mail, I called on good-natured, garrulous old Mr. Teachtoolong, and inquired after my … [Read more...]

9 High Interest Short Stories for High School Students

An Occurrence at Owl Creek High School A man stood upon a teacher desk in northern Alabama, looking down into the not so swift students twenty feet below. The teacher's hands were behind his back, the wrists bound with a … [Read more...]

Hope for Cleveland Browns Fans: A (Very) Creative Writing Assignment

**This post originally appeared on December 11, 2015 when it seemed as though things could not get worse for my beloved Browns. But they did. As the Super Bowl approaches, it's time to bring it back. This is an optional … [Read more...]

Valentine’s Day Short Stories for High School with Valentine’s Day Lesson Plans

Valentine's Day evokes various reactions among high school students. Most of these reactions have one thing in common: overreaction. Use the holiday to your advantage by teaching short stories that involve realistic (and not … [Read more...]

Teaching ELL Students in an ELA Classroom: Edgar Allan Poe in Espanol

It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain; but once conceived, it haunted me day and night. Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved my students. Many had wronged me. Many had given me insult. … [Read more...]

Christmas Short Stories and Poems for High School

Let's stop pretending it's not Christmas season. Here are some good short stories, poems and other Christmassy literary works to teach during the holidays."The Gift of the Magi" by O' Henry. I'll admit I get a little … [Read more...]

Quotes from Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart” for Teaching Literary Criticism

Teaching literary criticism requires finding evidence in the story you're critiquing. It makes sense, therefore, that writing a "Tell-Tale Heart" literary criticism requires important quotes from "The Tell-Tale Heart."You … [Read more...]