Halloween Short Stories not by Edgar Allan Poe Podcast

In today’s episode of the Teaching ELA Podcast, I discuss several short stories for Halloween that weren’t written by Edgar Allan Poe. They include “The Monkey’s Paw,” “The Lottery,” “Rappacini’s Daughter,” “There Will Come Soft Rains,” “Sonata for a Harp and a Bicycle,” “Lamb to the Slaughter,” “The Landlady,” and “Very Old Man with Enormous Wings.”

Get 5 Short Story Lesson Plans Now!

We specialize in teacher-ready lesson plans.

I will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.

2 Minute Lesson Plan 

Let’s just go with suspense, shall we?

That’s what makes a good Halloween story a good Halloween story. Follow these steps or just click the link above and go to “The Black Cat” suspense lesson plan post.

  1. Step 1: Write the objective on the board: Cite textual evidence to analyze suspense.
  2. Go over the three methods author’s use to create suspense: foreshadowing, pacing, and dangerous action.
  3. Make a chart: Label the left column example of suspense. Label the right column explanation that includes the method.
  4. Write above the chart analyzing suspense in _________________.
  5. Read and fill out the chart.
  6. You can assign a writing prompt afterward that requires citing textual evidence to support analysis, something along the lines of how does the author create suspense, what purpose does the suspense serve, etc.

The One Thing 

If you teach one thing from these stories that will make teaching other literary elements either no longer necessary or easier to teach, it would be setting and mood.

The setting plays such an important role, and often takes on a life of its own. Let’s look at the setting from some of the stories we’ve been discussing.

  • Landlady
  • Sonata
  • Monkey’s Paw
  • Lottery 


  1. Teach suspense with scary short stories with a simple chart and by identifying the three methods author’s use to create suspense.
  2. Setting and mood play a critical role and strongly affect other literary elements such as plot and conflict.
  3. You can teach these stories any time of year.

Links and Resources

Share This: