Using Short Stories to Teach Elements of Literature

Short Stories for Teaching the Elements of Literature

Help high school students analyze literary elements and use technology with this creative book report lesson plan. Creative book report ideas inspire students to read more, and we’ve got a great one right here.

I made this lesson plan as user friendly as possible. Simply copy, paste, and modify to suit your needs. You can assign all the activities or just 1 or 2. It can be done with short stories or longer selections, by individuals or in groups.

If you need something right now and want to save this awesome lesson plan for another day, just download this short story map and cover the basics, such as plot, conflict, setting, and characterization.

Powerpoint Short Story Project – Copy and Paste Handout

Some of the most effective creative book report ideas involve technology. This powerpoint student project is no exception. It can be used for children’s books, young adult books, or literary classics. Feel free to copy and paste these instructions. You can even take credit for it. I don’t care. We’re all on the same team, after all.

1. Choose a short story between 8-20 pp. in length.
2. Bring the short story to class by _______. I must approve your short story. No duplicate stories are allowed. You may not choose a story you have read in this class. You may not choose a story that I can be reasonably assured you have read for another class.
3. You must turn in a copy of the story.
4. For your short story you must TYPE a test that includes the following types of questions:

  • 10 multiple choice questions: these questions should involve analysis and the use of literary elements; simply asking factual questions will not get you an ‘A’
  • 10 true/false questions: these are fact-finding questions
  • 5 matching questions involving vocabulary words: your vocabulary words should be words that a reasonable grade level student would not understand without assistance.
  • An essay question: you must answer your own essay question (4 paragraphs).
  • You must provide an answer key.This portion of the assignment is worth 150 points and is due on ________.

5. You must create a puzzle/game involving your short story. can help you with this part of the assignment. This portion of the assignment is worth 25 points.
6. You must make a power point presentation with the following information:

  • One slide must have approximately one paragraph on the author.
  • One slide must have a list of the author’s works.
  • You must have a five slide summary of major events in the story.
  • You must have 2 slides of analysis: pick elements of literature and analyze how it contributes to the story’s theme or the author’s purpose.
  • You must have a slide that gives a paragraph review of the short story.

You must have a slide with a works cited page in MLA format: you need to list at least 5 sources.This portion of the assignment is due on _________ and is worth 175 points.

We will be going to the library for research on _________.

We will be going to the computer lab on _________ to work on the power point project.

ELA Common Core Standards Covered

Amaze your administrator when he or she observes you teaching short stories by sharing the ELA Common Core Standards covered by this short story project.

  1. 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.
  2. RL.9-10.2 Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.
  3. RL.9-10.10 By the end of grade 9, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, in the grades 9-10 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range. By the end of grade 10, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, at the high end of the grades 9-10 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
  4. Common Core Writing Standard 1. Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
  5. Common Core Writing Standard 2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

Teaching Literary Elements with Short Stories

Understanding literary elements is necessary for literary analysis.  These short stories will help you teach literary elements.

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