Holes & Goals:A Short Study of the Short Story By Stefanie Wells
Why Short Stories?• Past emphasis on novels• Short stories prevalent in curriculum• Exposure to a wide variety – Writing styles – Genres – Multicultural literature
Essential Questions• What defines the genre of the short story and what are its origins?• What makes a short story “great”?• What are some common themes among short stories that are often taught?• Why teach short stories?
Enduring Understandings• Short stories are extremely varied, but are typically characterized by a sense of artistic whole.• Commonly taught short stories often have widely applicable themes and incite more questions than they answer.• Short stories can be used to teach a variety of literary concepts and to expose students to a wide assortment of authors and writing styles.
What stories did I read?• “The Tell-Tale Heart,” by • “The Necklace,” by Guy de Edgar Allan Poe Maupassant• “The Cask of Amontillado,” by • “The Open Window,” by Saki Edgar Allan Poe • “Thank You, Ma’am,” by• “Hills Like White Elephants,” Langston Hughes by Ernest Hemingway • “The Looking Glass,” by Anton• “The Lottery,” by Shirley Chekhov Jackson • “Just Lather, That’s All,” by• “Harrison Bergeron,” by Kurt Hernando Téllez Vonnegut, Jr. • “The South,” by Jorge Luis• “The Gift of the Magi,” by O. Borges Henry • “The Ones Who Walk Away• “Where Are You from Omelas,” by Ursula K. Going, Where Have You LeGuin Been?” by Joyce Carol Oates
Favorite Resource• “Just Lather, That’s All,” by Hernando Téllez• Intensity of a moment• Inner conflict• Question of morality• Applicable beyond story• Ending promptsreconsideration
Overview of Products• Short Story Theme Journal• Pecha Kucha about Short Stories• Original Short Story• Poe Mobile
What I’ve learned/been reminded about English/Language Arts• Exposure to a variety of new (for me) authors and texts• Greatness in writing can be achieved in many different ways• Sometimes what is left unsaid is more powerful than what is said• Stories help us to put the world in perspective, to see through the eyes of others, and to reflect on ourselves
Myself as a Learner• Active learning – Short stories vs. sources on the short story – Creating my own story• Social learning – Discussion as a processing aid• Mulling it over – Rereading, reflecting
Making Short Stories Accessible to Students• Include a diverse selection of stories• Connect story themes to student lives• Have students write stories• Discussion!!!
Continuing my study…• Read more short stories! – Melville, Tolstoy, Asimov, Mansfield, O’Connor• What are good ways to introduce short stories when teaching?• How do teachers decide what to emphasize when teaching a specific short story? – Time limitations• What are strategies to help students write their own short stories?
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