Short Stories - Dordt College Homepages

Topic: Short Stories – What are they and how do I make one?
 Students will be able to apply the 5 elements of story.
 Students will be able to understand how concepts, like weather, are used in
 Copies of “Hurricane” from Graham Sullisbury’s Island Boyz (each student will
need his/her own)
 Holes
 Note cards (each student will need 7)
 Worksheet (2 copies per student)
 Whiteboard, chalkboard, smartboard, or projector you can write on.
Introduction Quick Write about “Hurricane.” Students may write about anything: their
response, certain things they liked or didn’t like, hurricanes, favorite parts of
the story, what makes the story good.
o While students are writing, go around the room and check to make
sure students completed their assigned worksheet sections.
Lesson steps Discussion
o Use the worksheet students started in the homework the night before to
guide discussion. Have students fill out the worksheet parts they did
not complete in their homework during the discussion time. This
process with help students not only understand the worksheet but also
the concepts.
 Ask for any other interesting things students noted in the story that might not
be covered in the worksheet.
o Students might be unsure about some details, have a line they thought
was funny or a line they thought was just a good sentence.
 Small groups
o Have students fill out same worksheet based on Holes (some of this will
be review).
 Introduce the short story writing assignment. Students will be writing a short
story incorporating the weather that they did their research paper on as well as
the information discussed in today’s class. (Encourage students to write about
their project area, because they will have to use one of these stories in their
weather report).
 To help students get an idea of how to create a story write down headings on
the board:
o Plot
o Setting
o Character(s)
o Style
o Title
o Weather
o Theme
Have students throw ideas up about any of these characters and create a rough
idea of a story – emphasize that students do not have to answer in any order.
o Plot
 Moving to a new country. Getting off plane, meeting family,
seeing snow, knowing will have to start new school
o Setting
 Present day Alaska
o Character(s)
 Foreign exchange student from Africa who has never seen
snow before
o Style
 3rd person
o Title
 Unseen Snow
o Weather
 As a symbol for her fear of leaving everything she has ever
know as well as the power and awe of first snow.
o Theme
 The author is exploring entering a totally unknown world and
the effect that has on the main character.
o ** as you write this on the board, have students fill out a worksheet**
Closure Hand out note cards. Have students label each note card with one of the seven
 Explain assignment.
Basic Rough idea for a story
Extension Students will need to fill out the note cards to create a rough idea for a story.
Students are not stuck with what is on these note cards, but they have to come
prepared the next day to write. The note cards need to be complete enough
that anyone could look through them and get a basic understanding of what
the story is about.
 Informal assessment of group discussion. Observe
o Students’ answers to discussion questions.
o The story students come up with as a class.
o If students are able to answer questions about how to apply elements to
Holes group worksheet and group discussions: the worksheet will be graded,
and the discussions I will watch and monitor to make sure they stay on task
and are able to fill the worksheet out.
The note card assignment will be graded based on completion, making sure
students can create a rough story with the elements.
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