Short Stories for Secondary Teachers

 

Catch the Moon – Judith Ortiz Cofer

Skills: Internal conflict. Man vs. himself.

Common Core State Standards: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3 – Analyze complex characters.

My Thoughts: Not everyone who acts out in anger is evil. An complex scene where readers are able to understand actions from another angle in order to “walk in another’s shoes.”

 

Roberto Ignacio Torres Bakes – Steven Frank

Skills: Making predictions, drawing conclusions, characterizations.

Common Core State Standards: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.2 – Determine theme or central message.

My Thoughts: Powerful message about dreams. A touching story between father and daughter and what it means to help each other dream.

After Twenty Years

Skills: Characterization, Foreshadowing.

Common Core State Standards: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3 – Analyze complex characters.

My Thoughts: Can your reading detectives catch the clues that lead to the ending of the story. If not, go back and discover clues about the characters. Classic illustration of why O. Henry has been given the honorific “the father of the surprise ending.”

A Secret for Two – Quentin Reynolds

Skills: Foreshadowing; Theme

Common Core State Standards: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.9-10.2 – Central message or theme emerging over time.

My Thoughts: Only the most astute readers will catch the foreshadowing pieces to the ending. Lovely, gentle read.

The Most Interesting Gift – Angel Vigil

Literary Skills: Making and Confirming Predictions; Characterization.

Common Core State Standards:

My Thoughts: Wickedly teasing. Integrate culture into the classroom with this native tale of Mexico. Sprinkles many new Spanish words such as la coqueta, viejos, bruja.

The Princess and the Tin Box – James Thurber

Literary Skills: Making & Confirming Predictions; Author’s Style.

Common Core State Standards:

My Thoughts: Delightfully SHOCKING. Secondary readers will smile at the twist in the end. Wry humor throughout, as is Thurber’s style.