In Introduction to Short Stories, students will read various short stories and will learn about the literary elements of plot, character, point of view, and setting, as well as suspense and irony. Students will become acquainted with the compact nature of the short story literary form and each author's ability to weave exciting, interesting narratives in such short, tight spaces. Students will also learn the importance of being concise and will recognize that good literature does not necessarily have to be lengthy in order to be captivating.
It is recommended that students successfully complete English 10 or equivalent course work before enrolling in this course.
Unit 1: Essential Content and Skills
- Explore the history of the American short story.
- Evaluate and analyze an author’s incorporation of a twist, a turning point, or a surprise ending in various short stories.
- Survey the use of setting, foreshadowing, and tone as literary elements within multiple short stories.
- Examine the basics of the human behaviors of lying and deceiving by annotating the article “Natural Born Liars.”
- Examine the genre of magical realism in order to evaluate its use within short stories.
- Define the term “deception” and defend the definition using literary evidence.
Unit 2: Essential Content and Skills
- Explore how an author creates mood by reading various short stories.
- Analyze elements of “Success Story” to compare how culture, character insight, and author expertise of setting appear within the context.
- Dissect the terms “culture” and “cultural conflict” in order to identify their use in “Dead Man’s Path.”
- Identify the five main components of a plot line in order to visualize the plot sequence within a graphic organizer.
- Identify the resolution of the plot in order to consider how both crisis and argument are neatly resolved by the author.
- Identify and define the various types of characters used in fiction.
Unit 3: Essential Content and Skills
- Utilize sensory details while reading and writing to create a clear, concrete image for a reader.
- Evaluate how an author gives the setting lifelike characteristics and how the setting resembles a main character’s emotional ties.
- Define “verisimilitude” in order to understand how an author adds truth and realism to a fictional story.
- Appraise life and culture in the historical West in order to make a connection to the setting of “Too Soon a Woman.”
- Understand the various perspectives used in fiction in order to identify point of view.
- Define the concept of “naming” in order to identify how the concept is used within the short stories and why it is beneficial to the points of view present within the texts.
Unit 4: Essential Content and Skills
- Identify character flaws to determine how these flaws influence character interactions and decision-making.
- Define the terms “explicit theme” and “implicit theme” to identify the controlling idea behind a text.
- Define the terms “conflict” and “symbolism” in order to understand the role they play within a text.
- Research the historical background of a setting to consider its influence on the characters and conflicts within a story.
- Discover how the collaboration of literary elements can create a “total effect” of horror and suspense.
- Compose and construct a book trailer script and a storyboard that explains the overall theme of a story and main plot elements.
- Holt Impact: Fifty Short Stories Second (textbook)
- Fiction 100: An Anthology of Short Fiction (textbook)
- Reader's Guide to the Short Story to Fiction 100 (textbook)