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Grade: Middle

#1411. Short Story/Suspense

Reading/Writing, level: Middle
Posted Wed Nov 24 14:04:09 PST 1999 by Erik Francis (
Sonoran Trails Middle School, Cave Creek, Arizona
Materials Required: Suspense novel, computer, movie
Activity Time: 1 month
Concepts Taught: Literature, reading comprehension, prewriting, drafting, editing


Task: Students will create an original suspense/horror story.

1. The story must be a minimum of 1 1/2 pages
2. The story must contain all the elements of a short story: plot, character, setting, and theme.
3. The story must also be suspenseful an include an example of one of the three literary techniques used in a suspense story:
1) Foreshadowing
2) Allegory
3) Symbolism
4. The story must be written in paragraph form with a title. Also, dialogue (what characters say) must be included.
5. The story must contain appropriate material for a class assignment. Please do not use:
1) Graphic violence
2) Inappropriate language / subject matter
Bottom line: If you can't say it in a house of worship or a court of law, DON'T SAY IT IN YOUR STORY!!!

6. All stories will be graded based upon class writing rubric.* Evaluations will be made upon:
1) Prewriting: Use of writing folder and index cards.
2) Drafting/Revising/Proofreading: Rough draft (may be typewritten)
3) Publication: Final word-processed draft will be assessed for..
a. Ideas and Content - The story has a clear main idea with supporting details
b. Organization - The story has a beginning/middle/end
c. Voice - The story is creative with a strong writing style (how the writer presents ideas)
d. Word Choice - The story has an assortment of vocabulary and describing words
e. Sentence fluency - The story is written proper sentence and paragraph structure
f. Conventions - The story is written with proper grammar/usage, punctuation, capitalization, and spelling.