I've found that my students are motivated more through visual learning than the typical lecturing and reading a short story aloud. A friend of mine helped me out with this my first year of teaching. Record a sitcom on television, be it "Happy Days," "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," or some other TV show. Explain to your students that a sitcom follows the same plot format as a short story. Have students fill in a short story map as they watch the program. After watching, discuss the TV show and do a map on the board or overhead with them. That way, all of your students' thoughts are recorded.