Grade: Senior

#4317. Before, During, and After Short Story Activities

Reading/Writing, level: Senior
Posted Sun Dec 28 19:59:04 PST 2008 by Michelle Stimpson (Michelle Stimpson).
Evolution Academy Charter School, Richardson, TX
Materials Required: Interesting Short Story
Activity Time: Depends on Teacher choice
Concepts Taught: Experience the Reading Process; Practice fluency

BEFORE READING: Select an interesting short story for the students to read. My Favorites - "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson, "Eleven" by Sandra Cisneros, and "It Happened on a Friday" available for free download at
Preview difficult vocabulary with students. Select several key phrases/sentences from the story. Type up and print out those sentences, giving each student a different sentence. Allow the students to mingle around so they can formulate a prediction about the story. Students work in groups to come up with a prediction.

DURING READING (FLUENCY): Either read the story out loud or have students take turns reading out loud. You may wish to highlight paragraphs on the copies ahead of time and give the students an opportunity to pre-read their marked paragraphs before actually reading out loud. This will only take a few minutes, but it will give students a chance to practice fluency and it will build even more anticipation for reading.

AFTER READING IDEAS: 1. Have a Talk Show! Assign roles and have students participate in a talk show featuring main characters and "experts" who can shed light on the issues addressed in the short story. One student (or the teacher) can be the talk show host. Audience members should formulate questions they would like to ask during the show.

2. Writing: Consider creating writing prompts based on literary themes present in the stories. Also consider having students create diary entries for different characters.