These popular short stories by famous women authors delight and captivate.
“The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson – Very few things shock teens. Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” is one of them.
- The short story plays on the concept of scapegoating. Some ideas include showing sports clips of famous blunders (Bill Buckner or Bartman, for example). You could also discuss modern day examples of scapegoating–blaming things on the government, teachers, parents, other races, etc. This lesson plan works well.
“The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin – A young married woman learns of her husband’s tragic death and secretly revels in her freedom until she discovers he was no where near the sight of the tragedy.
- Think irony. Teach and discuss the different types of irony. Instruct students to identify examples of irony, the type of irony, explain the irony, and show mastery by analyzing the author’s purpose in using irony
“Geraldine Moore the Poet” by Toni Cade Bambara – Geraldine Moore’s life stinks and her teacher wants her to write a poem for homework.
- A great way to begin a poetry unit, “Geraldine Moore the Poet” is an inspiring story about a girl who doesn’t see the value in school. After reading the story, assign students to write a poem based on their experiences.
- “Every Day Use” by Alice Walker – Dee returns home and wishes to have two quilts that reflect her African-American heritage but is disappointed to find out they are intended for her younger sister, Maggie, who intends to put them to every day use.
- Focus on conflict and character motivation. Maggie gets the quilts because her mother feels she appreciates them more. Is she correct?
- “A White Heron” is an excellent story for teaching decision-making. List the pros and cons of Sylvia’s choices and make the decision for her.Justify the decision with logic and supporting details. Assign a persuasive essay or letter.
Think symbolism and coming of age. Mature audiences will recognize aspects of the story that are inappropriate for some.
This post is part of the series: Short Story Suggestions for High School
Good short stories will involve the class and meet educational objectives.
- High School Teaching Ideas: Short Stories by Edgar Allan Poe
- Popular Short Stories by Famous Women Authors
- Eight Great American Short Stories For Your High School Students
- Science Fiction Short Stories for High School
- Mark Twain Short Stories for High School