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Short Story Unit. Created by Dena Reeve. CSUS NATIONAL BOARD UNIT PLANNING TEMPLATE Title: Short Story Unit.

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short story unit

Short Story Unit

Created by Dena Reeve



Title: Short Story Unit

Purpose of this unit: This is a beginning step of their sophomore year. Short stories are the base level to assess knowledge of students and to develop vocabulary for later novel analysis discussions as well as to practice on a smaller level before jumping in to a more complex reading.

What National Boards video entries will you be using? How does this unit relate to the National Board Core Propositions? Entry level 2 and 3 ask for either a small group discussion or a whole group discussion. Both can be attained with this unit. However I will plan a whole group discussion first.

What standards for your portfolio does this unit demonstrate? Please review slides 10, 11 and 12.

the big ideas
  • Writers use specific tools (elements) to communicate to the reader.
  • Writers write from and are impacted by what they know or what has happened in their life.
  • There is structure to good writing.
  • Our own perspective impacts our understanding.
enduring outcomes

Define elements of literature

Identify generalizations

Identify evidence

Identify traits of character

Identify literary devices within text.

Identify genre and types of genres.


Critique a story for its effectiveness

Compare the works of one author

Compare similar theme across genres

Examine how characters impact the plot.

Trace development of time and sequence of events

Examine how all above interactions form the story.


Design own creative scary story using elements to enhance the story.

Brainstorm what tool(s) an author could have used to make a more impactful story

Speculate how a writer was given more time they would edit their story based off their history.


Demonstrate learning of this unit through self-assessment of creative write.

Apply personal background knowledge to impact own story.

Use evidence of universal theme to prove understanding.

Research scary moments to possibly use within own writing.

Enduring Outcomes
beginning of differentiation
Beginning of Differentiation
  • Agenda on board with assignments, due dates and handouts given.
  • Notes in PowerPoint and available on Edline.
  • Teacher/student binder and check in during class and PAWS.
  • Vary output of information to students: lecture, small (pair to groups of four) and large group discussion, guided reading, guided notes, students to repeat big idea/concepts together, trial and error prior to class discussions…
  • Prompts for those who struggle with framing a scary story.