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Please Do Now:. In your notebook or binder, write down the titles of a few short stories you have read or heard of. Explain what makes them short stories. Write down the attributes they have in common. Elements of a Short Story. English II Mrs. McLeod. What is a short story?. Fiction

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Please do now
Please Do Now:

  • In your notebook or binder, write down the titles of a few short stories you have read or heard of.

  • Explain what makes them short stories. Write down the attributes they have in common.

Elements of a short story

Elements of a Short Story

English II

Mrs. McLeod

What is a short story
What is a short story?

  • Fiction

  • Short! Generally less than 10,000 words

  • Intended to be read in one sitting

  • Protagonist faces conflict—a problem, a decision, an obstacle—usually changes in some way as a result

  • Theme—provides insight, something new

Elements of a short story1
Elements of a short story

  • Plot—the pattern of action in a story


Rising Action

Falling Action



Plot action elements
Plot Action Elements:

  • Exposition—the beginning of a story in which we learn the background of the characters.

  • Rising Action – We learn the problem in the story and suspense is built.

  • Climax- The highest point of action. Turning point in the story.

  • Falling Action- the winding down of a story after the climax.

  • Resolution – ties up loose ends. The conflict is usually resolved.

Three little pigs
“Three Little Pigs”

  • Exposition?

  • Rising Action?

  • Climax?

  • Falling Action?

  • Resolution?

Point of view
Point of View

  • Perspective from which the story is told

    • First person— “I”

    • Third person– “He, she, they, it”

      • Omniscient: all knowing

      • Limited: knows as much as the


From which point of view is “Three Little Pigs” told?

Setting and mood
Setting and Mood

  • Setting: time and place in which the story takes place

  • Mood: the atmosphere of the story; feeling that is evoked

    • Examples: lighthearted, frightening, sad

Setting and mood are often closely related!


  • The main idea of the story

  • The statement the author is trying to make

  • Not just a topic, but what the author is trying to say about it.

    • Example: Not just “love,” but, “Love can hurt people.”

    • Example: Not just “innocence,” but, “Innocence can be destroyed in a moment.”

    • Example: Not just “guilt,” but, “Guilt can cause people to make bad decisions.”

What are possible themes of “Three Little Pigs?”

Please do now1
Please do now:


  • Our lives are made up of little stories that we usually tell other people we know. Think about a story you have or would have told to a friend. In your journal, write about something that happened to you lately.

  • Now, get in pairs and share your story. Have your partner identify from your story:

    • Setting

    • Rising action

    • Climax

    • Falling action

The flowers
“The Flowers”

  • Author: Alice Walker

  • Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, poet, activist

  • Wrote extensively on race and gender

  • Best known for “The Color Purple”

Analysis the flowers
Analysis: “The Flowers”

  • What's the point of view in this story? 1st-3rd person/all-knowing-limited?  

  • What is the setting? How do the surroundings help reveal or enhance the story?    

  • What are the steps in the plot development of the story?   What is the climax?

  • Compare the mood of the first half of the story vs. the second? When does the tone change?

  • What are some possible themes of the story?

Analysis the flowers1
Analysis: “The Flowers”

  • Why is the story so short?

  • Why is Myop unafraid upon discovering the dead man?

  • Why did the vision of the rope, rather than the sight of the dead man, compel her to lay down her flowers?

  • Why does Myop lay down her flowers? What do the flowers represent?

  • What is the significance of the last sentence in the story?

In your journal
In your journal…

  • Write a diary entry in your journal from Myop’s point of view after her discovery during her walk through the woods.

The open window p 195
“The Open Window” (p. 195)

  • Author: Saki (formerly Hector Hugh Munro) (1870-1916)

  • Lived in England most his life, journalist

  • Known for his short stories noted for their wit, humor and surprise endings

  • Most famous for “The Open Window”

  • Ironic twist to his own life: survives childhood diseases and a bout of malaria only to be killed at age 45 by a sniper’s bullet in World War I.

Open window questions
“Open Window” Questions

  • Who is the protagonist? What do we know about his character?

  • Who is the antagonist? What do we know about her character?

  • Complete plot diagram—exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution)—for the story

  • At what point do you suspect that Vera’s story might not be true? What details help you determine whether or not it is true?

  • How do the characters dialogue help move the story along?

  • How is the ending of the story ironic?

  • What are possible themes of this story?

Quiz tuesday 1 25

  • Vocabulary

  • Short story elements

  • “The Flowers”

  • “The Open Window”