Short Stories
Age 10-12: Concept 1 - Environment and Cycles: Unit 3

Delve into several contemporary and classic short stories. Follow the experiences of a variety of empathetic characters whose challenges range from internal ethical struggles to actual struggles including life on Mars, an exploding volcano, and a deadly shipwreck. Analyze the elements of a short story and what differentiates it from a novel. Practice identifying and correcting run-on sentences and sentence fragments. For the final project, develop your own short story.

This unit is designed to be used in conjunction with the science and social studies in Unit 3: Our Changing Earth, but it can also be used as an independent literature unit.


  • Able to read and comprehend novels at a late 6th or 7th grade reading level
  • Able to write multiple paragraphs on a topic
  • Familiar with the five-paragraph essay
  • Usually used by children in the sixth grade

Table of Contents

  • Lesson 1: The Good Deed
  • Lesson 2: Short Story Genre (2 Days)
  • Lesson 3: The Dog of Pompeii (2 Days)
  • Lesson 4: Rip Van Winkle (2 Days)
  • Lesson 5: Zlateh the Goat
  • Lesson 6: Women in Short Stories (2 Days)
  • Lesson 7: Your Choice
  • Final Project: Writing a Short Story (2 Days)

Summary of Skills

Moving Beyond the Page is based on state and national standards. These standards are covered in this unit.
  • Ask questions that seek information. (Language Arts)
  • Clarify understanding of text by creating reports. (Language Arts)
  • Compose a variety of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama using self-selected topics. (Language Arts)
  • Discuss literature in teacher-student conferences and small group discussions. (Language Arts)
  • Discuss print and non-print expressive works formally and informally. (Language Arts)
  • Establish and develop a plot, setting, and present a point of view that is appropriate to the stories. (Language Arts)
  • Explain different forms of third-person points of view in stories. (Language Arts)
  • Explore what impact literary elements have on the meaning of the text such as the influence of setting or the problem and its resolution. (Language Arts)
  • Frame questions that direct analysis and investigation. (Language Arts)
  • Identify and explain the point of view in a written work. (Language Arts)
  • Identify elements of fiction and nonfiction and support by referencing the text to determine the plot development and author's choice of words. (Language Arts)
  • Identify elements of fiction and nonfiction and support by referencing the text to determine the plot development. (Language Arts)
  • Identify the speaker and recognize the difference between first- and third-person narration. (Language Arts)
  • Include sensory details and concrete language to develop plot and character. (Language Arts)
  • Increase fluency, comprehension, and insight through a meaningful and comprehensive literacy program by using effective reading strategies to match type of text. (Language Arts)
  • Interact with the text by formulating questions. (Language Arts)
  • Interpret how personal circumstances and backgrounds shape interaction with text. (Language Arts)
  • Interpret text by explaining elements such as characterization. (Language Arts)
  • Interpret text by explaining elements such as plot. (Language Arts)
  • Interpret text by explaining point of view. (Language Arts)
  • Listen actively and critically by asking questions, evaluating information and ideas, making inferences, and drawing conclusions. (Language Arts)
  • Make connections within and between texts by recognizing similarities and differences based on a common lesson, character, theme, or message. (Language Arts)
  • Make reasonable assertions about a text through accurate, supporting citations. (Language Arts)
  • Narrate an expressive account that uses remembered feelings and specific details. (Language Arts)
  • Pose relevant questions. (Language Arts)
  • Produce work that follows the conventions of particular genres. (Language Arts)
  • Read a variety of literature and other text. (Language Arts)
  • Read independently from self-selected materials. (Language Arts)
  • Recognize and develop the role of a critic by constructing a critical response/review of a work/topic. (Language Arts)
  • Understand, make inferences, and draw conclusions about the structure and elements of a story. (Language Arts)
  • Use a range of narrative devices (such as dialogue and suspense). (Language Arts)
  • Use a variety of sentence types correctly, punctuate them properly, and avoid fragments and run-ons. (Language Arts)
  • Use phrases and clauses correctly. (Language Arts)
  • Use quotation marks around the exact words of a speaker. (Language Arts)
  • Write multi-step directions. (Language Arts)
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