English 10-1: Short Stories Unit

Mr. Steel



During this unit of study, students will read a broad selection of short stories. They will have the opportunity to write about these stories, assessing them both on the simple level of summarization as well as on the deeper level of thematic analysis. Students will gain working familiarity with literary terminology and the general structure of stories. This unit will also provide students with the opportunity to gain more experience with multiple choice reading comprehension tests, which figure prominently both in departmental as well as provincial examinations. Finally, students will also have the opportunity to work on their essay composition skills during this unit of study.



š         Short Daily Written Submissions: In complete sentences and in paragraph, all students will be required to write daily story notes that summarize their understanding of what happens in each story. At the end of these notes, students should include a list of at least THREE challenging words with their definitions. Also, students will be expected to end these brief written submissions with a statement about what they perceive to be the theme or lesson of the story. (1 page double-spaced) These story notes will help students remember the stories for exams at the end of the semester, and they will act as preliminary work for their thematic essay writing.

š         Daily Multiple Choice Reading Comprehension Questions: after we have completed each short story as a class, students will be able to practice for their departmental exams (and provincial exams in the long term) in the form of short open-book quizzes.

š         In-class Personal Response/Critical Essay: Students will write either a personal response or a critical essay (as assigned by the teacher in class) on a stipulated theme. Students will make use of one or two of the short stories we have read in class to complete this major assignment.

š         Short Story Terminology Test: Students will be responsible for basic knowledge of short story terminology.


Itinerary of Readings:


Author and Title of Story

1.  Will Stanton, “Barney”


2. Anne Hart, “The Friday Everything Changed”


3. Arthur Gordon, “The Sea Devil”


4. Mary Peterson, “The Carved Table”


5. Gabrielle Roy, “Alicia”

6. Hugh Garner, “The Father”

7. Elizabeth Brewster, “The Old Woman”

8. Howard O’Hagan, “A Mountain Journey”

9. Ernest Buckler, “Penny in the Dust”

10. Jane Rule, “A Television Drama”

11. Yves Theriault, “The Whale”