As a literary genre, what, exactly is a “modern” short story—as opposed to any short story? In this product you’ll find the answer to that question in a one-page explanation that would make either the basis for a quick lecture on the subject and/or a handout for students to keep with their notes, something that you or they could refer to whenever the “genre” question comes up.
Along with the background notes on this topic, I’ve included another one-page handout that lists and quickly defines each of six characteristics of the modern short story. These defining characteristics are a handy launch pad for generating either small group or whole-class discussions.
Finally, this product contains a simple five-question comprehension quiz format sheet that can be used regardless of the short story you assign. You could, in fact, use it with, say, a tale or fable as a means of illustrating the differences between the two genres. Along with its use as a quiz format, it works seamlessly with the above “six characteristics” as a small group or whole-class discussion format. If students have read the story (I know: that’s a big if!) this simple, clear, efficient little handout will provide them with the vehicle to quickly respond in writing—with short answers to five questions. From there it’s just a matter of sharing those answers in a discussion.
With this simple product you’re covering all the language arts bases: reading, writing, speaking, listening and, in the event your students also watched the video version of the story, viewing. You’re also giving your students a tool that guides them in thinking critically about literature by giving them the opportunity to apply their knowledge of the modern short story genre to any story you assign.
Thanks for considering Tim's Tool Box!