As a class, brainstorm all elements necessary for a short story. Use your white board, an easel, whatever you have. Students must take notes based on the class discussion. THEN, students will leave class with the information, and create an original short story based on the entire class brainstorming session.
You will be amazed at all of the different twists and turns that are created based on the same information. You could have students share their short stories if they want to, or that may be a requirement for you. This activity os so much fun, and generates interest and excitement for students. Everyone has a stake in the writing piece, for they brainstormed every aspect of the story together.
A rubric is included. The short story assignment is worth 100 points. I would recommend this activity for higher level English classes grade level 9 or 10.