I wanted to find a short story to use with my freshman that would allow them to review a few literary techniques and give me insight about who they are as people. I came across "Eleven" by Sandra Cisneros and it fit exactly what I needed. The kids get to play with figurative language in their responses and share a story of their lives that will help me get to know them at the start of the year. (LA 9-10RL.9-10.4)
I will also put them into groups and lead them through a class discussion where they have to identify the theme of the story (LA 9-10RL.9-10.2) and begin to analyze why the author chose to tell her story the way she did ((LA 9-10RL.9-10.5).
You can always add those questions into the assignment, but for me this is a week one assignment and my main purpose is for them to get their feet wet, for me to get to know them, and for them to begin to understand my expectations for "homework."