Start the year off with a ghost story that will have your kids dicussing suspense as a literary technique. Not to mention that your students will be exercising the "listening muscle" right from the first day of school. The activity is simple: As a class you start with a pre-reading question about storie elements. You then read the short story to them. While they are listening they have a during-reading question. It is in the form of true or false, so it requires them to gather evidence from the story to prove it. After the story is done, the anwswer to the question can be discussed. There could be two different answers, which makes the statement that anything can be true in English as long as there is evidence. At the end, have a discussion about story telling and reading. This is a great lead off to a short story unit or novel. Have fun!