Scary Short Story Bundle Middle School ELA Halloween

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Mrs Nelson Teaches
Grade Levels
6th - 9th
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Engage your middle school Language Arts classes with these spooky short stories! Students will learn about suspense, foreshadowing, characterization, satire and more with these fun Halloween lessons! Short stories include "A Ghost Story" by Mark Twain, "The Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe, and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" by Washington Irving.

Each lesson includes Slides Presentations, Worksheets, Assignments and Activities that will teach your students important ELA content and skills while enjoying the fun holiday season! This bundle includes enough material to keep your students engaged and learning for a week!

Lesson 1: "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" - Washington Irving

"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" is the perfect short story to read with middle school students around Halloween! This PDF file contains everything you need (worksheets, assignments, etc.) to help you Language Arts students read and analyze the haunted tale. The best part? Zero preparation is required! Simply print and go!

First, a Slides Presentation is included that introduces the story and helps build students background knowledge, introduces the setting, the characters and more! These resources can be used with Washington Irving's full text OR a slightly shortened and simplified version of the short story has been included. The adaptation is an easier version to understand, making it more accessible to middle school students.

Multiple Student Assignment Worksheets are included to help students practice important English Language Arts skills. Assignments include a character analysis assignment; a context clue vocabulary assignment; and a fun figurative language activity. Answer Keys are Included!

Digital Options for assignments are available via TpT's EASEL Activities!

What's Included?

  • Slides Presentation introducing story and building students' background knowledge.
  • Modified, simplified version of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" by Washington Irving.
  • Character Analysis Assignment
  • Context Clue Vocabulary Assignment
  • Fun Figurative Language Activity
  • Answer Keys!
  • Teacher Guidelines and Instructions
  • Detailed Lesson Outline for Teachers

ELA Content Taught and Reviewed:

Lesson 2: "The Tell-Tale Heart" - Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe's classic and haunting short story, "The Tell-Tale Heart," is the perfect tale to teach students about symbolism in literature, imagery, figurative language, and more! Students will learn how to annotate both informational and fictional texts as they study Poe and his masterful story of suspense!

These activities are wonderful for engaging students in ELA content! I love to use these resources around Halloween to channel students' holiday excitement into great learning!

Two engaging and instructional Slides Presentations are included to teach students how to annotate a text and to introduce students to the short story and the literary devices they will encounter in "The Tell-Tale Heart." Multiple student assignments are included with Answer Keys!

What's Included?

  • Two Engaging Instructional Slides Presentations (Over 50 Slides!)
  • Biography of Edgar Allan Poe Student Annotation Practice
  • Annotation Practice for "The Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe
  • "The Tell-Tale Heart" Student Assignment (symbolism, imagery, figurative language, and point-of-view)
  • Answer Keys!
  • Teacher Guidelines and Instructions
  • Detail Lesson Plan
  • Instructions for Accessing Slides Presentations

ELA Content Taught and Reviewed:

  • How to Annotate a Text
  • Symbolism in Literature
  • Imagery in Literature (visual and auditory)
  • Figurative Language (similes and metaphors)
  • Point-of-View in Literature
  • Informational Text Reading
  • Short Story Reading
  • The Elements of Fiction Mood
  • Suspense

Lesson 3: "A Ghost Story" - Mark Twain

What Middle School student doesn't love a fun and scary Halloween story? Mark Twain's "A Ghost Story" is the perfect short story to engage your class along with these No-Prep activities and resources! Through Twain's masterful use of suspense and satire, students will feel frightened and will laugh during this lesson!

I love activities that capitalize on the holiday season and put students' excess energy to good use while still teaching them important ELA content! Begin this lesson with an Instructional Slides presentation that will teach students all about satire! The Slides will also review with students suspense and discuss two ways that authors create suspense in their writing: foreshadowing and sensory details. Tone and mood are also briefly reviewed!

An informational article is included to help build students' background knowledge regarding the famous Cardiff Giant which will help them comprehend the story. I love using this as an opportunity to review informational text features with students!

Students will then read the short story and complete an assignment helping them identify and analyze the elements reviewed in the Slides Presentation. Following the story, challenge students to write their own creepy story with an ironic ending! It's a fun and easy way to incorporate creative writing! Answer Keys and Grading Rubrics are Included!

What's Included?

  • Teacher Guidelines and Instructions
  • Basic Lesson Outline
  • Instructional Slides Presentation (25+ Slides)
  • "The Cardiff Giant" Informational Article (2 pages)
  • "A Ghost Story" Printable Short Story
  • "A Ghost Story: Satire & Suspense" Student Assignment
  • "Ironic Incidents: Spooky Narratives" Creative Writing Assignment
  • Additional Teacher Talking Points sheet
  • Grading Rubric
  • Answer Keys
  • Instructions for Accessing Slides Presentation

ELA Topics Taught & Reviewed:

  • Satire
  • Suspense
  • Foreshadowing
  • Sensory Details
  • Tone
  • Mood
  • Reading Fiction
  • Reading Informational Texts
  • Plot Structure (exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution)
  • Characterization
  • Irony

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Total Pages
Answer Key
Included with rubric
Teaching Duration
1 Week
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text.
Analyze how particular elements of a story or drama interact (e.g., how setting shapes the characters or plot).
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of rhymes and other repetitions of sounds (e.g., alliteration) on a specific verse or stanza of a poem or section of a story or drama.
Analyze how an author develops and contrasts the points of view of different characters or narrators in a text.


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