Short stories every kid should know. See the list below. Please note that while I have taught all these short stories at the high school level and can vouch for their value, these are not 'easy-reading' stories. In short, if you are dealing with students who are far below reading level, you might be far better off with "American Literature Without Tears," my collection of easy reading stories, including many of the same stories listed here.
American Literature Without Tears
The Monkey's Paw - by W.W. Jacobs
Young Goodman Brown - by Nathaniel Hawthorne
To Build a Fire - by Jack London
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow - by Washington Irving
The Cask of Amontillado - by Edgar Allan Poe
The Private History of a Campaign That Failed - by Mark Twain
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge - by Ambrose Bierce
The Tell-Tale Heart - by Edgar Allan Poe
Bartleby the Scrivener - by Herman Melville
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Also of interest:
To Kill a Mockingbird Unit Exam and Answer Key
Animal Farm Unit Exam
The Once and Future King Unit Exam
Holes Unit Exam and Answer Key
Parrot in the Oven exam and answer key
Of Mice and Men Exam and Answer Key
Poetry All Kids Should Know