The title of a story is often a key to understanding its theme. Letting students come up with the titles to the stories they read will help them understand the author's message to the reader.
I would often read students a short story and then have them come up with a title. Editors usually assign titles to the stories they publish, and an understanding of the central message is key to a good title.
After reading an original short story written by Charlene Tess, students will answer a series of questions about its elements. including the characters, setting, conflict, and theme.
Students will also assign a title to the short story based on its theme. This is a good exercise to use when you have time remaining in a class period. Students can read the story in class and if necessary, finish the questions at home. The suggested answers are provided.