Short Story Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde
Use a Study.com video to help introduce students to the characteristics of short stories in text, then compare and contrast American and European short story authors.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • compare and contrast characteristics American and European short story authors
  • discuss themes in short story selected text
  • identify short story characteristics in selected text


1 hour

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.10

By the end of grade 9, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, in the grades 9-10 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.9

Analyze how an author draws on and transforms source material in a specific work.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1

Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.


  • Begin by telling your students they'll be watching a video about short stories. Consider allowing them to take notes.
  • Next, show your students our video lesson Short Stories: Definition, Characteristics & Examples.
  • After watching, pose the following guiding questions to your students:
  • How were American authors influenced by European authors?
  • Were there any common themes among these early short stories?
  • What do you think inspired these authors to write short stories? Why do you think this?
  • What about these short stories made them popular among this early audience?
  • Have copies of the short stories mentioned in the lesson available for students to read. Ask students to find examples of the characteristics of short stories in each example. Record their answers on chart paper or the board.


  • Have students create their own short story using one of the genres mentioned - anecdotes, fable, fairy tale, or parable - using modern themes.
  • Read modern short stories and compare and contrast to those in this lesson.

Related Lessons

Types of Fiction: Novels, Novellas & Short Stories

Short Story Writing Prompts

What is a Dialogue in Literature? - Examples & Explanation

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