Literacy Skills: Short Stories

LITERACY SKILLS are the key, transferable skills required to process, and understand the multitude of TEXTS we encounter every day.  From VISUAL to AUDITORY, from video games to novels, we rely on our skills to make meaning and ascertain messages.

Like all skills, they must be developed, honed, and practiced.  One of the best ways to INTRODUCE or REINFORCE these skills with your students in through the use of SHORT STORIES.  For that reason, a number of lessons have been developed for specific stories.

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What Are Literacy Skills?

For a primer on the TEN KEY LITERACY SKILLS you should review the following articles:

 

What’s Included?

Each Lesson is fully explained and laid out in a WEB BASED format, that explains what PRIOR KNOWLEDGE is required, and what the NEXT STEPS should be.

MORE IMPORTANTLY each lesson comes with a FREE DOWNLOADABLE PDF of the lesson that is CLASSROOM-READY to be copied and handed to students for immediate use!

If you would like to SUPPORT ME you can choose to purchase the FULL PACKAGES of resources through my TEACHERS PAY TEACHERS account.  However, this is not necessary, and all individual assignments are completely FREE through this site.

 

How to Use These Lessons

You can introduce a class to one text, and have them work through all TEN assignments based on the specific text.  However, you may also find it more valuable to progress through the ten skills using a VARIETY of texts.  As each collection uses the same framework, and basic assignments, you will have no problem switching from one story to the next, so long as you MAINTAIN the order in which you tackle the TEN SKILLS.

 

The Short Stories

Below you will find links to the specific SHORT STORIES for which LITERACY SKILLS ASSIGNMENTS have been created.  Feel free to comment with recommendations for additional stories.

Charles, by Shirley Jackson – Lexile Level 760

  1. CHARLES: ANNOTATING
  2. CHARLES: DETERMINING IMPORTANCE
  3. CHARLES: SUMMARIZING
  4. CHARLES: VISUALIZING
  5. CHARLES: INFERRING
  6. CHARLES: QUESTIONING
  7. CHARLES: CONNECTING
  8. CHARLES: COMPARING
  9. CHARLES: PREDICTING
  10. CHARLES: SYNTHESIZING

Charles: Focusing on Literacy Skills [Synthesizing]

Having read your TEXT, you will create a MIND MAP exploring different connections between the story and the world around you.  Next, they will research THREE of the connections before choosing one PROJECT-BASED FORMAT.  Finally, you will use that format to create a SYNTHESIS of both the STORY and your RESEARCH in order to fully express the impact the story had on you.  A short written piece is required to explain your choices.

Charles: A Focus on Literacy Skills

Charles is a short story written by Shirley Jackson in 1948.  A full copy of the text can be READ HERE.  This SERIES will focus on all TEN KEY LITERACY SKILLS.  The lessons are arranged in SEQUENTIAL ORDER which builds a strong foundation before moving on to the next skill.

This series is an excellent way to BEGIN your class’s semester, ensuring everyone has a strong understanding of BASIC LITERACY SKILLS before you gradually release responsibility, asking them to put those skills into practice.

Explore other SHORT STORY LITERACY SKILLS ASSIGNMENTS for more ways to instruct your students.

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Synthesizing

Readers can COMBINE ideas from the TEXT, with ideas from ADDITIONAL TEXTS, as well as with their own prior knowledge.  Through this process they develop a new, fuller understanding of a topic.  Synthesizing combines knowledge from varied sources, creating new insights into a topic.

Requirements

This task is broken into a number of stages.  Ensure you read, and fully understand each stage before you begin.

Mind Mapping

Write the NAME of your story in the CENTRE BUBBLE.  Next, fill the other EIGHT bubbles with ONE WORD EACH.  Each word should be some the story made you THINK about.  FINALLY think of something most of the bubbles have in common.  This will be the THEME of your synthesis piece.

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Research

Once you have completed your mind map, select THREE of the concepts that best fit your THEME. For each concept, research ONE article (of any type) and take brief POINT FORM notes about them in the space provided.

Research Piece Number One

TOPIC       

SOURCE    

NOTES    

 

Research Piece Number Two

TOPIC       

SOURCE    

NOTES    

 

Research Piece Number Three

TOPIC       

SOURCE    

NOTES     

 

Project-Based Synthesis

Now that you have finished your RESEARCH choose and create ONE of the following forms to create a GESTALT SYNTHESIS that demonstrates those concepts to the best of your ability. (A GESTALT is something that when combined is more valuable than the sum of its individual parts).

Remember, your SYNTHESIS must include aspects from both the ASSIGNED TEXT and your RESEARCH PIECES.

Synthesis Forms

  • A short story (600 – 1000 words in length)
  • A collection of poetry (400 – 600 words in length)
  • A short essay (500 – 800 words in length)
  • A visual art piece (8.5 x 11 minimum)
  • A song (1.5 – 3.5 minutes in length)
  • A short live-action video (1.5 – 2.5 minutes in length)
  • A short animated video (30 – 60 seconds)
  • A photo essay (7 – 10 pictures in length)
  • OTHER – Confirm with your teacher before proceeding

Self-Reflection

You are required to WRITE a short (200 – 400) word piece explaining HOW  your finished piece was INFORMED by both the STORY and your THREE RESEARCHED ARTICLES.

Rubric

Finished PROJECT shows strong connection between the text, and three researched concepts. Selected form is used to FULLY and CREATIVELY explore the all aspects of the PROJECT. All pieces are of HIGH QUALITY and show strong evidence of EDITING and REVISION. Self-Reflection shows strong METACOGNITIVE skills, thoroughly exploring all aspects of your creation.

What’s Next

You’ve reached the end of your LITERACY SKILL journey with CHARLES;  However, this is but one journey.  For each story, there is another path to be explored.  Feel free to VIEW ADDITIONAL STORIES or apply these skills and lessons to a personal favourite of your own.


 

Resources

Charles – WhatBinderDotCom Literacy Skills – Synthesizing.PDF

 

 

 

 

Charles: Literacy Skills Series

Charles: Annotating

Charles: Determining Importance

Charles: Summarizing

Charles: Visualizing

Charles: Inferring

Charles: Questioning

Charles: Connecting

Charles: Comparing

Charles: Predicting

Charles: Synthesizing