Short Story Intro

 Short Stories
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EngelsMiddelbare schoolhavo, vwoLeerjaar 4

This lesson contains 27 slides, with interactive quizzes, text slides and 1 video.

time-iconLesson duration is: 45 min

Items in this lesson

 Short Stories

Slide 1 - Slide

Let's start with short stories...
What are short stories and how do they work? 
Grab your notebook and write down keywords while watching the following video. 

Slide 2 - Slide

Slide 3 - Video

What are some of your key words?

Slide 4 - Slide

Characteristics of a short story
  • it started as oral tales and ballads
  • 19th century: started to look like the current form, so written down and printed, usually in magazines. 
  • It is called short, doesn't mean it's always short. It can be lenghty too. They are meant to be read in one sitting
  • There is usually a twist at the end
  • Often reveals a certain aspect of a character 

Slide 5 - Slide

Tools for working on short stories
  • Plot and tension
  • Exposition - rising action - climax - falling action - resolution 
  • Character
  • Theme 
  • Setting
  • Narration
  • Irony
  • Symbolism

Slide 6 - Slide

Plot and tension
  • The plot is the development in the story. One action or event relates to another action or event.
       Example: The King died, and the Queen died of grief.
       The ‘wh-questions’ are a good means to discover the plot.
  • Tension (or suspense) relates to the plot. The more (unexpected) things happen, the more tension a reader will experience.

Slide 7 - Slide

  • The exposition is the starting point of the situation in the story.
  • Then the plot develops: rising action, working its way towards the climax.
  • The climax of the story is usually towards the end of the story, but not necessarily the end itself. It is the moment all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place.
  • The resolution comes after the falling action: the story comes to an open or closed end.

Slide 8 - Slide

  • Protagonist, main character: usually one or two

  • Be detailed in your description: jealous, courageous, cheeky, though, strong, weak, etc. 
  • Not a lot of character development in short stories. 

Slide 9 - Slide

  • The theme is the message of the story. 
  • When you know the theme you will understand the story. 
  • Some keywords for themes: love - revenge - redemption - good vs evil 
  • You need to be able to describe the theme, so a theme is more than a keyword. 
  • Stories contain multiple themes  

Slide 10 - Slide

  • Time and place
  •  Examples for place: country, house, room
  • Examples for time: specific year or era, war time, future, seasons
  • Sometimes there are no direct references, so look for clues. For example: references to historic events, name of the king/queen, is it inside our outside. 

Slide 11 - Slide

Narration or Point of view
  • The narrator is the person or other character who is telling us the story. 
  • Usually it is clear who the narrator is. 
  • Different narration types

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First person or I-narrative
  •  it is told from a particular character's point of view, as they are experiencing it themselves 
  • Usually you don't get the perspectives of other characters. 
  • uses first person pronouns (I, we, me, us) 

Slide 13 - Slide

Third person narrative
  • tells the story using third person pronouns (they,  their, he, she) 
  • Usually narrated by an outsider, someone who doesn't appear in the story. 

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All-knowing or omniscient
  • The narrator knows all and sees all.
  • thoughts and feelings of different characters

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Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. They were the last people you’d expect to be involved in anything strange or mysterious, because they just didn’t hold with such nonsense.
First person
Third person

Slide 16 - Quiz

Call me Ishmael. Some years ago—never mind how long precisely—having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world.
First person
Third Person

Slide 17 - Quiz

Margaret, the eldest of the four, was sixteen, and very pretty, being plump and fair, with large eyes, plenty of soft brown hair, a sweet mouth, and white hands, of which she was rather vain. Fifteen-year-old Jo was very tall, thin, and brown, and reminded one of a colt … Elizabeth, or Beth, as everyone called her, was a rosy, smooth-haired, bright-eyed girl of thirteen, with a shy manner, a timid voice, and a peaceful expression, which was seldom disturbed … “
First person
Third person

Slide 18 - Quiz

  • The explanation of the title may help you understand the theme of the story. 
  • The author will want to make you think 
  • For example: One Flew over the cuckoo's nest, the Catcher in the Rye. 

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  • Think of sarcasm. When it is raining and someone tells you: "What a lovely day to be outside."
  •  What you hear or see does not match with reality.
  • Often used in cases of misfortune:
    Win the lottery and die the next day
    Being hit by an ambulance

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What is the irony here?

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What is the irony here?

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  • A symbol stands for something else, bigger, universal.
  • It is a literary technique that adds meaning to a short story by using an event or object as a symbol to represent something else. 
  • For example, a gravestone may be a symbol of death since gravestones are associated with death.
  • Many authors use symbolism to subtly allude to the meaning of something without being obvious.

Slide 23 - Slide

When using symbolism, the following would stand for?

Slide 24 - Open question

When using symbolism, the following would stand for?

Slide 25 - Open question

  •  is a literary device that writers utilize as a means to indicate or hint to readers something that is to follow or appear later in a story.
  •   is an excellent device in terms of creating suspense and dramatic tension for readers.
  • For example: In Game of Thrones: "Winter Is Coming"

Slide 26 - Slide

First Short Story: The Veldt
Read & Listen to the Short story The Veldt
(Studiewijzer for the Class)

Homework: Part 1; exercises 1-6

Read the exercises first!

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