Short Story Characteristics

 Short Stories
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Slide 1: Slide
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This lesson contains 19 slides, with interactive quizzes, text slides and 1 video.

time-iconLesson duration is: 30 min

Items in this lesson

 Short Stories

Slide 1 - Slide

Plot of story:

Slide 2 - Slide

What are we going to do?
  • look at tools and their definitions
  • apply them to short stories and poems
  • group discussions
  • write a review
  • a mock test: analyse a poem
  • Final literature test 

Slide 3 - Slide

Tools for working on short stories
  • Plot and tension
  • Status quo - rising action - climax - denouement 
  • Character
  • Theme 
  • Setting
  • Narration
  • Irony
  • Symbolism

Slide 4 - 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 5 - Slide

Status quo
Rising action
the starting point of the situation in the story.
the plot develops
It is the moment all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place.

 the story comes to an open or closed end.

Slide 6 - Drag question

  • The status quo 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 denouement is the falling action: the story comes to an open or closed end.

Slide 7 - Slide

  • Protagonist, main character: usually one or two
  •  readers often connect with the character. 
  • Description: often uses labels: e.g. jealous, courageous, cheeky, though, strong, weak, etc. 
  • Not a lot of character development in short stories. 
  • The character is not the same as the plot. 

Slide 8 - Slide

In three to five words, how would you describe yourself as a character?

Slide 9 - Open question

  • 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 usually more than a keyword. 
  • Stories contain multiple themes  

Slide 10 - Slide

Slide 11 - Video

  • 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 12 - 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

Slide 13 - Slide

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 14 - 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. 

Slide 15 - Slide

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

Slide 16 - Slide

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 17 - 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 18 - 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 19 - Quiz