What are your favorites? Which ones are the staple of your curriculum?
Here are a few of mine:
1. Hop Frog by Poe
2. There Will Come Soft Rains by Bradbury
3. The Bass, The River and Sheila Mant by Wetherell (spelling? sorry!)
4. The Yellow Wallpaper by Perkins
5. Gift of the Magi by O.Henry
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What a great question! My five all-time favorites are:
1. "The Necklace" by Guy de Maupassant
2. "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" by Flannery O'Connor
3. "Charles" by Shirley Jackson
4. "The Masque of the Red Death" by Edgar Allan Poe
5. "The Open Window" by Saki/H. H. Munro
The best American short stories, well in my humble opinion, include the following:
1. William Faulkner's "Barn Burning"
2. Ray Bradbury's "A Sound of Thunder"
3. Richard Connell's "The Most Dangerous Game"
4. James Thurber's "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty"
5. Ernest Hemingway's "Hills Like White Elephants"
For teaching, I love a story that has some kind of hook to it, so I chose these 5 for my post:
1. I love all of Flannery O'Connor's stories. I can't pick just one, but I'd put her up there at the top for any of hers. I guess if I had to pick a favorite, it'd be "Good Country People." I mean, honestly, the guy steals her artificial leg. You can't get a better hook than that. Once they've read it once, they can go back and analyze it some more for the various elements, etc.
2. I also really liked "With All Flags Flying," by Anne Tyler; my 10th graders were able to understand/relate to it well. I like the fact that even though the protagonist is an older man, my young students could understand how he felt and admire his resolve.
3. "The Minister's Black Veil" by Hawthorne is interesting, too. It's a great introduction to older American literature, and it helps the kids understand the Puritan culture.
4. For funny, I like "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," by James Thurber. It's easy for kids to picture their own daydreams, or to picture people who might be Walter Mittys in their own lives.
5. You can't go wrong with the smash-bang ending on Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily," either. There's no better hook than necrophilia, is there?
Bonus entry: For older students, I really like a short story I found online once, called "Death by Scrabble," by Charlie Fish. It's really funny, and the hook is the opening line: "It's a hot day and I hate my wife." I say it's for older students because there are a few mild curse words in it.
I need you help in American first short stories
Wish you a good evening!
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