Grade Levels: K-3

These classroom activities are designed to complement the Short Story topic on BrainPOP Jr.

One Liner
As a writing exercise, pick a sentence for students to include in a short story. You may want to choose a piece of dialogue such as “Of course I can do that!” or a silly sentence such as “The penguin told me it was too hot.” Write the sentence on the board and have them create a short story around the line. Remind students that the line does not have to be the punch line, it just has to be used in the story in some way. Have students outline their story, make story maps, and write, revise, and proofread their work. You may want to pair up students to help each other revise and proofread. After they are completed with their stories, have student volunteer share their stories or publish them in a class anthology.

A Big Problem

Remind students that many short stories have a conflict, or a problem that the characters face. Discuss different problems that students have faced and together as a class, create a story map. Brainstorm settings, characters, and different events that can happen in the story. Then have students write the short story. Even though the settings, characters, and events may be the same, the styles will differ. Have students share their work and compare and contrast how the stories are alike and different.

Short Story Study

Have students bring in their favorite short stories and share them with the class. You may want to have students read their stories to the class or have them summarize and create a short story report. Discuss the characters, setting, problem, and events in each story. How does the character change? How does the character face the problem? What is the main character like? Have students make observations about the short stories they read.

Revisionist History

Have your students research different historical events and figures. Then have them write a short story “revising” history. What might have happened if we did not land a person on the moon? What might have happened if the Pilgrims did not land in Plymouth? Have students outline their ideas and write short pieces of historical fiction and share them with each other.