Mr. Patterson's Blog

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Short Story Unit

Today we launch into a mini-short story unit. We’re going to look at a handful of short stories and short films. At the core of this unit, we’re going to deal with a basic but important questions: What makes a story worth telling. Short stories are an excellent way to wrestle with this question on a small scale. Short stories are often narrow in focus and singular in purpose. This makes them easy to analyse and discuss as a class.

To open, we’re going to watch a TED talk by Pixar mastermind Andrew Stanton who has some very interesting things to say about the nature of story (i.e. What makes a good one). I want you to pay attention so we can chat about it when we’re done.

HWK: Read the story “Stop that Girl” and answer the following questions on a sheet of paper. These do not have to be complicated, detailed answers (a few sentences each should do) but enough that we can discuss them next class.


  1. Who’s story is it?
  2. How are we made to care about that person?
  3. What is the central character’s inner motivation?
  4. Is the central character likable or relatable?
  5. Does the central character change (even slightly) by the end of the story?
  6. Was this a story worth telling?



Author: pattersonmalvern

I am a teacher at Malvern Collegiate Institute. This is a blog to help students keep track of their work.

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