I always make sure to read the first few paragraphs of the story, particularly as I notice that students take so long to get to any action in their stories. Engage students in a brainstorming session to recall their prior knowledge about literary elements and devices found in short stories.
What is the literary term for the events of a story? I urge students to design around this story structure, introduced by Anne Lamott: Action. This was a huuuge mistake because there are many examples of successful, very short stories.
What to Improve: Last year, I gave students a minimum word count. Some guided questions to write on the board are: How does a writer set the scene, or open the story? Exposition A strong introduction which gives the setting, and creates the tone of the story while presenting charactersForeshadowing Hints or clues which suggest to the reader what will happen later in the storyInciting Force The event or character that begins the conflictConflict Human versus During the second class period, have students volunteer to read their stories aloud in front of the class, and to type them for printing and display in a public space in the classroom or school.
We also complete Quickwrites as a warm-up.