THE VALUE OF SHORT STORIES
Short stories incorporate many basic literary elements.
Main character, setting, conflict, plot, symbols and theme are examples of story elements which appear not only in novels and chapter books, but also in short stories. However, determining these elements in a short story takes less time, for the reading experience is shorter.
Input and feedback are immediate.
As a parent, your child’s questions about and reactions to the short story can be dealt with on the spot because of the length of the story. You can immediately assess your child’s oral reading and literary, discussion and comprehension skills.
The short story form gives children a realistic writing model.
By sharing and analysing language and literary elements as they appear in short stories, children can find examples which they can use as models for their own compositions.
Collections worth collecting…
The short story genre can include fairy tales, folktales, fables and even picture books. Famous traditional authors include Aesop, Hans Christian Anderson and the Brothers Grimm. For Upper Primary pupils, Newbery Award-winner Avi has two well-received collections: Strange Happenings: Five Tales of Transformation and Best Shorts: Favorite Short Stories for Sharing selected by Avi with Carolyn Shute. As Katherine Paterson writes in her afterward, “Do read these stories with your family, your friends or your classmates. Try reading one aloud, your ears catching details that your eyes skipped over.”