1) “Cemetery Path” – This short story is just the right amount of mystery to keep kids engaged while covering some key skills. Below is a student sample of a poetry-writing exercise to transform the short story into a poem that we did following an analysis of the short story. Talk about higher-order thinking skills! This NO PREP lesson is available in a bundle here.
2) “The Listeners” – I was first introduced to this poem in college. My methods teacher had a knack for finding the most interesting poetry to share with us. I’ve used it every year that I’ve had my own classroom, and kids are always intrigued and willing to create answers for all the unanswered questions the poem poses. After we read the poem, we do a fun, text-based, real-life project. Do you have the guts to sell a haunted house? This NO PREP lesson is available in a bundle here.
3) “Upton Wood” is another poem that doesn’t fall into the classics category that most students have already seen by the time they to get to junior English, but it certainly doesn’t disappoint. It’s rich in imagery and mystery. We always spend time close reading and annotating this one together in class, and it’s fun to follow it up with a narrative task where students create an alternate ending. A complete NO PREP lesson is available here.
4) Frankenstein is a top five classic Halloween story for senior English and/or students in a British Lit class. The 2004 Lions Gate version with Don Sutherland is the best screen adaptation I’ve seen. It makes an excellent supplement or substitute for the novel reading. My NO PREP Movie Viewing Pack is available here.
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