You’ll often be looking at longer narrative works during GCSE English classes, and many students will find such work extremely rewarding. However, you shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to bring in a few short stories, and here are just three reasons why.
- Wider Access to Famous Authors
Some writers only ever wrote novels. Some writers only ever wrote short stories. However, most novelists also tried their hand at the odd short story. If you’re studying a novel written by an author who also turned out a fair few short stories, it only makes sense to study one of those shorter works. All it takes is a single lesson to cover the story and its key themes, and doing so can help open up that author to your students and give them an idea of his or her wider work.
- Easier Engagement
One of the struggles that comes with teaching novels is having to read one work over several weeks. Students may forget about key passages or themes, and it’s harder to engage with a story when you read it in short chunks. A short story can be read in a single sitting, so you might find that students who found it hard to deal with larger works are in their element when looking at short stories. They can then transfer the skills they developed looking at shorter works to tackle larger set texts.
- A More Direct Look at Themes and Characters
Most novels will present readers with multiple themes and characters. This makes for a much richer reading experience, but it can sometimes be helpful to look at something more focused. Short stories almost always use a very small cast of characters and a single guiding theme, so they’re generally more manageable. You can even use more pronounced short story themes to tease out those same themes in larger works.