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Short stories are a vital part of English literature. These short story studies can be used to build a short story unit, to supplement other texts, or as a standby lesson.


Use this with our FREE Introduction to Short Stories two-page handout.


These activities support Deborah Ellis's recent short story 'Boot Camp', which can be found free online by searching for the title.


Activities correspond to Bloom’s taxonomy of lower- to higher-order tasks.

  • A comprehension question checks knowledge and understanding
  • Application questions ask students to apply their knowledge of literary or rhetorical technique
  • Analytical questions interrogate the story’s effect, mood, and construction-strategies.
  • Creative writing tasks use an aspect of the story as a springboard to write creatively, discursively, or persuasively.


Ellis's story about growing up and making mistakes has been successfully used with a Stage 4 / Year 9 class (15 years).

Short Story Study: Deborah Ellis, 'Boot Camp'

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