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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.

Each classic story is copyright free in Australia, the U.K. and U.S. Paragraphs are numbered for ease of reference.

There are four activities, corresponding to Bloom’s taxonomy of lower- to higher-order tasks.

  • A comprehension question checks knowledge and understanding

  • A close reading task assists development of textual analysis

  • A writing at length task involves considering the story’s effect, mood, or technical strategies.

  • A choice of two creative writing tasks use an aspect of the story as a springboard to write creatively, discursively, or persuasively.


These two very short absurdist stories, ‘To Light a Match’, by Stephen Leacock and ‘A Common Confusion’, by Franz Kafka, are around 1000 words altogether and have been successfully used with a Year 7/8 class (11-13 years).

Short Story Study: Two Very Short Absurdist Stories

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