Advanced Reading Lessons: Short Stories

These are reading lessons based around short stories. These lesson plans are similarly structured to other lesson plans with Speaking, Vocabulary or Grammar activities included.

Disclaimer: These short stories were originally for a adult native-speaker audience and are not really suitable for young learners. The subjects covered may be controversial for some students.

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The Locket

Story Involves: History, revenge, crime.
Plot: A young boy's family starts a new life in the west of the USA in the 19th century, a dream that turns into a nightmare as the father is shot in a bar. Decades later, his son finds himself in a gold rush town and is sure the locket he sees around the neck of an old man used to belong to his father, stolen the night he was slain.
Duration: 80 minutes. Lesson Plan Code: 4R8
Tags: History
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The Box Of Tricks

Story Involves: Family, hobbies, bereavement.
Plot: A man takes up photography as a way of distracting himself after the loss of his wife. He enters a local photography competition while, at home, his sisters-in-law can't understand his absence and his children try to understand his actions.
Duration: 80 minutes. Lesson Plan Code: 4R9
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The Conference

Story Involves: Time travel, science fiction, Second World War.
Plot: Two CIA operatives travel back in time to facilitate the assassination of Hitler and change modern history forever. They just need to ensure a bomb goes off and the German leader is killed. What could possibly go wrong?
Duration: 85 minutes. Lesson Plan Code: 4R11
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The Last Ark

Story Involves: Science Fiction, space travel, loneliness, desperation.
Plot: NASA sends over 200 of its finest on a one way trip to a distant star. After years of hibernation, the first to wake heads to the flight deck to speak with the central computer, Max. Something doesn't seem right. Where are they - and where is everyone else?
Duration: 70 minutes. Lesson Plan Code: 4R12
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The Marston

Story Involves: Paranormal, haunted house, adolescents, adventure.
Plot: Three school friends decide to break into an old part of their school when night comes. Three boys with three very different personalities walk into the school that night. How will they each react to what befalls them?
Duration: 70 minutes. Lesson Plan Code: 4R13
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The Confession

Story Involves: Old age, dying, crime, health care.
Plot: The 8th Earl of Worcester lies dying in a hospital bed. He has weeks left and has invited a senior member of the police into his room to get something off his chest, reveal details of terrible crimes from his past.
Duration: 75 minutes. Lesson Plan Code: 4R14
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The Red Couch

Story Involves: Love story, tragedy, scandal.
Plot: Adriano works to restore Mrs. Flores' old red couch. He discovers a sack of old letters inside the couch and investigates what was a scandal in Buenos Aires many decades before.
Duration: 70 minutes. Lesson Plan Code: 4R15
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Coming, Ready Or Not

Story Involves: Science Fiction, time travel, childhood games.
Plot: Abigail stands counting by the tree while her friends run for dark corners in her large house. She goes into her father's study where she thinks she sees one of those she's looking for. But he's disappeared. And who is the old guy trying to speak to her?
Duration: 70 minutes. Lesson Plan Code: 4R16
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The Observers

Story Involves: Science Fiction, apocalyptic, vacations and tourism.
Plot: Arthur is not used to traveling alone and finds himself on a cruise ship unable to sleep. As he strolls the deck, he comes across a group of people who don't seem to belong. What are they doing on the ship and why are they all peering off into the night towards one point on the horizon?
Duration: 55 minutes. Lesson Plan Code: 4R17
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The Weight Of The Wish

Story Involves: Fantasy, Genies, Wishes, Magic.
Plot: Yushi, the hapless genie, is back at genie school, having committed a gross wish-granting error. He's there to learn how to give away as little as possible the next time he finds himself released from a rum bottle...
Duration: 55 minutes. Lesson Plan Code: 4R19
Tags: School

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