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Scary Short Stories for Middle School Students

Do you have reluctant readers who insist they've never enjoyed ANY books or stories they've read in school? Would you like a way to draw those haters in and prove them wrong?

Dim the lights, dig deep for your best Bella Lugosi-voice and dive into a juicy, horrifying, tale of terror.

Even the most reluctant of readers LOVE scary stories.

Best yet, they engage in awesome discussions about that scary story when you're finished! Often, kids will even create their own extension assignments, such as rewriting an ending, or continuing a story, or writing their own scary story.

If that happens, LET THEM! Capitalize on their interest and use it as an opportunity to read a story for the sole purpose of enjoying it. Let kids write what they want to write. Because nothing is better than kids who are begging to write.

If you're not sure how scary you can go before getting phone calls about Junior sitting up in a bed all night, wide-eyed and wielding a baseball bat, ask the kids what degree of "scary" they want to experience.

Here is the "Creep-O-Meter" barometer I use and the stories that match up with each level of creepiness.

5 Simple Steps for Teaching Theme

If you have been struggling to teach theme, you are not alone, teacher friend.

Typically, my students think the theme is a one-word topic. Or worse, they think the cliche,  you can't judge a book by its cover, is the theme of every single book, story, poem, film, and text message ever written.

I struggled with this for a long time.

Meaning I bit my nails to the quick.

Then I came up with a technique that works like a charm. And I think this easy-peasy method of teaching kids to find the theme of ANY work of literature will work for you too!

Cue the SLIME!

Want to Have a Sweet Start to the School Year? Simple Tricks to Use the First Week

Get off to a sweet start by having kids come up with their own procedures and expectations, and be sure to use this cool twist!
I wish I could say that the words "back to school" make me excited enough to wave some pom-poms. But I'd be lying through my teeth.

The truth is, prior to the first day of school, I'm filled with fear and trepidations, resulting in terrible nightmares. I worry that I've lost my teaching mojo. I worry that I won't have "control" of my classes. I even worry that I won't like the kids and they won't like me.

Do you have those same concerns? I bet you do. And here's the kicker. Our students face similar fears.

Sounds like fun, right? We're going back to school and everybody is scared witless.

I'm not going to tell you the anxiety is ridiculous. Unfortunately, all of those disturbing thoughts are real possibilities.

But I AM going to tell you two simple and powerful activities that you can do to during the first week of school to make sure these fears get kicked to the curb.

You will, in fact, have a sweeeeet start to the school year.
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