Looking for a one-page short story from a modern writer that’ll hook your students? Sticks, a flash fiction short story by George Saunders (it’s only 392 words – just two paragraphs!), packs an emotional wallop and gives students plenty to analyze.
Although not particularly religious, the story is about a man who builds a large metal cross out of poles (“a kind of crucifix he’d built”) and decorates it for various holidays and occasions. (Click here to read the story.)
Inspired by this story I couldn’t get out of my head, I built a question set to help guide students through their reading. My lesson materials also include a link to a high-quality video supplement (10 minutes) that can help you hit a few extra Common Core State Standards, including CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.7 – Analyze the representation of a subject or a key scene in two different artistic mediums, including what is emphasized or absent in each treatment.
Want a copy my of lesson materials? Just click here: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Sticks-by-George-Saunders-Modern-Short-Story-Literary-Analysis-PDF-Digital-9028915
I also added Saunders to my author biography research grid collection because he’s a cool dude with an interesting career history: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/George-Saunders-Author-Research-Sticks-Author-Bio-PDF-Google-Drive-CCSS-9028886
Teach on, everyone!
Image credit: Laura Randazzo with assistance of DALL·E 2