Middle school is a funny place. Students can be mature and insightful one minute, obtuse and petulant the next. Yet even the most resistant scholar will enjoy a good story. The 40 stories below are sometimes surprising, other times hair-raising. They are all guaranteed to raise questions and instigate discussions in your classroom that can lead to meaningful dialogues about what really matters in the lives of your students.
Just $3 per month (or $36 your first year!)
Note: Would you like access to ALL of our curated short story resources right here on this page — without having to enter your email address more than a dozen times?
For less than the cost of one cup of coffee shop java, you can have ongoing access to current and future curated resources! Let us do the late-night searching for you. Sign up here for instant digital access.
Purchased access but still not seeing links to the resources? Make sure you login to your account by clicking the Customer area link at the top of the page and entering the login information you created. Click the “All Curated Short Story Access Membership” link in your customer area.
- All Summer in a Day by Ray Bradbury | Short Story Unit | Short Story Unit on TpT
- Amigo Brothers by Piri Thomas
- The Scholarship Jacket by Marta Salinas
- Icarus and Daedalus by Josephine Preston Peabody
- Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keys
- Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
- Raymond’s Run by Toni Cade Bambara
- Rules of the Game by Amy Tan
- The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs
- The Bass, the River, and Sheila Mant by W.D. Wetherell
- To Build a Fire by Jack London
- The Ransom of Red Chief by O. Henry
- Seventh Grade by Gary Soto
- A Sound of Thunder by Ray Bradbury
- The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe (includes audio and text)
- The Lady or the Tiger? by Frank Stockton
- There Will Come Soft Rains by Ray Bradbury
- The Lottery by Shirley Jackson
- Hearts and Hands by O. Henry
- Mother and Daughter by Gary Soto
- The Rocking Horse Winner by D. H. Lawrence
- Miss Awful by Arthur Cavenaugh
- Charles by Shirley Jackson
- The Moustache by Robert Cormier
- Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne
- The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka* (This is a longer work appropriate for students who can complete some of the reading at home.)
- The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell
- The Two Brothers by Leo Tolstoy
- The Black Cat by Edgar Allan Poe
- The Sniper by Liam O’Flaherty
- An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce
- The Veldt by Ray Bradbury
- Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving
- The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
- The Third Wish by Joan Aiken
- The Landlady by Roald Dahl
- The Fun They Had by Isaac Asimov
- Rikki Tikki Tavi by Rudyard Kipling
- The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe
- Thank you, Ma’am by Langston Hughes
- Names/Nombres by Julia Alvarez
- The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry | Assessment Activity & Creative Writing Project | Assessment Activity & Creative Writing Project on TpT
- The Possibility of Evil by Shirley Jackson | Assessment Activity & Writing Project | Assessment Activity & Writing Project on TpT
- The Masque of the Red by Death by Edgar Allan Poe* | Assessment Activity | Assessment Activity on TpT
- The Stone by Lloyd Alexander
- 2 B R 0 2 B by Kurt Vonnegut | Audio Recording
Purchased access but still not seeing links to the resources? Make sure you login to your account by clicking the Customer area link at the top of the page and entering the login information you created. You can then return to this post, or click the “All Curated Short Story Access Membership” link in your customer area. Once you login, your short story list will look like this.
NOTE: Curated resources do not include the units that RTE has developed in house.
Copyright notice: These stories are published on sites other than reThinkELA.com and NO copyrighted stories are excerpted or quoted in RTE-created materials. Some stories are in the public domain (not copyrighted), or are excerpts of larger works, while others are not. In some cases, teachers may print a class set for their own classroom usage, but there are exceptions. Please check with your district regarding its policies and licenses for reproducing printed copies. Generally speaking, you may ask students to download their own copies (outside of the one you download for your own use) to their devices for their own educational studies.
I am a secondary English Language Arts teacher, a University of Oklahoma student working on my Master’s of Education in Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum with an concentration in English Education, and a NBPTS candidate. I am constantly seeking ways to amplify my students’ voices and choices.