October is underway and I’m here to help add a little horror to your language skills class! Recently, I sat down with the author of Creepy Books, Jeff Szpirglas (who is also an educator), and his book and stories are just what we need this month! The book we discussed is for older students, but he also writes for younger children and adults!
His book, Stories from the edge of fear is intended for class five and above. It involves 13 short stories that let the reader struggle with what the hell just happened? And it’s beautiful. In my recent chat with Jeff, he explained why he prefers short stories and how the ambiguity at the end resembles real life, where there are not always happy endings or situations are complex.
Wondering if this book is for you and your class or children? Think Goonies meetings Stranger Things. The theme analogous in our present life was a community. If you are looking for a book to keep yourself and students (or children) interested and engaged, he will nail it in these 10-12 minute short stories. For the rest of October, you can tell a story of the day!
There were so many educational moments that I just could not miss when I read these stories with my own students:
- Shadow and analyze clues
- To draw conclusions / draw conclusions
- Discussing new vocabulary
- Plot twists and surprises
Here are some ideas to encourage creative writing after reading a short story from this book (or any short story):
- Continue the story and finish it the way you want
- Write a similar short story, one that leaves the reader hanging
- Write an eerie poem
- Compare two stories and explain the rating you give them (five stars or two stars)
- Write a letter to the author and ask him questions you were thinking while listening
- Create an illustration and explain how one of the stories goes.
Have spooky fun reading and writing
We loved Stories from the edge of fear, but if you watch my book chat, about 24 minutes in, Jeff Szpirglas reads “Bad Moon Rising,” and if you click the button above, he reads another short story “The Lunchroom.” You can use these two stories to perform all the expansion activities. We just hope you have fun in your classroom this month. Something creepy fun, then!
About the author
Melody McAllister is a wife, mother of five, educator and author. She and her family moved to Alaska from the Dallas area in 2019. McAllister is the 2017 Garland NAACP Educator of the Year and author of I’m Sorry Story. She is also the Logistics Manager for EduMatch Publishing and Alice Keeler, LLC. McAllister has spoken on ISTE and ASTE about stock issues in education and writes about his journey in his blog, HeGaveMeAMelody.com. If you would like to schedule an author to read with your class, please contact her on Twitter or email her at [email protected]
Join Melody’s BookChat every Wednesday at 20.00 EST at YouTube.com/melodymcallister