20 Great American Short Stories

American Short Stories

When you teach a literature class, you have and your students have to do some reading. There are many American Short Stories to choose from.

You can’t predict what stories your students are going to love but you know what you love and that’s a good start, read some of them to see how you feel about them.

These are the best American Short Stories that every English Language Learner Should Read

#1 The Gift of the Magi (1905) by O. Henry

#2 The Little Match Girl (1905) by Hans Christian Andersen

#3 To Build a Fire (1908) by Jack London

#4 An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge (1890, 1891) by Ambrose Bierce

#5 A Dark Brown Dog (written ~1893, published 1901) by Stephen Crane

#6 The Monkey’s Paw (1902) by W.W. Jacobs

#7 Eve’s Diary (1906) by Mark Twain

#8 The Story of an Hour (1894, 1895) by Kate Chopin

#9 The Luck of Roaring Camp (1868) by Bret Harte

#10 Regret (1897) by Kate Chopin

#11 The Skylight Room (1906) by O. Henry

#12 A Horseman in the Sky (1889) by Ambrose Bierce

#13 The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1820) by Washington Irving

#14 My Kinsman, Major Molineux (1832), by Nathaniel Hawthorne

#15 Young Goodman Brown (1835), by Nathaniel Hawthorne

#16 The Minister’s Black Veil (1836) by Nathaniel Hawthorne

#17 The Cactus (1882) by O. Henry

#18 The Tell-Tale Heart (1843) by Edgar Allan Poe

#19 Scarlet Stockings (~1869) by Louisa May Alcott

#20 An Angel in Disguise by T.S. Arthur

I think that you are going to love most of those stories but in case you want to explore other option, have a look at the 100 best short stories of all time.

Regardless of your choices, remember to make the most out of those reading, remember that every reading lesson is made up of three stages:

  1. Pre-reading
  2. During-reading
  3. While-reading

Take into account that there are many resources on the web to complement those stories, a one-minute google search can get you worksheets, teaching ideas, quizzes and questions to analyze those short stories.

For instance, When searching information about the Monley’s Paw, you will find this information in less than five minutes:

If you want to learn more about literature, have a look at the English Literature page on this site

Which one of these stories is the best for you?

Do you have any oher short story that could be include into this list?

Leave a comment with your good reads.

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