How to Teach Literature

How to Teach Literature

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:

These are some of my favorite reading when I have to teach literature

Dr Jekill and MR Hyde

Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is a novella by the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson first published in 1886.

The work is also known as The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, or simply Jekyll & Hyde.

It is about a London lawyer named Gabriel John Utterson who investigates strange occurrences between his old friend, Dr Henry Jekyll, and the evil Edward Hyde.

The novella’s impact is such that it has become a part of the language, with the very phrase “Jekyll and Hyde” coming to mean a person who is vastly different in moral character from one situation to the next.

Read the book and take some of these quizzes

  1. Quiz – 31 questions  (
  2. Quiz – 25 Questions (
  3. Quiz – 25 Questions  (
  4. Quiz–  25 questions  (
  5. Quiz – 10 questions  (
  6. Quiz –  8 questions  (


  1. Video that summarizes the plot
  2. Video that summarizes the characters
  3. Video that summarizes the themes of the story
Death of a Salesman

Death of a Salesman

It is a 1949 play written by American playwright Arthur Miller. It was the recipient of the 1949 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Award for Best Play. The play premiered on Broadway in February 1949, running for 742 performances, and has been revived on Broadway four times, winning three Tony Awards for Best Revival. It is widely considered to be one of the greatest plays of the 20th century.

  1. Death of a Salesman (EPUB version)
  2. Death of a Salesman (PDF Version)


  1. Willy Loman:  An insecure traveling salesman, father of Biff and Happy and married to Linda.
  2. Biff Loman: Willy’s thirty-four-year-old elder son.
  3. Linda Loman:  Willy’s loving wife.
  4. Happy Loman: Willy’s thirty-two-year-old younger son
  5. Charley:  Willy’s Neighbor
  6. Bernard: Charley’s son and an important, successful lawyer.
  7. Ben: Willy’s wealthy older brother
  8. The Woman:  Willy’s mistress
  9. Howard Wagner : Willy’s boss.
  10. Stanley:  A waiter at Frank’s Chop House
  11. Miss Forsythe and Letta :Two young women whom Happy and Biff meet at Frank’s Chop House.
  12. Jenny: Charley’s secretary.


  1. Quiz (12 Questions)
  2. Full Book  Quiz (25 Questions)
  3. Quiz (25 Questions)
  4. Quiz (20 Questions)
  5. Quiz (25 Questions)
  6. Quiz (10 Questions)
  7. Another  Quiz
  8. Death of a Salesman Study Guide for Teachers

10 Things that You Should Know about Death of a Salesman

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