Short Stories are Like a Box of Chocolates

Introduction  |  The Task  |  Resources  |  The Process  |  Learning Advice  |  Grading  |  
Conclusion  |  Credits



You have just learned that the person you like really enjoys one of the authors you just read in English class. You have tried conversing with this person before, but haven't gotten anywhere.  You decide to drop the author's name and story you just read, knowing it is that person's favorite author and story.  The person starts talking non-stop  to you.  The problem is, you only paid half attention in class when the teacher was talking about the author and when the story was being read and discussed.  You now need to find information about the author and the short story in order to continue your conversation with this very special person.

The Task

To get the attention of the person you admire, you will be giving him or her a box of 28 delicious candies.  Candy, however, is not enough.  Each piece of candy will be wrapped and tied with a ribbon of knowledge containing an interesting fact about the author or the story that you have selected.  Prepare twenty-eight interesting facts and on a piece of poster board, draw your box of candy including the ribbon fact tags for each.  Be prepared to present this information to the class.




These Reference Databases, Internet Sites, and Books should help you with this project.


Reference Databases

Use Cherokee High Schools Virtual Library web page for Discovering Collection, Scribners Writers, Twayne's Authors, EBSCOhost, Magill on Literature, and Story Finder.


Internet Sites

The Fifty-first Dragon, by Heywood Broun

Heywood Broun

The Newspaper Guild

Historical Boys Clothing

The Political Graveyard


The Most Dangerous Game, by Richard Connell

Random House

Pop Culture Madness

Today in History

Palm Power Magazine


The Gift of the Magi, by O. Henry

William Sydney Porter

O. Henry Museum

The O. Henry Page


War, by Jack London

Jack London  

The Jack London Collection


The Necklace, Guy de Maupassant

The French Short Story Writer Guy de Maupassant

Guy de Maupassant


The Cask of Amontillado, by Edgar Allan Poe

The Poe Perplex  

The Poe Decoder  

Edgar Allan Poe


The Lady, or the Tiger?, by Frank Stockton

The Literary Gothic

Under the Sun

Hatter's Classics: The Golden Age


Reference Books

REF 808.894           EUR                         European Writers
REF 809                  CON                       Contemporary Literary Criticism (CLC)
REF 809                  NIN                         Nineteenth Century Literature Criticism (NCLC)
REF 809                  TWE                        Twentieth Century Literary Criticism (TCLC)  
REF 809.3               BEACHAMS           Beachamís Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction
REF 809.3               MAG                       Critical Survey of Short Fiction
REF 809.3               SHORT                   Short Story Criticism (SSC) 
REF 809.93             MOSS                     Literature and Its Times
REF 810.9               AME                       American Writers
REF 810.9               AME                       American Writers before 1800
REF 920.03             KUN                       Twentieth Century Authors
REF 973                  REA                        Readerís Companion to American History  


Circulating Books

O. Henry

813 Cur            O. Henry
921 Porter        O. Henry: the legendary life of William S. Porter

Jack London

818 Labor           Jack London
921 London        Jack London, sailor on horseback
921 London        Jack: a biography on Jack London
921 London        Jack London: the man, the writer, the rebel
921 London        Jack London

Guy de Maupassant

843 Wal            Guy de Maupassant

Edgar Allen Poe

813 Lev            The power of blackness: Hawthorne, Poe, Melville
818 Bur            Edgar Allen Poe
818 Regan        Poe: a collection of critical essays
921 Poe            Edgar Allen Poe 
921 Poe            Edgar Allen Poe
921 Poe            Edgar Allen Poe: a mystery
921 Poe            Edgar Allen Poe: his writings and influence
921 Poe            The Haunted palace: a life of Edgar Allen Poe 

Frank Stockton

813.09 Smi    The Popular American Novel, 1865-1920

The Process   


  1. Pick one of the seven short stories we have already read.
  2. Reread the short story so it is fresh in your mind.
  3. Take notes on your story about characters, setting, theme(s), plot, symbols, 
    and anything else you think is interesting.
  4. Use the resources that are listed for you, they were put there for a reason.
  5. Create notecards with some interesting facts to use for the project.
  6. On a piece of poster board create your box of candy, including a piece of knowledge to go along with each piece of candy.
  7. Present your facts to the class.

Learning Advice


All information used for this assignment must be put into your own words. Plagiarism will not be tolerated; you will receive a zero for the assignment.

You can only use the books and websites that are listed here for your information.  



This project is worth 140 points.  
You will receive 3 points for each interesting fact, which can total up to 84 points.  
The presentation to the class is worth 30 points.  
The visual is worth 26 points.



Congratulations, you have just completed your first literary criticism, just one of many to come in your high school career.  Because you had to do in-depth research work, you will now be more prepared for the next literary criticism project that you will be assigned in your sophomore year.  By doing this literary criticism, you have just strengthened your reading, researching, writing, and presenting skills.  These
                                 are important skills that you should possess.



This page written by Ms. Czop, Education Media Specialist and Mrs. Smith, English Teacher
Last updated: January 2002

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