My favorite story to read in October around Halloween time is “Duffy’s Jacket” by Bruce Coville. Click the link below for a FREE handout to help you teach this awesome story!
It can be read in one class period, it is highly suspenseful, and I can bang my hands on my podium at just the right point in the story and get a nice scream out of my students! They absolutely LOVE this story, and they hang on to every word. This is why I read it out loud to them. I do not stop to discuss the plot or characters or any other literary device because they would certainly protest and roll their eyes, or worse, read ahead!
Once we are done with the story, however, I have plenty of time to include some good Common Core activities. This story lends itself perfectly for a discussion on how the setting affects the plot. It also is a great text to analyze suspense and how foreshadowing helps create it! Check out a sample packet that I have put together for this story by clicking the link below.