We are grateful to all teachers, English teachers and literature professors from around the world who have taken up the challenge of teaching reading, writing, and critical thinking skills to the world's students. Please use the free resources at our website to awaken a life-long passion for literature and learning in your students. Tell your colleagues if you find them helpful. And thank you for choosing to teach!
- Pre-K Wordplay!
Toddlers and children in pre-kindergarten have fun and build confidence playing with words. Enjoy this selection of nursery rhymes, counting songs, hink pink riddles, and read-aloud stories to encourage the very earliest readers. We also offer a collection of Yummy Stories
- Short Stories for Children
Classic children's stories, fairytales and folktales with beautiful illustrations, as well as some text exemplars, specifically for pre-k to elementary school. Beatrix Potter, Aesop, Mother Goose, Grimm, Andersen, Kipling, Carroll, Hawthorne, Margery Williams, Ruth Stiles Gannett, Laura E. Richards, Edward Lear, Oscar Wilde, and many more! Great resource for parents.
- Chapter Books for Young Readers
The Secret Garden, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The Wind in the Willows, Alice in Wonderland, The Jungle Book, Treasure Island, Little Women, Black Beauty, Treasure Island, and more to inspire independent reading.
- Short Stories for Middle School Students
and Vol II
. A wide-range of genres to engage all 6th through 8th grade, up to high school readers.
- Short Stories for High School Students
and Vol II
. Note, some of these stories are suitable for college level course work. If high school students have not read some of the iconic stories on the Middle School list, please consider assigning some for extra credit.
- Study Guides
Resource guides by title and genre, designed for MS & HS teachers and students to understand the plot, analyze characters, historic context, literary devices, and meaningful quotes. We offer discussion questions and useful links to augment your lesson plans for: Moby-Dick; The Call of the Wild, The Gift of the Magi, The Little Match Girl; An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge; The Pit and the Pendulum, Song of Myself, The Story of An Hour; Feminist Literature; Dark Romanticism; Transcendentalism; and Gothic Literature. More coming soon!
The Velveteen Rabbit
- Useful Idioms
A selection of popular idioms and their meaning, for students and English language learners.
- Poetry for the Well-Read Student
Fifty great poems for middle school, high school, and beyond... Poetry exemplars to inspire students to enjoy the power of well chosen words. Whitman, Frost, Carroll, Dickinson, Hughes, Emerson, John Donne, Longfellow, Millay, Li Bai, T.S. Eliot, Akhmatova, Browning, Wilde, Teasdale, Coleridge, Shakespeare, and many more. New! American Patriotic Songs
- Children's Poetry
Especially selected poems to engage children from pre-k to elementary school, including exemplars and poems your students will enjoy for their whimsy; Dickinson, Browning, Frost, Millay, Lear, Mother Goose, Kipling, Tennyson, Williams, Alcott, Thayer, Lazarus, Richards.
- Haiku Poetry
are simply stunning favorites for building literacy skills. His short story,
The haiku poems by The Aged Mother
, is wonderful for older children through adult. Enjoy Basho's beautiful contributions to literature for yourself!
Chuang Tzu and the Butterfly
- American History
Students will better understand historical context by reading works from authors who were there and shaped events of their day. Lincoln, Jefferson, Franklin, Roosevelt, King, Jr., Stowe, Hughes, Douglass, Stanton, Bierce. Easy-access to the U.S. Constitution, summary of the Amendments, notable historic essays, speeches, persuasive writing exemplars.
- African American Literature
Profiles of activist authors who wrote about issues of racial equality and influenced public opinion. Douglass, Northup, King, Jr, Booker T. Wasington, Du Bois, Stowe, Chesnutt, Dunbar-Nelson and more. Relevant historic documents, including reconstruction amendments.
- Civil War Stories
A collection of short stories, books, essays, letters, poems and speeches about the American Civil War. Crane, Lincoln, Stowe, Ambrose Bierce, Henry James, Whitman, Edward Everett Hale, Alcott, Howe, and Sullivan Ballou. New! Civil War Songs
- World War I Literature
A collection of poems, stories, novels capturing the brutal realities of fear and loss during wartime. Interesting propaganda posters students can use as springboards for further research. You might also appreciate Foodie Books & Wartime Recipes
Robert E. Lee: Child's Biography
- Biographies for Kids
American authors and historical figures have interesting stories of their own; biographies written especially for older children.
- 25 Great American Novels
The usual suspects: Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn, The Red Badge of Courage, The Secret Garden, Moby-Dick, The Scarlet Letter, The Call of the Wild, The Awakening, The Jungle, and many other classics.
- Common Core Text Exemplars
- Studies in Classic American Literature
D.H. Lawrence's analysis of Moby Dick, The Scarlett Letter, Fenimore Cooper, Poe, Hardy, Melville, Whitman, and Franklin.
Moby-Dick; or, The Whale
- 100 Great Short Stories
This is a great resource to inspire students to read a broad range of authors and write their own.
- 75 Short Short Stories
Appropriate for middle school and high school students, these stories can be read in five minutes or less, sorted by mood (witty, introspective, morality tales, other-worldly) to engage students in reading, particularly those who might be reluctant to commit to a novel or long story.
- 50 Great Feel-Good Stories
Sorted into two sections: one for middle school/high school through adult, the other for elementary children. These stories offer that "good feeling" which makes reading such a joy. Authors include O. Henry, Oscar Wilde, Kathleen Norris, Leo Tolstoy, T.S. Arthur, Bret Harte, Willa Cather, Charles Dickens, Ernest Hemingway, Anton Chekhov, Stephen Crane, Louisa May Alcott, H.H. Munro (SAKI), James Baldwin, L. Frank Baum, Beatrix Potter, Hans Christian Andersen, Joseph Martin Kronheim, and many more.
- All About The Short Story
This is an introductory page that helps students get acquainted with the short story form and find the answers to some commonly asked questions; what's the definition of a short story, how long is a good short story, how are short stories different from poems and novels, where can I find examples of good short stories? A helpful self-study quiz for students will be added shortly.
- Elementary School Reading
If you are teaching kindergarten through 5th grade (K-5), you will find age-appropriate reading in the Children's Library
, where we feature great stories for kids to read, as well as great stories to read out loud to children. Pre-K and beginner readers will enjoy exploring Pre-K Wordplay!
Stronger readers might try to read a selection from Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories
. There is also an illustrated section devoted to Aesop's Fables
. Kindergarten and first-grade teachers, visit Mother Goose's Nursery Rhymes
- Seasonal Reading for the Classroom
When I was a student in the younger grades, it was always a special treat when Halloween and Christmas rolled around and the teacher would read seasonal-specific stories to us, or assign them in class. I suppose current teachers have to exercise a lot of judgement in their selections now -- with deference to the heightened sensibilities regarding religious freedom, political correctness, etc. Hopefully some of you will find stories that you can share with your classes amongst the following collections:
Children's Christmas Stories
The Gothic, Ghost, Horror & Weird Library
- The Bard: William Shakespeare
Don't forget Shakespeare! This is a collection of Shakespeare plays and sonnets.
- Features Page
This page highlights more resources at the site, inlcuding historical documents, a collection of African-American literature, a listing of women authors, poetry, essays, fairy-tales, and more.
- Literature & History
- Teachers Teaching Teachers
I want to build a section here, with links that will help teachers to become better teachers, find ways to inspire their students and spark the joy of reading in them. I will seed this section with some links that I have found inspiring and helpful. Please email suggestions to me using the email address toward the bottom of this page.
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The Catcher in the Rye is not public domain material, so I cannot host it at this site, but many of you will teach it during your career. As you plan for you class and teach the material, I hope you will find this work, by teacher Shaun L. Kelly to be inspirational and helpful to you and your students: Growing Old With Holden
Professor Bridget M. Marshal shared her approach to teaching Ambrose Bierce's short story, The Boarded Window. This is a good story for more advanced students. You can find her suggestions here: "Teaching The Boarded Window".
Rob Velella is an independent scholar of American Literature. He maintains The American Literary Blog and holds an MA in English & Publishing. He is passionate about literary history and his extensive knowledge is on display at his blog. I include him here as a potential resource that can be booked to come to your school or classroom to provide a living history performance. His most popular dramatic personae are Edgar Allan Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne.