The Short Short Story in the Classroom Essay

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Minifiction or the short short story in the classroom Have you ever heard of “mini-fiction”? “flash-fiction”? “the short short story”? Have you ever felt the need to move beyond the one-off news article reading lessons? Have you tried to squeeze readers – either original stories written for learners or adaptations of well-known books – in your class syllabus? If the answer to the question above is yes, have you had the chance to exploit the material at length? I particularly love reading and have attempted to include fiction – especially readers - in my classes. The feeling I usually get is that I’m overlooking the material, asking learners about the characters, the plot, their personal impression but without really finding the time to work on the book in depth. Mini-fiction is another tool we have at hand to provide learners with the opportunity to read for pleasure in the classroom and to give teachers the chance to exploit the material fully - concentrating on both content and form within a tight schedule. So what’s mini-fiction? It’s a new form of writing found under many names; flash fiction, sudden fiction, nanofiction, microfiction or the short short story. All of these have one thing in common: their extreme brevity, minifiction´s defining characteristic. Other features which characterise mini-fiction are: ü intertextuality (an author’s borrowing and transformation of a prior text or a reader’s referencing of one text in reading another) ü implicit meaning ü humour and irony ü memorable quality ü abrupt beginning ü unexpected ending How can we use mini-fiction in the classroom? Like with any other written text you’ve dealt with in class, you can engage your students in: ü Pre-reading tasks: predictions based

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