Read your short story. Get an empty cereal box. Cover the cereal box with plain paper

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The Short Story Cereal Box Project

Follow these directions carefully and you’ll earn an A+!

  1. Read your short story.

  2. Get an empty cereal box.

  3. Cover the cereal box with plain paper (white paper – wrapping paper turned inside out works well – or colored paper or even a brown paper bag).

  4. On the front of the box, write the story’s title, its author, the name of the anthology it comes from, and draw a large, colorful illustration that shows the story’s main idea. If this story were in a book all by itself, what picture would appear on the book’s cover?

  5. On the back of the box, use words and pictures to tell about the story’s plot. Be sure to include the conflict! Draw a story map of the plot, including introduction, rising action, climax, falling action, and conclusion.

  6. On the top of the box, tell your story’s mood and the author’s style.

  7. On the bottom of the box, tell your story’s setting. Be sure to include both place and time.

  8. On one side of the box, list the story’s characters. You must draw or have images and words to describe them.

  9. On the other side of the box, tell the story’s theme (explain why you think this lesson can be learned from the story) and its point of view. For full credit, tell the point of view as specifically as possible: first person by whom? Third person limited to whom? Third person omniscient?
  10. Be sure that your box is neat, colorful, thoughtful, and complete. A person looking at it should be able to understand what your story was like, even if he or she has never read it before.

  11. Pass in your project by _________ 2013! If you will be absent on that day, please turn in your project before hand or the next day.

Frequently asked questions …

What if I lose my short story?

Come see me and if I have another copy and I will share with you or if you are using one from our class selection then go to and click on English 9 and select Short Story Unit section and print one off.

Can I trade stories with someone else in my class?

Yes, as long as that person agrees. You will need to tell Mr. Oliveira so that he can keep a list of who has which story.

What if I hate my story?

If you really can’t stand your story, you may come after school to read a different story. I cannot give you a take-home copy of a new story, though.

My family doesn’t eat cereal!

Don’t worry. Your classmates have been bringing in extra boxes. Sign up on the list so that you can get one from Mr. Oliveira.

I need help understanding my story.

Never fear. Mr. Oliveira has read all these stories and he’d be happy to talk to you about your story during class, at lunch or before/after school. Be sure you ask him before the project is due so that he has time to help you.

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