We are doing the research paper, so I am strapped for time to update the blog right now, but here is an oldie that you might not have seen.
One of my son's middle school teachers gave this to him and I think it is absolutely brilliant. I've used it ever since in my ninth grade short story unit. Students who do not read well, can handle this one. It is an excellent story to work inference skills. I like to put it on the SmartBoard and do the discussion about what is really happening and who are the characters. I do have to review a little bit about what are the components of a check, since these objects are becoming obsolete.
"Ordeal by Cheques" by Wuther Crue is a visual story that must have the entire plot inferred as we only get to see a series of checks written over a period of 28 years. The checks look like this:
Over the course of the story, little things change, such as the name that signs the check, the date, etc. The students are left to figure out why these check are being written and who these people are that are having checks written to them. Certain people get checks in the same amount while some checks are way too high for the time period.
Here is a copy of the story. It is not long and if you teach inference skills or short stories, I encourage you to give it a shot in your class. Let me know if you have any stories similar to this.