The Midnight Society

Monday, September 21, 2020

Since I started teaching in the fall of 2014, I've done a special fall short stories unit focused on spooky stories with my eighth grade students. In a nod to the 90s show Are You Afraid of the Dark?, I call the unit "The Midnight Society." We would focus on one short story a week, reading and doing all our related assignments by candlelight with the sounds of a crackling campfire hissing in the background. 

Having not taught this school year or the last, I have really missed so many things about middle school, but this unit is one of the biggest things I miss. I loved sharing this special unit with my students, enjoying their reactions to the stories and helping them (hopefully) have fun as they were learning. I was thinking about it the other week, and I decided, why not host The Midnight Society here in this space this year? It won't be exactly the same since we won't be together as a group, but really, isn't that the theme of 2020 as it is? So, beginning next Monday, September 28, and continuing for the following five weeks, we'll enjoy one short story per week. On Monday of each week you can expect to find a link to where you can read a copy of the story for that week, plus any introductory materials. Then on Thursdays, I'll post some discussion questions and activities that you can participate in at your leisure. 

Here are the stories we'll be reading this year:

Week of September 28 -- "The Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe 

Week of October 5 -- "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson

Week of October 12 -- "The Monkey's Paw" by W. W. Jacobs

Week of October 19 -- "The Most Dangerous Game" by Richard Connell

Week of October 26 -- "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" by Washington Irving 

In case you, too, want the experience of reading by a crackling campfire (and aren't able to make a real one), turn this on in the background. 

I hope you will join me for this spooky, fun fall event! 


  1. Oh, fun! I've sent the link to my book club :)

    1. Awesome! So glad you’ll be joining in! It was always so fun with the students!


    I'm gonna try to participate! (I'm one of Meghan's book club buddies!)

    1. You’re so right! This year has definitely given us reasons to stretch our creativity! And I’ve missed doing this unit so much, so I’m thrilled people are interested in doing it with me!


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