Intro to Horror – Elements of Horror Genre Mini-Study For ANY Scary Short Story!


Launch your scary story unit with this introduction to the elements of horror genre study! This engaging intro will give your middle school students that “just right” level of information to understand how fear, suspense, setting/imagery, foreshadowing, and mystery create those scary short stories we know and love. Use the PowerPoint, interactive notetaker, and stations to hook your ELA students this Halloween or any time of the year!


Check out the PREVIEW for more information!

With this horror genre intro, your students will learn about critical literary devices like foreshadowing, suspense, mood, irony, cliffhangers, and more.

Specifically, students understand and be able to explain: 

⭐️ What is horror?

⭐️ What are the subgenres of horror?

⭐️ Fear (and how authors use it)

⭐️ Suspense (and the five techniques authors use to build it)

⭐️ Foreshadowing

⭐️ Mystery

► Not only will your students be introduced to the various literary elements associated with horror, but they’ll also have opportunities to look at them in isolation by:

  • Analyzing passages to see what fears authors tap into
  • Creatively write about a spooky setting using sensory language and imagery
  • Rewriting simple phrases using different suspense techniques such as a limited point of view, setting and imagery, pacing/fragmented sentences, dramatic irony, and cliffhangers,
  • Analyzing passages to see how authors use foreshadowing

⭐ You will appreciate the visually appealing AND editable horror PowerPoint.

‍⭐ Your students will love the interactive notes that go hand-in-hand with the presentation AND the engaging horror activities and examples.

► Both printable and digital versions are included!


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Susana said, “Fantastic resource!  Lots of information, and the short clips were appropriate and especially engaging for the students.  Using this was definitely a time saver for me!”

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Jessica said, “Students really enjoyed this intro activity and were able to work together to identify the different examples. I plan on using this each year when I introduce my Genre of Horror unit.”

Supports Common Core Standards (CCSS):

RL.6.3, RL.6.5

RL.7.3, RL.7.6

RL.8.3, RL.8.6

You might like follow up this less with one of these scary short stories:

OR, ⭐️ Bundle & save for a discount ⭐️

Purchase the Scary Short Story Bundle to get this activity, plus the mini-lessons listed above!

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Thanks so much,

Natayle Brown

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