Real-Life Short Story Writing for 9th Grade and Dog House Soup

It is important for homeschool high schoolers to experience short-story writing. Real-life short story writing for 9th grade is a great choice.

Real-Life Short Story Writing for 9th Grade

Real-Life Short Story Writing for 9th Grade

I have taught high school creative writing to our local homeschoolers over the years. Each year there is a special type of short story writing that we cover, for instance: real-life short story writing for 9th grade.

When I begin the class, I explain the concept of real-life short story writing. (We call this type of story “Family Narrative”.)

Then I tell them a family narrative, real-life short story from the time when my kids were little. Here is one of our local homeschool high schoolers’ favorites:

Dog House Soup

Once upon a time, when I was a young homeschooling mom, I prided myself on being frugal. I was particularly penny-pinching in the kitchen.

One of my favorite money-saving habits was to save bits of leftover vegetables and sauces in the freezer until I had enough to make a pot of soup.

One day, I decided to use up some white sauce and some veggies from the freezer. I made a LOVELY pot of cream of vegetable soup. It was thick and white and savory.

BUT it looked like it might not be quite enough to feed my large family. WHAT SHOULD I DO???

What I did was dig in the fridge and find a tub of leftover spaghetti noodles with rich, red tomato sauce all mixed in. “Just the thing!” I congratulated myself. I dumped that spaghetti right in the soup!

What resulted was… something that looked like Pepto-Bismal infested with tapeworms. Or someone’s stomach virus…

Not to be deterred by anything so unimportant as disgusting looking soup, I bravely dished up piping bowls and set them around the table.

I called for the family.

Husband and kids came galloping to the table, stopped, looked at me… I looked at them.

We sighed a collective, “Nah!”

Real-Life Short Story Writing for 9th Grade

So, I dumped the soup back into the pot. Then I tiptoed to the neighbor’s backyard. They had a trash-can-invading Newfoundland who loved to eat scraps.

I scraped the nasty-looking pink liquid into his bowl. The huge black beast gratefully woofed it down in minutes.

Soon afterward, the neighborhood resounded with a plaintive howl. It went on and on. “AROOOO!!!!! AROOOOOOO!!!!!”

Then he ran away from home. Kid you not.

The critter returned a week later with a red bow tied around his neck and smelling of perfume. We never knew where he had been.

From that day forward, whenever I was brave enough to try making soup again the kids called it Dog Howl Soup – to which I would answer, “Eat it or you’ll be in the Dog House!”

Family Narrative Guide

So, we changed the name of ANY soup I made to Dog House Soup.

That’s an example of family narrative or real-life short story writing for 9th grade. Once the homeschool high schoolers hear the story, they brainstorm their own stories and have a BLAST writing them using 7 Sisters Homeschool’s Short Story Writing: Family Narrative.

Try it out with your teens!

Looking for more short story writing for your teens? Tall Tales and Myth Fantasy are a great follow-up to Family Narrative.

Tall Tale Writing Guide

Is creative writing important? Click here to read more.

Why teach creative writing? Click here for some ideas.

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Real-Life short story writing for 9th grade and Dog House Soup


Vicki Tillman

Blogger, curriculum developer at, counselor, life and career coach, SYMBIS guide, speaker, prayer person. 20+year veteran homeschool mom.

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