Concise Communication through Flash Fiction

In this activity, students worked in pairs or small groups to first distill the day's reading into a haiku and then into a six-word story, sharing and discussing each with the class.

Author: Srijani Ghosh, Lecturer in Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies
Course Number & Title: Female Playwrights and XEnglish R1B: Girls, Misunderstood?: “Deviant” Women in Literature
Grant Type: Lecturer Teaching Fellows Program (LTF)

This work is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0(link is external)

flash fiction
Activity Title Concise Communication through Flash Fiction
Delivery Format In-person/Online synchronous instruction

High Impact Practices (HIPs) Categories

(Review definitions for each category(link is external))

  • Collaborative Assignments and Projects
  • Writing-Intensive Courses
Learning Objectives
  • Develop concise communication skills by distilling complex ideas into short and simple explanations
  • Enhance critical thinking skills by identifying the key takeaways from the reading material
  • Foster creative interpretation of the reading material through artistic expression
Brief Summary of Activity

Distilling their ideas into a few concise but impactful sentences is often a challenge for students. I use flash fiction as a tool to address this by asking students to work in pairs/small groups to transform the day’s reading into a micro-narrative. I split up the activity into two steps. First, each group creates a haiku and then shares them with the whole class along with a brief explanation of their thought process. Second, the same groups transform the day’s reading into an even shorter six-word story, sharing their stories and thoughts with the class again.

Innovative Teaching Reflection

Writing flash fiction about the reading material is a playful and creative way to help students practice the concise organization of their thoughts. These engaging activities help students evaluate the importance of each word and/or punctuation to convey their ideas while also maintaining clarity.

Activity Length 30-40 minutes