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“The Headless Horseman” Short Story Unit


This short story unit for “The Headless Horseman,” is a simplified version of the Halloween classic, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” This short story unit includes the story text (Lexile 610), a glossary, a student packet with review questions and compare and contrast graphic organizers, and an answer key.


“The Headless Horseman” is spooky favorite Halloween story adapted by My Reading Resources for young readers! It’s a shortened and simplified version of the famous “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving. Your students will have fun reading this adaptation of a classic ghost story for Halloween – or anytime!

  • Lexile 610
  • Flesch-Kincaid 3.6
  • perfect for grades 2-4!

This is a 33-page Common Core aligned complete short story unit. The text is adapted from “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving. This short story teaching unit has everything that you will need to teach and assess the story. The table of contents makes finding information quick and easy. ANSWER KEY IS INCLUDED.

GO DIGITAL! Choose printed or paperless resources! The student packet is available as a fillable Google Slides file. A PDF of the short story text is also included for easy sharing with students. A vocabulary and definitions list allows you to easily import into Flippity, Kahoot, Quizlet, etc. to create digital flashcards or word games.

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This short story unit, “The Headless Horseman,” a simplified adaptation of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” includes:

Introductory and Informational Materials:

  • Teaching Notes that include 5 different game suggestions to teach vocabulary
  • Complete story text with glossary (digital option)

Vocabulary Building Materials:

  • Word Wall Cards
  • Vocabulary and Definition Cards (digital option)

Student Packet (digital option) featuring:

  • Vocabulary Work
  • Review Questions
  • Compare and Contrast Graphic Organizers
  • Writing Questions

Common Core Standards utilized with this unit:

Grades 2-4

  • R.L. 1, 2, 3, 4,
  • L. 4

Skills addressed in this short story study guide include:

  • reference skills (glossary)
  • compare and contrast (characters)
  • making connections (compare character to real-life example)
  • verb tenses
  • idioms
  • literal/nonliteral meanings
  • context clues
  • drawing conclusions
  • subject/verb agreement
  • pronouns
  • providing textual support for opinions
  • summarizing


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Questions or comments? Contact My Reading Resources directly at: [email protected].

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