Generally, my reading curriculum is focused on- but not limited to- short stories, poems, and novels.
In most cases, I ask students to choose their own books for independent reading, but I also make recommendations, and the librarians regularly deliver book-talks during English class. Periodically, I will assign a book for the whole class or for small groups, too.
Overall, I use short stories as a way to teach a variety of literary elements, such as plot, conflict, setting, characterization, theme, symbolism, irony, and more...
But, in addition to literary elements, I also use short stories as a medium for teaching comprehension techniques, like annotation with Post-Its, making predictions, reading for context clues, and making inferences.
I occasionally assess students with brief reading comprehension quizzes to determine strengths and weaknesses in understanding. I also ask students to speak and write about what they've read. Class activities in the past have included small-group discussions, large-group discussions, debates, journal entries, and reader-response guides.
Ideally, when students learn to recognize literary elements and they incorporate reading comprehension strategies into their reading repertoire, they also enjoy reading more than they'd enjoyed it in the past. With these skills, students can dig beneath the surface of a story and appreciate it for all its richness and meaning.
Please encourage your child to read at least 20 minutes per night. For some, this is challenging, but it can help develop healthy lifelong habits.
If you need help with a reading recommendation at home, you might try this link: http://web.scarsdaleschools.k12.ny.us/mslib/books.htm
Look for 6th grade recommendations.