Truman Capote
Lesson plans and teaching resources for "A Christmas Memory" and In Cold Blood

Truman Capote
Informational articles and reviews from the New York Times Archives.

How to Teach Truman Capote: "A Christmas Memory"
Background information, vocabulary words, and suggestions for before-, during-, and after-reading activities.

quot;A Christmas Memory"
Students read the story and watch a film version, determining what was emphasized in each account. Then they write an extended paragraph comparing how the content is addressed through the different media of print and film. This activity develops students' analytical reading and viewing skills, including evaluating the author's / director's craft and purpose. Very detailed lesson plan includes suggestions for activating prior knowledge, formative assessment, accommodations, and extensions.

"A Christmas Memory"
Text of the story.

"A Christmas Memory"
Downloadable YouTube video of the 1966 movie narrated by Capote. First of a series of 6, follow links to the others. Black and white.

Rich with background information and pre-reading, post-reading writing activities. 23 pages; requires Adobe Reader.

Truman Capote: Other Voices, Other Rooms
This American Masters series lesson uses Capote's autobiographical short story, "A Christmas Memory," to teach a lesson on characterization in writing.

In Cold Print: the Genre Capote Started
This newspaper article offers biography, insights, and criticism.

What's the Purpose?: Examining a Cold Manipulation of Language
This lesson shares with students the power of language and its control over audience. Students will analyze how stylistic devices can alter tone and emotions through a study of Truman Capote's In Cold Blood and "A Christmas Memory." Through comparison, students will note how Capote alters his style for different reader responses in his fiction and nonfiction. Students will have a stronger grasp of how close analysis can enable them to manipulate syntax, diction, and tone to achieve different effects on specific audiences for different purposes in their own writing.