Raymond Carver
Lesson plans and other teaching resources

| Biography and Background | | "Cathedral" | | "A Small, Good Thing" | | Other stories and poems |

Biography and Background

Raymond Carver
Biography from Wikipedia.

Raymond Carver
Brief biography and links to 16 poems.

"Cathedral"

"Cathedral"
10 discussion questions, a definition and exploration of being disaffected, and a writing task.

Raymond Carver
Materials for a unit on Raymond Carver. Includes an overview of the unit, handouts on writing minimalist sentences and on writing responses to three Carver works, "Lemonade," "Cathedral," and "What we talk about when we talk about love."

"A Small, Good Thing"

Developing Characterization in Raymond Carver's "A Small, Good Thing"
Students read the story focusing on characterization in order to develop one of the static characters—the hit-and-run driver who causes Scotty's death—more fully. Students use a literary graphic organizer to analyze the three major characters. They compare the story to an older version titled "The Bath." Finally, they create an original anecdote involving the driver, share their stories, and respond to each other's writing.

Other stories and poems

The Cutting Edge: Exploring How Editing Affects an Author's Work
Students examine the writing of short-story author Raymond Carver as well as their own writing to explore how editing can affect the text, content and context of an author's work. Relates to "Beginners" or "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love."

The Importance of Titles: From Big Blank Space to Small Good Thing
This lesson asks students to examine two sets of stories that author Raymond Carver renamed in revision: "Popular Mechanics," which he renamed "Little Things," and "Everything Stuck to Him," which he renamed "Distance." After predicting what the stories "Popular Mechanics" and "Little Things" will be about based only on their titles, the class is divided in half, with each half reading one of the stories. Students discuss the significance of the titles in the two stories, unaware at first that the stories are the same. Next, students read "Everything Stuck to Him" and "Distance," focusing on the significance of the two titles to determine how each title affects the reader’s perception and understanding of the story. After reading and discussing the four stories, students write a reflective essay in which they defend their choice of a title for one of the two sets of Carver stories. Includes links to some of the stories, writer's checklist.

"Kindling"
Introduction and text of the story. Follow links to PDF and Google Docs formats.

"Little Things"
Text of the story.

Minimalism — an Experiment
An assignment: write a few sentences in minimalist style. Adobe Reader required for access.

Poems
Text of "Let's Roar, Your Honor" and "Your Dog Dies."

Raymond Carver
Materials for a unit on Raymond Carver. Includes an overview of the unit, handouts on writing minimalist sentences and on writing responses to three Carver works, "Lemonade," "Cathedral," and "What we talk about when we talk about love."

"Why Don't You Dance?"
Introduction and text of the story later made into the film Everything Must Go . Follow links to PDF and Google Docs formats.



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