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HomeClassroom ResourcesCalendar Activities

May 18

Raymond Carver was inducted into the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters in 1988.

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Raymond Carver was inducted into the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters in 1988.

Grades 7 – 12
Calendar Activity Type Author & Text

 

EVENT DESCRIPTION

 

 

Raymond Carver, author of numerous short stories and books of poetry, is known for the minimalist style of his writing. He published his first story, The Furious Seasons, in 1960. In 1983 Carver won the O. Henry Award for the story A Small, Good Thing. In 1988, the year of Carver's death from cancer at age 50, he was inducted into the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.

CLASSROOM ACTIVITY

 

 

Explore literary minimalism by studying Carver's works. Begin by selecting titles for your classroom library, assigning a selection or providing a booklist for students. Then try the following writing activity after students have read several of Carver's works:

  • In groups, have students identify characteristics of Carver's work. How does his writing compare to that of other authors they have studied? How does this style affect their understanding of the text? Then discuss group responses as a whole class.
  • Review the characteristics of literary minimalism ("slice of life" stories; ordinary characters; simple, bare facts).
  • Finally, have students write original poems or short stories in a minimalist style. Have students share their pieces and then compare them to other works they have written during the year.

WEBSITES

 

 
  • Raymond Carver - Life Stories, Books, and Links

    This page dedicated to Carver features a bibliography, brief biography, audio and video interviews with Carver, and more.

  • Poetry Foundation: Raymond Carver

    This resource, from the Poetry Foundation, includes a Carver biography and chronology of his life. Also featured are family photographs, a complete bibliography, and more.

  • Two Interviews with Raymond Carver

    Read two interviews with Raymond Carver, on this page from James Plath, Professor of English at Illinois Wesleyan University. Carver discusses his writing, the writing process, and more.

  • Community Reconsidered: Raymond Carver

    Wired for Books offers an online community for discussion of Raymond Carver's works. Included is an academic discussion of Carver's works and an audio question and answer session.

RELATED RESOURCES

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Grades   9 – 12  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Developing Characterization in Raymond Carver’s “A Small, Good Thing”

Students read Raymond Carver's story "A Small, Good Thing," focusing on characterization in order to develop one of the static characters—the hit-and-run driver who causes Scotty’s death—more fully.

 

Grades   9 – 12  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Put That on the List: Independently Writing a Catalog Poem

In this follow-up to writing collaborative catalog poems, students write individual catalog poems about what really matters in their lives, based on Carver’s poem “The Car.”

 

Grades   9 – 12  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

When Less IS More—Understanding Minimalist Fiction

This lesson pairs Ernest Hemingway’s short story "Cat in the Rain' with Raymond Carver’s "Little Things" to guide students to an understanding of the characteristics of minimalist fiction.

 

Grades   9 – 12  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

So What Do You Think? Writing a Review

Writing a review of an author’s work challenges students to develop their critical thinking skills. It provides an opportunity for students to speak their minds—and to enjoy being heard.