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Lesson Plan

Outside In: Finding A Character's Heart Through Art

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Outside In: Finding A Character's Heart Through Art

Grades 9 – 12
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Four 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Susanne Rubenstein

Susanne Rubenstein

Princeton, Massachusetts


National Council of Teachers of English


Materials and Technology



Painting Travelogues




Paintings by Edward Hopper and Fiction by Raymond Carver

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Room in Brooklyn (1932)
New York Movie (1939)
Nighthawks (1942)
Hotel Window (1955)
Sunday (1926)
Morning Sun (1952)
Gas (1940)
Hotel Room (1931)
People in the Sun (1960)

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  • Collect samples of Edward Hopper’s art. A number of Hopper’s paintings are available online or through slides; however, it is often more effective to give students a physical copy to hold and examine as they work. For that reason, art prints, pages from an Edward Hopper calendar, or even Hopper postcards work particularly well.

  • Choose the specific paintings that students will use for their monologues. Six paintings are available in the Travelogues, if online paintings are the best option for your class.

  • Obtain copies of Raymond Carver stories that will be read.

  • Familiarize yourself with biographical material on Hopper and Carver. Useful Websites are listed in the Resources section. Additional information on Carver is found in Chapter One “Where Life and Art Intersect” in Raymond Carver in the Classroom “A Small, Good Thing” by Susanne Rubenstein (NCTE, 2005).

  • Prepare copies of the Reflection Sheet for students’ self-assessment.

  • Test the Painting Travelogues (see links in the Resources section) on your computers to familiarize yourself with the tools and ensure that you have the Flash plug-in installed. You can download the plug-in from the technical support page.

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