Reflection: Joy Story Elements and "Raymond's Run" - Section 4: Reading Part I of "Raymond's Run" (up to race day)


The beginning of the year can be a lot of fun, because the slate is clean.  You know you have to accomplish objectives, but (at least in my county) it's up to the teacher to decide how to get there.  That's something that I really like about the transition to the Common Core -- it's a transition away from the prescriptive, "teacher-proof" lessons that were popular at different times in my career -- and it allows the teacher free rein to make choices.

At the beginning of the year, we do a lot of reviewing.  After all, even if students are reading and (dare we wish?) writing over the summer, some of the academic vocabulary may have fallen out of use.  So, we work on elements of story, direct and indirect characterization, point of view, etc. And, really, you can choose almost any story to hit a couple of those elements.  

I love teaching "Raymond's Run," because I love Squeaky.  She's tough.  She's caring.  She's an athlete.  And she learns from other people and her experiences.  She's not flawless -- after all, she tells the reader again and again that she needs to practice -- but she's so authentic, you can't help but love her.  I feel like Toni Cade Bambara wrote a story about an inner city kid and her disabled brother without once falling into cliche.  And that's an undertaking.

Raymond's Run is in our anthology, and I feel lucky.  If it's not in yours, you might want to check it out!

  Choosing the Right Story
  Joy: Choosing the Right Story
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Story Elements and "Raymond's Run"

Unit 7: Short Stories, Plays, and Elements of Fiction
Lesson 1 of 8

Objective: SWBAT analyze Raymond's Run by looking at story elements and how each contributes to the reader's experience. In particular, students will be looking at the first person narrator, "Squeaky," and how the author develops the story through her POV.

Big Idea: Story elements, such as point of view, are tools that the author uses to shape the reading experience.

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