“Raymond’s Run” is a fantastic short story by Toni Cade Bambara that is perfect for teaching basic reading skills. This unit will help your students demonstrate their understanding of the story while also engaging them in thinking beyond the text. The discussion questions are great for whole class or small group instruction, and the reader response questions are perfect for independent work.
This unit is sure to help your students connect with the text on a deeper level and improve their reading comprehension skills.
At the beginning of the activity is a short paragraph that is intended to introduce the student to the author.
A pre-reading quick write will help set the tone for students to engage in Raymond’s Run.
Stop ‘N Jot
This is a fabulous activity that helps keep students focused on the reading. There are two pages devoted to stop ‘n jot. At the end of each reading page, students are to stop, think about what they’ve read and then jot down the main ideas, questions, thoughts and feeling they had as they read. Additionally, there is a space for students to sketch a picture to help them recall the story.
Eight words from the story have been selected for further study. The words were based on thenecessity of understanding the story and the likelihood of students seeing the word again in other readings. Students will find the words in the reading, research the definition, and use the word correctly within a sentence.
Setting plays an important role in Raymond’s Run. Students draw and color a picture of the setting of the story. I also have students explain how the setting impacts the story. How would the story be different if the setting was different? What if it wasn’t a race day?
To continue building on literacy skills, a plot diagram is included. This could be used as an extension activity, whole class activity or independent work depending on the level of understanding your students have.
An answer key is included for some portions of the reading guide. Activities that encourage creative and critical thinking will not have an answer key as more than one answer is appropriate.
All Middle School Café Short Story units are designed to help educators get the most out of each story and encourage students to engage in critical thinking. Reading guides are appropriate for both middle school and high school (depending on reading skill level).