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The Road

This ain't your grandmother's road.

Get ready for a road trip, brought to you by America's favorite master of bleak violence and horror, Cormac McCarthy. In The Road, he gives us a vision of a post-apocalyptic American landscape populated by roving bands of cannibals and our two heroes: a father and son who have no plans to eat each other—or anyone else for that matter.

In this course, you'll tackle The Road from every angle in a series of Common Core-aligned activities designed to take you into the novel's thematic heart. You'll read, write, and draw your way through the novel's characters, scenes, tone, and themes. And—of course—you'll watch the movie version starring none other than Aragorn himself. In a decidedly un-Aragorn-y role.

Via all these readings and activities, you'll be able to

  • close read to your heart's content (or your stomach's tolerance for gore).
  • analyze Cormac McCarthy's inscrutable prose for symbolic and thematic meaning.
  • read a scene featuring cannibalism without throwing the book across the room in horror.
  • represent the setting of the novel in a visual piece of your own creation.
  • decipher the ending of the novel, which is easier said than done.

Course Breakdown

*Purchasing by unit includes course material only.

Unit 1. The Road

Cormac McCarthy might not be a fan of the comma, but he sure can write a story. This 15-lesson unit will guide you down the road of The Road—just remember to bring your blankie.


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  • Course Length: 3 weeks
  • Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12
  • Course Type: Short Course
  • Category:
    • Literature
    • English
    • College Prep

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