Task One:

Open a new blog post. Write the names of your group members.

Discuss the following questions.

  1. What do you think we learned in the last two classes?
  2. What skills did we work on?
  3. What skills might help with your short story review?

Answer each of them in short, note-point format. If you don’t the answer, try to explain why.

Write any questions you might have about the previous 2 classes.

Task Two:

  • Open up Smart Notebook to a new page.
  • You will be assigned a paragraph from the story, according to this document: “The Big Cat” numbered.
  • You must draw a picture of the scene that is being described in that paragraph.
  • Each colour will represent a different sense.
    • Black: visual imagery (sight)
    • Blue: auditory imagery (sound)
    • Red: Tactile imagery (touch, feeling)
    • Green: Olfactory imagery (smell)
    • Yellow: Gustatory imagery (taste)
    • Purple: Sixth sense. Any image that is maybe hinted at in the passage but is not overtly described.
  • Each member of your group will choose a different colour.
  • Each member of your group will take turns going up to the board and drawing the images from the scene for the sense that corresponds to their colour.
  • Each student in the group must participate.
  • It’s possible that your scene doesn’t contain all five senses.
  • Put in as much detail as possible. Include every single image in every passage. There are many.
  • It’s also likely that your “scene” is actually made up of a couple of different moments in time, flashbacks, etc. So, you might include images that are not directly in that scene. For example:
    • “I sat on a park bench in the sunshine sipping on a lemonade. I thought of the car race I’d watched yesterday, where a car spun out and crashed into a wall.”
    • In this case, you’d have to describe the present scene, as well as the memory.
  • So, your pictures can be surreal, non-linear, suggestive, and weird.
  • You will work on your picture for the entire assigned time. If you think you’re done, put in more details.
  • If you then think you’re done, call me over. I will either tell you to keep working on it, or I’ll give you a new paragraph to illustrate.
  • No drawing experience is necessary. This pictures don’t need to be technically proficient. Stick figures are totally fine.
  • Think about possible juxtaposition in your scene: are there two opposing things being contrasted?
  • Write the number of your paragraph somewhere in your drawing.

One question to think about before you begin: In the blurb at the back of the book, Louise Erdrich writes, “At last I let go of any hope of redemption and allowed Elida’s malevolence to emerge in her husband’s dream.” So, keep the following things in mind as you draw:

  • How would you describe Elida and the narrator’s relationship?
  • What would you describe Elida’s behaviour toward her husband?

Don’t think about it in these in words. Just keep them in the back of your mind as you work.

  • When I tell you to, save your photo as a jpeg.
  • Embed it into your WordPress post.

Task three:

  • As a group, you will move to another table in the room.
  • Look at the picture at the table you’re now seated at.
  • Read the paragraph it corresponds to.
  • Below the picture, in the other groups blog post, write any thoughts, ideas, or ideas that strike you about the imagery in this paragraph. These can be in note form. Look for patterns, connections, ideas.

Task four:

Switch tables again. Once again, look at the picture and read the paragraph of the table you’re at. Look at the notes the previous group wrote. Now freewrite some ideas about the imagery in this paragraph. Write a short paragraph brainstorm, aiming to discover some new ideas or consolidate the ones that are there.


Give your post a title, a feature image, and post it to the following category: “The Big Cat,” Sep 25