"The Jaunt" is a short story by Stephen King. It was collected in King's Skeleton Crew in 1985.
As his family prepares to be "Jaunted" to Mars, Mark entertains his two children by recounting the curious tale of the discovery and history of teleportation. He explains how the scientist who discovered the Jaunt quickly learned that it had a disturbing, inexplicable effect on the mice sent through the two Jaunt portals. The mice would either die instantly or behave erratically before dying moments later. The scientist eventually concluded that they could only survive the "Jaunt effect" while unconscious. That, the father explains, is why all people must undergo general anesthesia before using the Jaunt.
Mark then reveals the nature of why any conscious being goes insane or dies after being Jaunted. It is theorized that while physically the process occurs nearly instantaneously, to a conscious mind it lasts an eternity. One is simply left alone with their thoughts in an endless field of white for what is suggested to be possibly anywhere from hundreds to billions of years. However, the father is careful in his wording to keep from scaring his family.
After Mark finishes his story, the family is subjected to the sleeping gas and Jaunted to Mars. When Mark wakes, he is first aware of screaming. He finds his inquisitive son Ricky's hair suddenly lengthened and white with shock and cackling like a lunatic. Ricky held his breath while being administered the general anesthesia in order to experience the Jaunt while conscious, and has been rendered completely insane. Ricky confirms the terrible nature of the conscious Jaunt, shrieking "It's longer than you think, Dad! Longer than you think!" Ricky then claws his own eyes out as he is wheeled away from his horrified family by several Jaunt attendants.
This is teaching materials for a short story that would be considered untraditional. The assessments included vocabulary acquisition, critical thinking questions, and recall or comprehension questions on one sheet. These questions come in the forms of a mixture of matching, short answer, and multiple-choice. By completing this sheet the student will demonstrate an understanding of the material on multiple levels.
The other assessment is a creative art sheet. The creative art sheet asks the student to use the details from the story and their own knowledge, experiences, and imagination to synthesize a totally new work, this is a picture that is a visual representation that recreates of a scene, character or maybe the student's use or view of an aspect of the story. Along with this picture the student will explain their work with a short explanation.
The materials provided
1 Short story worksheet
1 Creative Art Sheet
1 Answer Key
NOTE: I have decided to include the Word Documents that the PDFs are created from so that if you would like to customize the unit for your classroom you can. However, I have used formatting and custom fonts that are not standard with many versions of Microsoft office. This may mean that opening them with a different version of office or without the same fonts installed will throw the formatting off. If so it may take some work to adapt them in your class. I am including them as an extra and would ask that I am not rated on the usability of the Word Docs. Since they are not the finished product, but an extra.