"Word Processor of the Gods" is a short story by Stephen King. It was collected in King's Skeleton Crew in 1985.
A middle-aged writer is disenchanted with his tyrannical wife, his disrespectful teenage son, and his life in general. His teenage nephew suddenly dies in a car accident caused by the writer's abusive brother, who was driving drunk, who dies as well along with the nephew's gentle, kind mother. Amongst the boy's effects, the writer finds a word processor, seemingly cobbled together from a dozen different sources, with the startup message stating "Happy birthday, Uncle Richard", revealing that it was intended as a birthday gift for the main character. At home, the writer discovers that the processor has the mysterious ability to affect reality, but the electronics in the patchwork machine are brittle and will not function for long.
While in the middle of testing the processor, Richard's son Seth returns home alongside his obnoxious band members. Overhearing his son badmouthing him, Richard deletes him, which retroactively erases his existence. His bandmates are gone, his room is empty and every trace of him ever living there is gone. When his wife returns home, he finds she is now even fatter than when she left, the result of never having any children. After she vocally abuses him, he deletes her as well.
With the processor now rapidly deteriorating, Richard impulsively rewrites reality, making the nephew his own son, and his mother his wife, moments before the processor irreparably breaks. He turns around, finding the nephew alive once again, and now calling him Dad.
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.