In this lesson, students analyze Jacob Lawrence’s The Migration of the Negro Panel no. 57 (1940-41), Helene Johnson’s Harlem Renaissance poem “Sonnet to a Negro in Harlem” (1927), and Paul Laurence Dunbar’s late-nineteenth-century poem “We Wear the Mask” (1896), considering how each work represents the life and changing roles of African Americans from the late nineteenth century to the Harlem Renaissance and The Great Migration.
While teaching some of the formal terms used to describe sonnets will be one of the aims of this lesson, our starting point and central focus throughout will be learning to appreciate the sounds of poetry.
Study Shakespeare's Hamlet in the context of Elizabethan attitudes toward revenge. The lesson includes activities in which students compare the text of Hamlet to the interpretations of several modern filmmakers.