William Faulkner’s self-proclaimed masterpiece, As I Lay Dying, originally published in 1930, is a fascinating exploration of the many voices found in a Southern family and community. The following curriculum unit examines the novel's use of multiple voices in its narrative.
Winesburg, Ohio presents a galaxy of strange and distorted characters in a small town in Sandusky County, not far from Cleveland, well over one hundred years ago. Even a casual glance through a few of the stories leads inevitably to the question: Why are these people all so weird—so grotesque? By contrast, the central character of this short story cycle, George Willard, seems a perfectly normal young man on the brink of maturity and poised to make the life-changing decision to leave Winesburg behind.
“Democracy in America” by Alexis de Tocqueville is one of the most influential books ever written about America. While historians have viewed “Democracy” as a rich source about the age of Andrew Jackson, Tocqueville was more of a political thinker than a historian. His "new political science" offers insights into the problematic issues faced by democratic society.
William Golding’s Lord of the Flies is a novel that engages middle school students in thought-provoking discussion, and provides practice in literary analysis skills. The three lessons in this unit all stress textual evidence to support observations and generalizations uncovering the novel’s central character traits, symbols and themes.
This unit is a study of the shifts in narrative voice and literary genres that Melville makes throughout Moby-Dick. It serves to introduce students to several unique features of the novel without demanding as much class time as would reading the entire text. The lessons comprise a series of close readings of passages from the novel.
Tennessee Williams’ classic play The Glass Menagerie (1944) was an extension of the Expressionism that was then prevalent in mid-century Europe. The Expressionist Movement was marked by certain characteristics: a rejection of realism in favor of dreamlike states; non-linear, often disjointed structures; a utilization of imagery and symbolism in the place of naturalism; a focus on abstract concepts and ideas.
Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment, is a CCSS exemplar for grades 11 – CCR taught at the upper high school level and in AP English. This three lesson unit looks at a variety of schisms and divisions in the novel. It provides a close reading of the novel by considering Dostoevsky’s view of human nature, through his characters; the theoretical division Man v Superman; the societal setting in the novel.
In The Metamorphoses, the Roman poet Ovid synthesizes the mythology of his age into a treasury of stories about gods who were lovers, warriors, tricksters, and heroes. This CCSS unit engages students in a comparison with Genesis, and later renditions of poetry and art work inspired by his myths.
In this triumph of magical realism, One Hundred Years of Solitude chronicles a century of the remarkable Buendía family’s history in the fictional Colombian town of Macondo. The three lessons presented here explore the fantastic elements of this imaginary world, the real history that lies behind them, and García Márquez’s own philosophical musings on writing about Latin America.