When you think about diplomacy, you may first imagine ambassadors or even the Secretary of State. But the U.S. has a long history of using the arts and humanities to influence international opinion—a practice known as cultural diplomacy. This lesson plan unpacks the principles of cultural diplomacy through an exploration of the Cold War “Jazz Ambassadors.” Students also investigate differing viewpoints of this program through historic newspapers and other primary source documents. Finally, students are asked to design their own program for cultural diplomacy.
This lesson is designed to apply Common Core State Standards and facilitate a comparison of informational texts and primary source material from the Scottsboro Boys trials of the 1931 and 1933, and the fictional trial in Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill A Mockingbird (1960).
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.
Expose middle school students to a first taste of Shakespeare from the angle of the ghost story and launch into the subject of verbs. In this lesson, they learn how Shakespeare uses verbs to move the action of the play. Students then distinguish generic verbs from vivid verbs by working with selected lines in Hamlet’s Ghost scene. Finally they test their knowledge of verbs through a crossword interactive puzzle.
The American civil rights movement incorporated a variety of cultural elements in their pursuit of political and legal equality under law. This lesson will highlight the role of music as a major influence through the use of audio recordings, photographs, and primary documents. Students will participate in their own oral history, examine lyrics, and work with case studies such as the Freedom Rides to gain an appreciation of how music influenced the early 1960s.
As one of literature's most iconic figures, both Shakespeare's plays and poetry provide an interesting glimpse into a variety of essential themes. In this lesson, students will examine how Shakespeare used the sonnet tradition to enhance his stagecraft by performing a scene from his play Romeo and Juliet.
Through Kate Chopin's classic novel "The Awakening," students will discover the cross sectional relationship between realism and regionalism. As students explore both the literary movements and the aspects of "common" life that Chopin liked to highlight, they will critically analyze specific passages from the text and the novel as a whole.
In the first chapter of William Faulkner's emotionally charged novel, "The Sound and the Fury," Benjy Compson, the son with intellectual disability who narrates this section, matters in a most profound sense. It is through his voice--childlike, detached, and often disorienting--that readers are confronted with the reality of time as a recurring motif and how time affects and informs human experiences.