How does popular culture engage history? In this lesson plan, students will examine The Searchers, one of the most widely acclaimed Western movies of all time, to explore interpretations of race, gender, and family–both in the time period depicted by the film and the time period in which the film was produced.
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.
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.
A critic of writer Jack London called his animal protagonists “men in fur,” suggesting that his literary creations flaunted the facts of natural history. London responded to such criticism by maintaining that his own creations were based on sound science and in fact represented “…a protest against the ‘humanizing’ of animals, of which it seemed to me several ‘animal writers’ had been profoundly guilty.” How well does London succeed in avoiding such “humanizing” in his portrayal of Buck, the hero of his novel, The Call of the Wild?
Some of the most the most essential works of literature in the world are examples of epic poetry, such as The Odyssey and Paradise Lost. This lesson introduces students to the epic poem form and to its roots in oral tradition.
By studying Mark Twain's novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and its critics with a focus on cultural context, students will develop essential analytical tools for navigating this text and for exploring controversies that surround this quintessential American novel.