One of the most compelling novels of the twentieth century, Beloved by Toni Morrison has been read in classrooms across the country since its publication in 1987. The novel follows Sethe's escape to freedom, the murder of her child, and her difficult psychological journey as she copes with her past as a slave. As both an historical account of the experiences of slavery and an insightful novel about a supernatural ghost, this text is ideal for upper level high school students and students in AP programs.
Throughout Lois Lowry’s The Giver, the main character Jonas realizes there are more elements to life than he has been led to believe. The Community, a seemingly utopian society with strict rules about everything from behavior to birthday presents, does not include important aspects like color and emotion. Jonas also realizes that the Community does not allow books, other than government approved text books. As he begins to gain knowledge and memories from the Receiver, Jonas realizes that the utopian society he has been part of might not be so perfect. This lesson explores how The Giver addresses issues of personal identity, memory, and the value of reading and education. It also explores how this newer read relates to other famous classics in this genre and books that students may have read on their own.
What if Shakespeare's Julius Caesar was set in a modern and newly independent nation? What do citizens look for in a leader? In this lesson, students not only consider the significance of this updated staging and political quandary, but will address important questions about how and why Shakespeare is adopted, adapted, and appropriated by people around the world in order for them to express their own political and social concerns through the universal language of Shakespeare.
Set in the Dominican Republic during the rule of Rafael Trujillo, In the Time of the Butterflies fictionalizes historical figures in order to dramatize the Dominican people’s heroic efforts to overthrow this dictator’s brutal regime. In the following activities, students will examine the actions of the characters in the novel and discuss an all encompassing definition for courage.
This lesson focuses on character analysis throughout William Golding’s novel Lord of the Flies. While contemplating both direct and indirect characterization techniques, students will be able to consider how characterization builds relationships among the boys in the novel.
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.
In 1845, the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, and Written by Himself was published. In it, Douglass criticizes directly—often with withering irony—those who defend slavery and those who prefer a romanticized version of it.
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.
In this lesson, students analytically read “Learning to Read,” a poem by Francis Watkins Harper about an elderly former slave which conveys the value of literacy to blacks during and after slavery. The activities help students examine the experiences of slaves, the history of literacy, and 21st century values on the power of reading.
The corrupting influence of slavery on marriage and the family is a predominant theme in Solomon Northup’s narrative Twelve Years a Slave. In this lesson, students are asked to identify and analyze narrative passages that provide evidence for how slavery undermined and perverted these social institutions. Northup collaborated with a white ghostwriter, David Wilson. Students will read the preface and identify and analyze statements Wilson makes to prove the narrative is true.