The Ramayana (ram-EYE-ya-na) and the Mahabharata (ma-ha-BA-ra-ta), the great Indian epics, are among the most important works of literature in South Asia. Both contain important lessons on wisdom, behavior and morality, and have been used for centuries not only as entertainment, but also as a way of instructing both children and adults in the exemplary behavior toward which they are urged to strive and the immoral behavior they are urged to shun. In this lesson, students will read an abridged version of the Ramayana, and will explore the ways in which the story of Rama contains elements, such as the Epic Hero Cycle, that place it within the epic poetry tradition.
Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun provides a compelling and honest look into one family's aspirations to move to another Chicago neighborhood and the thunderous crash of a reality that raises questions about for whom the "American Dream" is accessible.
This lesson plan is the ninth in the “Incredible Bridges: Poets Creating Community” series. It provides a video recording of the poet, Joy Harjo, reading the poem “Remember.” The companion lesson contains a sequence of activities for use with secondary students before, during, and after reading to help them enter and experience the poem.
In addition to being an accomplished novelist, George Orwell was also an experienced essayist. Among his most powerful essays is the 1931 autobiographical essay "Shooting an Elephant," which Orwell based on his experience as a police officer in colonial Burma. Through close reading of this piece, students will be engage deeply with the text and discuss the major literary tools present in Orwell's writing.
The following lesson introduces children to folk tales through a literary approach that emphasizes genre categories and definitions. In this unit, students will become familiar with fables and trickster tales from different cultural traditions and will see how stories change when transferred orally between generations and cultures.
In this lesson, students study issues related to independence and notions of manliness in Ernest Hemingway’s “Three Shots” as they conduct in-depth literary character analysis, consider the significance of environment to growing up and investigate Hemingway’s Nobel Prize-winning, unique prose style. In addition, they will have the opportunity to write and revise a short story based on their own childhood experiences and together create a short story collection.
Using the life of Davy Crockett as a model, students learn the characteristics of tall tales and how these stories reflect their historical moment. The lesson culminates with students writing a tall tale of their own.
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.