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.
"The book is, of course, in no sense a burlesque, but it is an effort to treat the lives of simple ordinary people in an American Middle Western town with sympathy and understanding…. Certainly, I did not write to make fun of these people or to make them ridiculous or ugly, but instead to show by their example what happens to simple, ordinary people—particularly the unsuccessful ones—what life does to us here in America in our times—and on the whole how decent and real we nevertheless are."
—Sherwood Anderson, Author of Winesburg, Ohio
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.
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.
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.
Not only is Charles Dicken's A Christmas Carol a classic for the holidays, but it serves as an important novella in British literary history. This series of lesson plans allows students to explore unfamiliar words, new themes, and the ghostly experiences of Mr. Scrooge.
Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz is considered the first great Latin American poet and one of the most important Hispanic literary figures. She wrote following the complex style of the Spanish Golden Age masters, and in this lesson students will be able to explore her poetry and contribution to literature