Unit 1 Guide
Students examine the ways in which mystery, tension, and surprise are used in informational and literary texts to engage and
intrigue readers. First, students read short stories and poetry, including a close reading of Joyce Carol Oates’ short story,
“Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” and Mara Bovsun’s article, “Pied Piper of Tucson;” they identify and describe
ways authors ‘hook and hold’ readers with specific choices. Next, students read the play Fences by Pulitzer Prize winner
August Wilson and analyze the role of stories within in the story to create tension and advance the plot. Fences is the
foundation for the unit’s cornerstone task: after ranking and discussing important lines …show more content…
They will discuss rationales for their
rankings, respond to each other’s rationales, and write rationale statements to defend their ranking. Students will then select
one line to perform. This culminates in students performing their lines in a collective performance, and writing reflective
short essays to describe the impact of the important lines exercise on their comprehension of the play. This deeper
comprehension will then be used to finalize the essay responding to the prompt “How does August Wilson use stories within
the story to build mystery, tension, surprise in the play Fences?
Students will read and think about the short story, "Lamb to the Slaughter", by Roald Dahl. As they do so, they will answer
questions and gather evidence related to how the text builds tension in the reader. Students will then use this evidence to
help write an analytical essay.
Tension in Society: Grade 9, Unit 1
District of Columbia Public Schools | 2016 Page 4 of 3
Instructional Focus Areas Aligned Standards
Close Reading Text Set (approx. 8 lessons)
Students closely read “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been,” and analyze how
Oates uses dialogue and character interactions to build
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August Wilson did not name his play, Fences, simply due to the melodramatic actions that take place in the Maxson household, but rather the relationships that bond and break because of the “fence”. The “fence” serves as a structural device because the character's lives are constantly changing during the construction of the fence. The dramatic actions in the play strongly depend on the building of the fence in the Maxson’s backyard. Fences represents the metaphorical walls or fences that the main characters are creating around themselves in order to keep people in or vice versa. The title may seem straightforward, but in actuality it is a powerful symbol which can either have positive or
In chapter five, by Cris Tovani, “Why Am I Reading This” explains how educators need to establish a clear reading instructional plan. In order to accomplish understanding students need to concentrate on main ideas from the readings. Tovani explains that it is vital for teachers to model how students should hold their thinking or slow down their reading. Throughout the chapters she gives examples as question strategies, highlighting text, or summarizing key points. As this will benefit students in their reading assignment. Tovani also explains throughout the chapter that teachers should model thinking aloud. This strategy will benefit students on how to negotiate difficult text.
The approach to the reading of the novel would be varied. It is anticipated that the class study would begin with a shared reading of the opening chapter to foster students' interest. A prepared reading by the teacher is usually much more involving than a hesitant reading-around-the-class activity (Sykes, n.d.). The aim is to motivate each student to read the
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My English Literature major has helped me to achieve an outstanding level of appreciation, enjoyment, and knowledge of both American and British Literature. As a high school AP English student, I struggled through great works like Hamlet and To the Lighthouse. My teacher’s daily lectures (there was no such thing as class discussion) taught me merely to interpret the works as critics had in the past. I did not enjoy the reading or writing process. As a freshman at Loras, I was enrolled in the Critical Writing: Poetry class. For the first time since grade school, my writing ability was praised and the sharing of my ideas was encouraged by an enthusiastic and nurturing professor. Despite the difficulty of poetry, I enjoyed reading it.
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How to Read Literature Like a Professor: A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading Between the Lines by Thomas C. Foster is a book that explains there is more to literature than just a few words on a paper or a few pages in a book. Thomas Foster’s book portrays a relatable message to a wide based audience. This book is relatable for two reasons, the way it is written and the examples it uses. The book is written in a conversational manner, as if the reader was in a group discussion about books and writing. As for the examples, they are informative, descriptive, relative, and entertaining.
Fences by August Wilson is a play that covers the life of Troy Maxson from the 1950s through the mid 1960s. The main character Troy is an aging man who formerly played in the negro leagues and is now working as a garbage man. Troy struggles with racism, taking care of his family and dealing with the reality that times have changed. Maxson is a strong character with very prominent traits displayed throughout the play. He can be described as hardworking, responsible, and troubled. Those traits attest to who he his, how he lives and play a role into his relationships with family and friends.
Students often find themselves lost and intimidated by their professor’s experience when analysing literature. In “How to Read Literature Like a Professor” by Thomas C. Foster, Foster attempts give students the tools they need in order to begin learning how to read literature. Each chapter covers a unique concept students can begin look for in their reading. The book details what certain events or settings could mean and how they may relate to similar events in other literature.
When a novel is revealing, witty and whimsical it unlocks the hidden truths about literature as discussed in the book How To Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas Foster. This book is written in second person so the reader can experience Foster’s personality that is directed towards them. A reader is given a fresh and clear perception on literature to understand what is being read. Foster clarifies the way writers uses symbols and themes. He believes by analyzing the deeper meaning in literature will help foster a better reader.
In ancient Greece, they started to do plays to celebrate the god of wine and fertility. They started to tell stories and saw that the people in the stories suffered and had traits that made them a tragic hero. Some of these traits are suffering, reversal of fortune, noble, tragic flaw, and recognition. In “Fences” by August Wilson There are many traits of a tragic hero. Some that stand out to the viewers are suffering, reversal of fortune, and recognition.
"Fences" by August Wilson tells the story of a black family in the 1950’s and the dramatic events they have had to overcome as a result of racism. The theme of racism shapes each character in the play, aiding each of the characters in becoming who they are. The main character, Troy, is portrayed as a stereotypical black man during that time. The way he behaves is a reaction of the harsh racism of the era, racism that has negatively impacted the people he cares the most about. He was in his early 50s at the beginning of the play and had already gone through a lifetime suffering which gave him an unpleasant demeanor. He had the attitude of a bitter black man, who believed he could control every aspect of his life, including his family. Troy is made out to be a villain, but, for the most part, only had his family’s best interests at heart. He wanted the best for his son Corey and his wife Rose, but his harsh personality caused him to only be able to show it through tough love.
In the Novella The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, Esperanza, the protagonist, born in Mexico then, moved with her parents to the Chicago suburbs where the novel is set. Like immigrants before her, Esperanza is discontented when she arrives at the house on Mango Street,the place was misrepresented yet again by false claims “ But the house on Mango Street is not the way they told it at all” (8).
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