Notes On The Novel ' Fences ' And ' Pied Piper Of Tucson '

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Unit 1 Guide

Unit Learning


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 Oatesshort 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?

Unit Test

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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