Descriptive Course Data Instructor: Stephanie Vasse Grade Level: 11th

Course: English Language Arts Unit: As Raisin in the Sun

Period: 2, 3, 5, 6, 7 Length: 10 days

Goal By the end of this unit, students will be well-familiar with the struggles of black Americans during the 1950s era. This unit centers around discussion and student inquiry so that students may gain a deep insight into the text and, specifically, into the characters. Hansberry's use of characterization is remarkable, and the main driving force behind the play, so the characters are the driving force of the unit. However, the unit also rides on the discussion of controversial topics to help make the play relevant to student lives, and to assist students in building oral presentation skills. Overall, this unit touches briefly on many subjects brought up within the play, from religion to abortion to African history. A longer unit would explore the subjects more thoroughly, but in the time given, the goal is to give students a deep insight into characterization, and a more broad and surface view of many controversial subjects. All the while, students exercise their verbal skills. Because we are watching/listening the play (using two different movie versions and an audio tape) instead of reading it, we also briefly focus on why and in what context directors and screenwriters change things for a movie, and the impact such changes have upon the movie. This exercises students' visual literacy and draws on subjects relevant to their lives. Alabama Standards Met 1. Analyze twentieth and twenty-first century American literary selections for plot structure, cultural significance, and use of propaganda. 2. Compare the use of oral presentation skills of self and others. 3. Analyze authors’ use of literary elements, including characterization, theme, tone, setting, mood, plot, and literary point of view, in American short stories, drama, poetry, or essays and other nonfiction literature, predominantly from 1900 to the present. 1. Identifying major historical developments of language and literature in America from 1900 to the present. 2. Evaluating author technique Objectives Students should be able to: 1. Name and identify the individual characters 2. Identify the character's dreams and their significant character traits 3. Analyze authorial intent behind the characterization of each character and how it affects the theme 4. Analyze the relationships between characters while making personal connections to the text 5. Recall important moments from the plot and name their location on a plot diagram 6. Make predictions about the plot as the story unfolds 7. Discuss the history behind and the relevance of the 1950s setting 8. Analyze the choices of the director and screenwriter while considering the reasons for their artistic decisions in altering scene 9. Compare and contrast the original text and the movie 10. Orally discuss topics with clarity, precision, and support of the text


Utilize text evidence in writing to justify their opinions on the play

Materials A Raisin in the Sun 2004 version on DVD A Raisin in the Sun 1961 version on Youtube Character Analysis sheet Anticipation guides Daily Outcome/Bellwork Powerpoint slides Paper, pencil Posters, markers Assessment of Student Learning Students receive frequent 10 point grades on their daily participation in discussion, bellwork, or completed “after” work (exit passes, 3-2-1s, completed anticipation guides) Students receive 50 points for their completed character analysis sheet Students receive 100 points for their completed group project Students receive 100 points for their final short essay Accommodations Students with IEPs receive preferential seating near the front Students with IEPs receive extra test-taking time Use of graphic organizer to support struggling readers Use of read-alouds to support struggling readers Use of movie to support the understanding of struggling readers All instructions for assignments given in multiple formats, instructions always on the board Procedures Day 1 (50 min) Daily Outcome: Students will be introduced to A Raisin in the Sun, the author behind it, and the period in which it was written. (10 min) Quick Write. “Someone has thrown a brick through your window? Why? Try to relate it to your real life.” (5 min) Take up QW's, read a selection of them anonymously. Note how some people take it more seriously than others, while others focus on the humorous aspect. (10 min) Pretest. Test will determine what students already know about The Harlem Renaissance and the American Dream. (10 min) Read the “To The Editor of the New York Times” letter from Lorraine Hansberry in the text. I will read the first paragraph aloud, students will read the next three aloud, then they will read the last two paragraphs independently. Students will then read the brief blurb in our book about Hansberry's life and death. (10 min) After reading, we will discuss her life and early death. What do we think about the decision of her father that led to the brick through the window? Do the students support his decision?

(5 min) Discuss the poem at the end of the letter, “A Dream Deferred.” In small groups, students will make predictions for the play based on the play and the letter. Day 2 (50 min) Daily Outcome: Students will read Act 1, Scene 1, and familiarize themselves with the characters. (10 min) Quick Write: “How do you react to the brick thrown through your window? What are your next actions – do you throw the brick back, go after the culprit, or start cleaning up the mess? Are you angry or resigned?” (30 min) Reading aloud. Students will take parts and read for the characters for two pages each. Carefully read over Hansberry's use of figurative language and description (focusing on Ruth and Walter for now) as she introduces each character. (5 min) Exit pass. Make a prediction about the future scenes in the play. Day 3 (50 min) Daily Outcome: Students will familiarize themselves with the big screen adaptations of A Raisin in the Sun (10 min) Pass out character analysis sheet. Give instructions to students to fill in what they know so far about Ruth. (20 min) Begin by watching the old movie, identifying the characters we have read about so far as we go along. Continue through Beneatha's introduction. Pause to discuss and fill in parts of the sheet – what do we know about Walter? Beneatha? Mama? (20 min) Class discussion of Beneatha's scene with Mama. Did she deserve to be slapped for decying God in her mother's house? Why does she have this attitude towards god? Is she a genuine Atheist or merely a follower? Is Beneatha spoiled and flighty or revolutionary and driven? Students will have mixed opinions. This is good! Day 4 (50 min) Daily Outcome: Students will review some key information about A Raisin in the Sun, complete Act 2 Scene 1, and continue analyzing the characters. (15 min) Mini-lesson on the Harlem Renaissance. Students will look at images from the time period and, in small groups, read a chunked portion of the article about the time period. We will then come back together as a class to discuss the pieces of information each group gleaned from their paragraph. (15 min) Watch the old movie first, then transition over to the new movie. Favor the new movie when possible – students appreciate the clearer voices. (20 min) Second mini-lesson on Beneatha's argument. Students will take notes on a short lecture about the history of Africa according to Beneatha. Discuss what students know about Africa's history before the mini-lesson – how much or how little have they learned? Have they heard about any of the subjects Beneatha mentions? Big question: Does racism motivate the fact students do not know more about this subject?

(5 min) 3 – 2 – 1: Three things students learned about the Harlem Renaissance, two connections to the play, and one question they still have.

Harlem Renaissance Article It has been argued that the Harlem Renaissance is the defining moment in African American literature because of an unprecedented outburst of creative activity among black writers. The importance of this movement to African American literary art lies in the efforts of its writers to exalt the heritage of African Americans and to use their unique culture as a means toward re-defining African American literary expression. While the Harlem Renaissance began as a series of literary discussions in the lower Manhattan (Greenwich Village) and upper Manhattan (Harlem) sections of New York City, it gained national force when Charles Spurgeon Johnson, editor of Opportunity, the official organ of the National Urban League, encouraged aspiring writers to migrate to New York in order to form a critical mass of young black creative artists. The great migration from rural America, from the Caribbean, and from Africa to northern American cities (such as New York, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.) between 1919 and 1926, in fact, allowed the Harlem Renaissance to become a significant cultural phenomenon. Black urban migration, combined with trends in American society as a whole toward experimentation during the 1920s, and the rise of radical black intellectuals — including Alain Locke, Marcus Garvey, and W. E. B. Du Bois — all contributed to the particular styles and unprecedented success of black artists during this period. Among the poets, fiction writers, and essayists answering Johnson’s call were Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, Claude McKay, Helene Johnson, Zora Neale Hurston, Nella Larsen, and Jean Toomer. Landmark texts that marked this transformation and encouraged increased exploration of African American experience through literature included The Book of American Negro Poetry (1922), edited by James Weldon Johnson and The New Negro (1925) by Locke. The short-lived literary magazine Fire!! (1926) also had a significant impact on the literary production because it represented the efforts of younger African American writers (such as Hughes and Hurston) to claim their own creativity apart from older artists (such as DuBois and James Weldon Johnson), as well as to establish autonomy from potential white exploiters. With greater possibilities for artistic self-determination, the writers of the Harlem Renaissance produced a sizable body of work, often exploring such themes as alienation and marginalization. Several writers, including Hughes, Hurston, Larsen, and Toomer relied particularly on the rich folk tradition (oral culture, folktales, black dialect, jazz and blues composition) to create unique literary forms. Other writers, such as Cullen, McKay and Helene Johnson wrote within more conventional literary genres as a way to capture what they saw as the growing urbanity and sophistication of African Americans. The literature of the Harlem Renaissance, therefore, reflects the multiple ways that black experience in America was perceived and expressed in the first decades of the twentieth century. Sources used: Trudier Harris-Lopez, “Forward” Harlem Renaissance, Volume I. Janet Witalec, project editor. Farmington Hill, MI: Gale, 2003 Call and Response: The Riverside Anthology of the African American Literary Tradition. Ed. Patricia Liggins Hill. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998.

Day 5 (50 min) Not part of the overall unit (5 min) Introduction to peer editing. Go over the steps students need to take and pass out the peer editing sheet. (45 min) Students peer edit two papers during the period. I will walk around to offer editing assistance as needed and to check for participation.

Peer Editing Sheet Directions: Review the paper for the requirements listed below. Place a checkmark next to the editing steps that students need to take. ORGANIZATION ____ Include at least 4 sentences in the introductory paragraph and conclusion. ____ Place the thesis statement at the end of the introduction. ____ Create at least 3 body paragraphs with at least 6 sentences each. ____ Restate your thesis or sum up your main points in the conclusion. ____ Add more details and examples to your paper so that it meets the required minimum length of 3 full pages (excluding the Works Cited page). GRAMMAR AND MECHANICS Directions: Quietly read the paper aloud to check for parts of the paper that ‘sound’ wrong. This can help you spot grammatical errors. ____ Surround titles of articles, short stories, or poems with quotation marks every time they appear in your paper. ____ Italicize titles of books or plays every time they appear in your paper. ____ Correct run-on sentences that go on and on and on... ____ Avoid fragments, make sure sentences are complete thoughts. ____ Spell words correctly. FORMAT The Paper ____ Indent your paragraphs. ____ Double space everything. Do not place extra spaces between paragraphs. ____ Include a header with your last name and the page number on each page. ____ On the first page, include a heading with your name, Mrs. Clark, English 11, and the date. Works Cited Page ____ Begin the Works Cited list on a new page. ____ Use hanging indents. ____ Alphabetize your list by author’s last name or the title of the article if the author is anonymous. EFFECTIVENESS ____ Some points are confusing, clarify your meaning. ____ Use more examples to explain your point. ____ Use more transitions to make the writing flow. ____ There are too many quotes and not enough of your own thoughts. ____ Strengthen your introduction. ____ Strengthen your conclusion.

Day 6 (50 min) Daily Outcome: Students will complete Act 2 Scene 2, and discuss the scenes excluded from the films and those added. (10 min) Quick Write: “Think of a book, comic book, cartoon, or other story that has been adapted into a movie. What did you think about the adaptation? Were you disappointed? Why do you think filmmakers change things about the stories they adapt. Should they be allowed to make those changes?” (10 min) Class discussion of the quick write. This one will definitely get them going – make connections between the adjustments in popular series and their movies (The Last Airbender, Harry Potter, Twilight). Discuss the upcoming Hunger Games movie if interest is there. (15 min) Watch the new movie. Pause to discuss the new scene added when Mama gives Walter the money. Have a student read the scene in the play aloud to show the stark comparison. Is Walter more depressed in one version? More convincing? Which message is more powerful, the movie or the play? Does it make a difference that Hansberry herself wrote the scene in the movie? (10 min) Continue on to the house scene, another scene that is added/modified from the play. Why was this not in the original play? What constraints does a play have that a movie does not? (5 min) Exit pass: what would you change about the play so far? Day 7 (50 min) Daily Outcome: Students will finish Act 2, Scene 3, and begin the final scene. Students will make predictions for the finalé. (10 min) Allow students to settle. Pass out Anticipation Guide. Emphasize that, while right answers are not correct at the beginning, they need to be correct by the end of class. (20 min) Watch the scene in the new movie. Pause to discuss the change in the hat scene – it was moved to be part of the house scene earlier. What was important about the house scene? Is the story more or less effective with the house scene? (10 min) Give students time to correct Anticipation Guide. Discuss the the purposefully ambiguous questions to see what students decided to agree or disagree with. (10 min) Has Walter changed? Has Mama changed? Refer back to the character analysis sheet, students will work in small groups to determine if Mama and Walter are dynamic or static characters.



Statement Beneatha and Walter are finally going to get along with each other. Mr. Linder will be an openly racist character who threatens the Youngers. Something will go wrong before the Youngers move. Something will go wrong after the Youngers move. Walter will not have enough money to invest in the liquor store. Walter will continue to get drunk now that they’ve invested in the liquor store. Mama will rely on God when faced with adversity. Beneatha will blame Walter if something goes wrong.



Day 8 (50 min) Students will complete A Raisin in the Sun, then discuss their reactions to the final scene. (5 min) Allow students to settle. Discuss the daily outcome. Pass out the Character analysis sheet as needed. (10 minutes) Begin with a discussion of Beneatha and Asagai’s scene. Have someone read Beneatha’s monologue, then part of Asagai’s. Discuss Asagai’s dream about moving to Africa. How does this reflect his resistance to assimilation? How does Asagai represent Africa (and its history) as a nation? (25 min) Watch the last scene of A Raisin in the Sun. Stop periodically to discuss. (10 min) Discussion of the final scene. Discuss decisions made by the characters in the final moments. Discuss predictions previously made by students. Do students understand Walter’s decision? Do they support the final scene or would they like to rewrite it? Make sure students are filling in the character analysis sheet. Discuss decisions made by Hansberry as a writer. Day 9 (50 min) Daily Outcome: Students will illustrate and explain examples of characters’ dreams and nightmares in A Raisin in the Sun. (10 min) Pass out instructions for the group project. (These are on the Pedagogy page of this portfolio). Students move into their assigned groups to determine student skills. (5 min) Students draw for the character Pass out two sheets of poster paper to each group. (35 min) Students work on their group project. I walk around the class to assess how they are working as groups and to offer assistance as needed. Day 10 (50 min) Daily Outcome: Students will illustrate and explain examples of characters’ dreams in A Raisin in the Sun, then present to the class. (30 min) Students get back into their groups and work. I walk around to judge they are working and to offer assistance. (15 min) Students present their posters to the class, explain the selected quotes and use of imagery, then answer questions from me about how their poster relates to “The American Dream.” Students who are watching fill in whatever portion of their character analysis sheet is incomplete, then turn it in.

Group Posters Rubric I am grading you based on your efforts and ability to work together as a **GROUP** not as an individual. Group Members:_______________________________________________________ You will be graded as follows: 1. All group members participated in the brainstorming. 10 8 6 4 2 0

2. All group members contributed at least one artistic/aesthetic decision to the presentation. 10 8 6 4 2 0

3. All group members participated in preparing the actual presentation. 10 8 6 4 2 0

4. Presentation is grounded in the text. 10 8 6 4 2 0

5. The presentation reflects the dreams/nightmares of the assigned character. 10 8 6 4 2 0

6. Imagination and creativity were used to connect the dreams and the nightmares. 10 8 6 4 2 0

7. The presentation began, progressed logically, and was brought to a clear end. 10 8 6 4 2 0

8. The group was able to articulate the reasons for the choices made/participate in the discussion after. 10 8 6 4 2 0

Total points:______ out of 80. Written justification: ________ out of 20. Final grade: ________

Day 11 (50 min) Daily Outcome: Students will write to show what they know about A Raisin in the Sun (5 min) Pass out prompts for the students who have lost theirs. Settle students, place instructions on the board for the assignment. (45 min) Write! Final assessment. Students turn in their books as they complete the assessment. (Rubric and summary for the final assessment are on the Pedagogy page of this portfolio)

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