Archive for the ‘Unit 3: Narrative in Multiple Mediums, The African-American Experience’ Category

frederick-douglass-quotes-2In class we read some slave spirituals and an article on Harriet Tubman to introduce the Underground Railroad.  (Slave Spirituals questions)

On Wednesday (1/4) we’re starting the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass.  You will have to complete a frederick-douglass-reading-guide each day.  We’ll also have some frederick-douglas-freewrites most days.

Click through the break to see some fun stuff on Douglass

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TEWWG11th graders, our next book, Their Eyes Were Watching God , takes place about 30 years before Fences.  Written in 1937 and taking place in the 20s and 30s, Their Eyes Were Watching God is set in an all black town in Florida.  After emancipation, many slaves found themselves still poor and living in racist or hostile areas.  Many felt community was the key to prosperity.  One result of this was the formation of all black towns such as Eatonville, Fl, where  Zora Neale Hurston grew up.  Hurston observed men defining their newfound ability to strive for the American dream in tangible terms — owning a house or a business, perhaps (“Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board.” (Hurston, 1)) — but for Hurston, the American dream was something bigger: love, happiness, independence, power, and voice.  We’ll be tracing these themes throughout our reading of the novel.  Click below to get the handouts from class, an audiobook, and a video of the movie version with Halle Berry. (more…)

swing-for-the-fences-vinyl-wall-designWe’re reading Fences in class, (the long awaited Denzel Washington movie version comes out December 25!)  Here’s a PDF of the script in case you fall behind: fences

11th graders, the free writing can be found here: fences-freewrites in case you miss a day.  While I encourage you to try to articulate theme in your own words based on your reading and our discussion, here are some  Fences Themes

All: In Act 1, Scene 3 we’ll compare James Earl Jones’ interpretation of the  “How come you ain’t never liked me?” scene with Denzel Washington’s:

You can check out a few more scenes from Broadway’s 2010 revival here.

AP kiddos: there’s a bunch of criticism you might find helpful in interpretting the play.  You’ll be assigned one of the following to read and present to the class: Baseball as History and Myth in August Wilson’s FencesWife as MediatorWalking around Fences, or Wrestling Jacob.  You’ll have to answer these questions too: criticism-questions