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A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry | Complete Teaching Unit

A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry | Complete Teaching Unit

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This complete unit has everything you need to deliver profoundly engaging lessons on Lorraine Hansberry's brilliant play, A Raisin in the Sun. The pre-reading handouts, discussion questions, daily quizzes, and analytical writing assignment will challenge your students to dig beneath the surface of the text and generate profound interpretive insights!

Hold your students accountable for completing the nightly homework by beginning every class with a quick vocabulary and reading quiz. Facilitate dynamic discussions that motivate students to become attached to the thrill generating shared knowledge. Challenge your students to analyze textual details using a wide range of interpretive lenses: historicist, psychoanalytic, feminist, etc. 

Here are some highlights from this 180-page editable curriculum:

 Portrait of the Author: Lorraine Hansberry (Pre-Reading Handout): Like the characters in her play, Lorraine Hansberry grew up on the South Side of Chicago and faced intimidation when her family purchased a house in a predominantly white suburban community. This pre-reading handout will provoke students to make connections between Hansberry's life and central themes in A Raisin in the Sun — without any plot spoilers. Includes a follow-up quiz with answer key. (6 pages)

 Image Analysis Worksheet (Pre-Reading Worksheet): This worksheet challenges students to identify and analyze significant details from a painting in Jacob Lawrence's The Migration Series (1941). What do the details in the painting reveal about the housing conditions that African-American migrants faced when they moved to northern cities like New York and Chicago? Answer key included. (3 pages)

 Discussion Question Handouts: Twenty-five pages of higher-order discussion questions guaranteed to inspire profoundly thoughtful class discussions! The unit includes double-sided handouts with 8-10 questions for each the play's 7 scenes. The discussion questions are the beating heart of these lesson plans. They challenge students to build interpretive arguments that require the support of carefully selected textual evidence — leading to keen interpretive insights! The questions could be used to focus students’ thinking prior to beginning a discussion, to foster in-class writing through quick writes, or to assign written reflections for homework. Guaranteed to elicit student engagement and foster profound discussions! (25 pages)

 Discussion Question Answer Keys: The answer keys to the discussion questions are informed by cutting-edge scholarship by English professors who specialize on topics like American theater and African-American literature: Imani Perry, Steven P. Carter, Margaret B Wilkerson, James Baldwin, bell hooks, and many others. Of course, there is rarely a single "correct" answer for any question; rather, the discussions questions are made up of higher-order questions designed to foster lively exchanges and interpretive debates among students. They challenge students to build interpretive arguments that require the support of carefully selected textual evidence. (45 pages)

 Quick Writes: A "quick write" can be used at any time in a class to get students to pause and reflect on the text in writing. Introduce a quick write before you begin a discussion to allow students to collect their thoughts. Or roll one out toward the end of a discussion to let students capture and refine their best ideas. (7 pages)

 Vocabulary Lists: Lists of 10 vocabulary words for each of the play's seven scenes, complete with definitions and sample sentences with the words as used in A Raisin in the Sun. A total of 70 SAT-worthy words. (7 pages)

• Reading & Vocabulary Quizzes: Daily quizzes with 10 questions on the nightly reading homework plus another 10 questions on the vocabulary words. If you choose not to have your students study vocabulary, you can still use the portion of the quiz devoted to reading comprehension. Grading these quizzes is simple and quick. They’re an easy way to log 7 to 14 grades into your gradebook. Answer keys included. (28 pages)

 Literary Devices Quiz: This quiz challenges students to identify the literary devices used in thirty quotations from A Raisin in the Sun. The literary devices include metaphor, simile, personification, hyperbole, oxymoron, allusion, and more. This bundle also features a glossary with definitions of the literary devices as well as examples of how each device is used in Hansberry's play — so you can review the devices with students before they tackle the worksheet. The worksheet can be used either as a quiz or as a fun refresher. Answer key included. (5 pages)

 Quotation Race: Students work in pairs to identify the speakers of 50 key quotations from A Raisin in the Sun. Introduce this fun activity when you need to mix things up, or to refresh students' memories in preparation for the AP exam. Answer key included. (8 pages)

 Q3 Practice Essay: Designed for teachers of AP Literature, this in-class practice essay will allow students to rehearse the "Q3" essay from the AP Literature and Composition Exam. The assignment asks students to write a 40-minute in-class essay in response to one amongst three recent Q3 prompts that featured A Raisin in the Sun as one of the recommended works of literary merit. (5 pages)

 Analytical Writing Assignment: Challenge students to take their interpretations one step further by writing an analytical paper on Hansberry's play. Let students choose from one of five thought-provoking sample topics — or invite them to develop a similar topic of their own. Rubric included. (4 pages)


The resource packet will come to you in two separate formats: Word docs *and* PDFs. Because the Word docs are fully editable, you'll be able to customize the materials to suit your teaching style and/or the needs of particular students — year after year! If you don't have Microsoft Word, you'll still be able to access the entire unit in PDF format, which is easy to navigate and quick to print.

In case you'd prefer to purchase this product on the TPT website, here's a link that will take you to the product page on TPT.

I'm eager to do everything I can to ensure that you have an amazing experience with teaching Hansberry's masterpiece. If you have any questions along the way, please don't hesitate to get in touch via the email address below. I'm always delighted to hear from fellow teachers who share a passion for great literature! 

Happy teaching,

Adam Jernigan

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