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Rigorous Resources

There There by Tommy Orange | Complete Teaching Unit

There There by Tommy Orange | Complete Teaching Unit

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This complete unit has everything you need to deliver profoundly engaging lessons on Tommy Orange's debut novel, There There. The discussion questions, daily quizzes, literary device exercise, creative writing assignment, and analytical writing assignment will challenge your students to dig beneath the surface of the text and generate profound interpretive insights!


Here are some highlights from the 200-page editable curriculum

 Discussion Question Handouts: Thirty pages of higher-order discussion questions guaranteed to inspire profoundly thoughtful class discussions! This unit features double-sided handouts with 8-10 questions for each of the novel's 12 sections. The discussion questions are the beating heart of these lesson plans. Every discussion question is grounded in concrete textual details and challenges students to arrive at lucid interpretive insights! The questions could be used to focus students’ thinking prior to beginning a discussion, to foster in-class writing such as stop-and-jots, or to assign written reflections for homework. Guaranteed to elicit student engagement and foster profound discussions! (30 pages)

 Discussion Question Answer Keys: The answer keys to the discussion questions are informed by the best scholarly articles on Tommy Orange's There There. 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. (75 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 use one at the end of class to let students capture and refine their best ideas. (12 pages)

 Vocabulary Lists: Lists of 10 vocabulary words for each of the novel's 12 sections, complete with definitions and sample sentences with the words as used in There There. A total of 120 SAT-worthy words. (12 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 12 to 24 grades into your gradebook. Answer keys included. (48 pages)

 Figurative Language Quiz: This quiz challenges students to identify the types of figurative language used in thirty quotations from There There. The literary devices include metaphor, simile, symbolism, paradox, allusion, and foreshadowing. This bundle also features a glossary with definitions of each type of figurative language as well as examples of how each type is used in Tommy Orange's novel — so you can review them with students before they tackle the quiz. The quiz can be used either as a graded assessment or as a fun refresher worksheet. Answer key included. (5 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 for which There There would work great as a work of literary merit. (5 pages)

 Creative Writing Assignment: Invite students to emulate the structure of There There by collaborating in small groups to write a "polyphonic" text. A “polyphonic” text is a multi-voiced literary text that consists of a series of chapters written in the voices of different narrators. Students work in groups to write personal narratives centered around a shared interest, experience, or identity. Student writing sample and rubric included. (3 pages)

 Analytical Writing Assignment: Challenge students to take their interpretations one step further by writing an analytical paper on Tommy Orange's There There. Let students choose from one of 5 thought-provoking sample topics — or invite them to develop a similar topic of their own. Rubric included. (4 pages)

The entire 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 your students' skill levels — 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 via the TPT website, here is 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 There There. 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


P.S. I now begin my 11th-grade American literature course by teaching There There — and it has been my students' favorite book for four years in a row! The current school year is an especially good time to teach this novel because Tommy Orange has just finished writing a sequel to There There which will be released in March 2024. If you're considering teaching this thematically powerful and aesthetically beautiful novel, my advice is to do it!

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