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Week 1: Introduction to the World, Characters, and Culture of Things Fall Apart

Monday (4/13), 95 minutes


Wednesday (4/15), 50 minutes

Friday (4/17), 95 minutes

[Science M-Step for juniors]




when we only hear one story about a culture/people/place





Journal (20): What do we know about Okonkwo’s community and society so far? Include 3 quotes from Ch 1-4.


On a scrap sheet of paper, write down five things that you find to be the most meaningful/important/resonant to you

Cultural understanding activity with substitute

Introduce students to the culture and world of Things Fall Apart

“The White Man’s Burden” poem, define imperialism

Read once as a class, have students jot down a 2-3 sentence summary and call on students to read out loud. Include guess as to what this “white man’s burden” seems to be.

Small groups; mark words or phrases that show speaker’s attitude or POV

Context clues to understand language and cultural references (it’s not always

convenient to pause reading to look through that list at the front of the book)


Define direct and indirect characterization

POV = limited omniscient

Use maps 1 and 2 to determine how the POV in the poem relates to the two maps

Who is a protagonist? Who is an antagonist? What motivates each character?



Independent writing: What do these texts convey about imperialist relationships? What is the relationship between “The White Man’s Burden” and “The Danger of a Single Story?”

Stress that we are gaining insight into Okonkwo’s culture by looking at Okonkwo’s family; we’re not hearing a version of his story told by an outsider

Find examples of indirect and direct characterization for at least 4 characters. List quotes and page number



Pass out sketch character guide Overview of unit, pass out calendar

For next class: Ch 1-4

For next class: Ch 5-7


For next class: Ch 8-10


Learning Target(s):

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Week 2:

Monday (4/20), 95 minutes

Thursday (4/23), 50 minutes

Friday (4/24), 50 minutes

Journal (20): What does it mean to “be a man” according to Okonkwo? Support your response with AT LEAST 2 quotes from Ch 5- 10. Does this view of masculinity seem to be more of Okonkwo’s personal beliefs, or a societal belief? Where do his views on masculinity come from?





Allegory in the Tortoise Story


Define allegory, give examples

Four corners discussion

Folk traditions in TFA

1. Reverend Smith was a better leader than Mr. Brown because he was “black and white” (in this case, better = more

Why do we have folktales in our own cultures? What are some examples?

Using photocopies of Tortoise story from Things Fall Apart, have students annotate story and consider what it might mean beyond a simple animal story.

effective, not kinder)

Return to cultural understanding activity how did it go? Tell students that I’m compiling them and will upload to the Google Drive folder as a study resource

2. The Christian missionaries deserved to have the church burned because of what Enoch did

3. The Igbo elders should give up their



Small groups

Let students know that there will be a reading quiz at some point this week

Return to large group for discussion, and then individual writing?

How can we apply this to the novel?


peaceful approach to the missionaries and use violence to drive them out

4. The Igbo people could have prevented the missionaries from taking over

5. Umuofia would not have ended up like this if Okonkwo had not been banished and had risen to power as planned

Sticky note analysis: each student is given a Post-It note to put on a page of the text where they find something worth questioning, talking, or thinking about



Does the story tell us about anything that is coming as we move forward in Things Fall Apart?

Small groups to discuss, then transition to the larger group?

Return to indirect/direct characterization


Why would Achebe include this? What is he saying about their world?



Why talk about these?

What is the moral? What values does it reflect?

Cultural quote tracking

Method of cultural preservation for Achebe

End with Fifteen Minute Essay


For next class: Ch 11-13

For next class: Ch 14-17


For next class: Ch 18-22, read A Small Place (excerpt) by Jamaica Kincaid

Learning Target(s):

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Week 3:

Monday (4/27), 95 minutes


Wednesday (4/29), 95 minutes

Friday (5/1), 50 minutes

Journal: How are things falling apart? Include 3 quotes from Ch 18-22 that reveal specifically how things are falling apart.

Journal: Make 3 lists (each list should include at least 5 characters) ranking Things Fall Apart characters from…

Collaborative test review


1. Most to least powerful

Discussion how are things falling apart?

2. Most to least sympathetic

3. Those who have the most voice to

“The Second Coming” Yeats poem

those who are most silenced *After each list, write a paragraph (~5 sentences) explaining your choices

Connect to POV and “The Danger of a Single Story”

Writing task what is the relationship between the poem and TFA?

Ending discussion

The idea of a fatal flaw what was Okonkwo’s fatal flaw?

Is he a martyr? A symbol for something larger than himself?

Return to “Danger of a Single Story” quotes

What does the “danger of a single story” mean in the world of Things Fall Apart?

Pass out test review sheet

For next class: Ch 23-25 (end)

For next class: Begin exam review

For next class: Prepare for Things Fall Apart test

Learning Target(s):

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Week 4:

Monday (5/4), 95 minutes


Thursday (5/6), 95 minutes

Friday (5/8), 50 minutes

Things Fall Apart Test

Mini outline due

Outline check at the beginning of class (3 points on final essay grade)

Journal catch up time (15 minutes)

Students pick up a journals checklist

Peer review of outlines

How did the test go?

Time to type in class and ask Megan questions

Go around and read theses, turn in mini outline

Turn in outline (read all over weekend)

*Have notetaker begin to take notes* Look at an old copy of a Things Fall Apart essay and analyze what makes it (in)effective

Look specifically at quote analysis

How do we “say more” about the quote?

Read/discuss short story (Marriage is a Private Affair) and create a fifteen minute essay as a group.

Then, students do it themselves (or in pairs) for Marriage is a Private Affair,focusing on analysis (use a different quote).

Pass out essay outline guide; time to work on outline in class.

For next class: Mini outline

For next class:

For next class:

Journals due Full essay outline due

Learning Target(s):

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Week 5:

Monday (5/11), 95 minutes

Wednesday (5/13), 95 minutes

Friday (5/15), 50 minutes

Pass back outlines with teacher feedback

Essay work day


Essay work day

FORUM DAY No classes

1:1 Writing Conferences

For next class: Essay work

For next class: Essay due next class


Learning Target(s):

Learning Target(s):