AP English Literature Mini-Lesson on Sex and Violence in Literature

AP English Literature Mini-Lesson on Sex and Violence in Literature
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This mini-lesson includes 10 discussion questions and a casually-phrased Q&A about why authors might include scenes of sex and/or violence in literature.

With reference to the book, "How to Read Literature Like a Professor," this mini-lesson explores three texts (all available online for free):
"Goblin Market" by Christina Rossetti
"Janus" by Ann Beatty
"Out, Out--" by Robert Frost

While this lesson does not require knowledge specifically of other texts, there are references made in the Q&A section to "1984," "Macbeth," "Hamlet," "To Kill a Mockingbird," The Arthurian Legends, "A Lesson Before Dying" and "A Clockwork Orange." The file in which these works are mentioned, however, is fully editable and they can certainly be removed or changed to reflect your personal curriculum.

This mini-lesson is best completed in 80-120 minutes or so. The pacing can be condensed or extended based on your needs and how much time you devote in class to reading the three texts listed above. Assigning the texts for homework ahead of time could help you complete this mini-lesson in only on (40-minute) class period. If you choose to have the students read each of the three texts in class, work in groups to annotate and comment on each short work of literature and present their findings, review the Q&A as a class and hold a deep, focused discussion, this could easily take a week if you would like to stretch it and dig deeply.
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Teaching Duration
90 minutes
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