British Imperialism: Short Story Unit
I teach this unit on British Imperialism to my 12th Grade Honors classes at the end of the school year. The unit is aimed at studying the literature of the era in order to uncover the perceptions and emotions of individuals caught on both sides of Imperialism. The concept of Imperialism involves the major work of nations (war, exploitation, servitude, enslavement), yet the literature exposes the conflicts, emotions, and true human nature of those people who lived within the social and political systems. I want my students to understand that there are people, relationships, conditions, choices, and motivations in every era of history; it is easy to judge historical events and figures from our contemporary standpoint, but it is important to remember that everybody has a back-story. These stories reveal that the relationships within the Imperialistic social structure were not always what they seemed.
This is a bundled unit of six major lessons including the texts themselves or links to the texts:
A pairing of "White Man's Burden" and "Non-Violent Resistance"
Desai's "Games at Twilight"
Orwell's "Shooting an Elephant"
Lessing's "No Witchcraft for Sale"
Gordimer's "Six Feet of the Country"
Gordimer's "The Train from Rhodesia"
It also includes a background PPT, a link to a great background video, an anticipation PPT, a culminating project with rubric, and guiding questions for the movie "Rabbit Proof Fence" which can be used as either a unit opener or closer. Most lessons have identification level quizzes to check reading, and each lesson requires either socratic discussion or personal response prompts. Many of the documents are fully editable.
Each lesson concerns the enduring themes associated with imperialism, but also provides a study of various literary elements including characterization, motivation, setting, symbolism, author's craft, etc.
All of these lessons are available for sale separately through my store, but you will save time, money, and effort with the purchase of this bundle. These lessons are very adaptable; the stories can be read in class or assigned as homework depending on the how serious "senioritis" has become with your classes!
Key words: British Literature, 12th Grade, Orwell, Desai, Gordimer, Gandhi, Lessing, Imperialism, Short Story, Critical Thinking.