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If you don't know about Wendell Berry, you should! He's a farmer and responsible agriculture advocate, a grandfather of modern conservation and environmentalist movements, a cultural critic, and a political activist. And on top of all that, he's an immaculate writer, who communicates his ideals in a cohesive and critically acclaimed body of work that includes poetry, nonfiction, and fiction. I knew I wanted to read Wendell Berry in my AP English Literature class, and I ended up creating a unit that studies selections from all these genres, investigating his holistic vision for the healing of our damaged earth and communities. And while this unit was designed for an AP class, I think that any teacher (English or otherwise) interested in encountering themes of environmentalism and social activism in literature will find this unit plan to be useful and Wendell Berry to be enlightening!
The first 9 pages of this resource outline my unit. The biggest portion is dedicated to Berry's wonderful novella Remembering. Organized chapter by chapter, I lay out about 20 lesson/activity ideas on the novella, as well as about 30 rich discussion questions. In my other sections on his biography, selected poems, and nonfiction essays, I explain about 15 additional ideas for lessons/activities. You'll also find in these plans numerous links to relevant outside resources and media, as well as my final synthesis-style literary analysis essay assignment that requires students to draw upon multiple works by Berry. And in the appendices of this document, I include 39 pages of printable handouts that correspond to my lesson ideas. Be sure to check out the preview!
While you're here, feel free to check out my other AP Literature unit plans and resources: