Harlem Renaissance Unit | Langston Hughes | Distance Learning Google Classroom

Grade Levels
9th - 12th, Homeschool
Formats Included
  • PDF
  • Google Apps™
  • Internet Activities
11 pages
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Looking for a challenging but accesible poetry unit to add to your unit on the Harlem Renaissance or the American Dream?

These questions on "Harlem" (also known as "Dreams" or "A Dream Deferred") by Langston Hughes, “Sonnet to a Negro in Harlem,” by Helene Johnson, and "We Were the Mask" by Paul Laurence Dunbar will get your students exploring themes of race, culture, and heritage.

The poems are not included because of copyright.

When they complete these lessons, your students will:

have a deeper understanding of the intersection between race and opportunity

familiarize themselves with pivotal poems from the Harlem Renaissance

—strengthen their close reading skills

—strengthen their critical thinking skills

—gain new perspectives on the American Dream

These poems could be used with many texts that deal with the American Dream, race, power, or class. Suggestions include: Their Eyes were Watching God, Death of a Salesman, The Great Gatsby, Invisible Man, A Raisin in the Sun, The Grapes of Wrath, and Of Mice and Men. They could also be used with other art from the Harlem Renaissance including drama, visual art, and music.

There are also prompts for in-class writing as well as for longer assessment.

This handout of thorough and precise questions is ready to go with minimal prep on your part.

Total Pages
11 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
90 minutes
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11–12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.
Apply grades 11–12 Reading standards to literature (e.g., “Demonstrate knowledge of eighteenth-, nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century foundational works of American literature, including how two or more texts from the same period treat similar themes or topics”).
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
By the end of grade 11, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, in the grades 11-CCR text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.By the end of grade 12, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, at the high end of the grades 11-CCR text complexity band independently and proficiently.


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