Franz Kafka’s “A Hunger Artist” – a surreal allegory – will capture all of your readers: spectacle-seekers will be appropriately entranced with its up-close look into the life of a hunger artist while the artistic and literary will be delighted with its hidden allegorical meanings. Everyone will appreciate the connection it offers to the world of artists.
This story is a perfect introduction to Kafka: while the ideas it presents are sophisticated, the story itself isn’t difficult, and I’ve provided 20 questions, prompts, and activities to help students get the most out of their reading. I've also made associations with social media, a modern connection that keeps this story vibrant.
This 2-day lesson plan will let you develop your students’ skills at literary analysis, while focusing on the interpretation of the story as allegory. The pre- and post-reading activities will let you make meaningful real-life connections to the role of the audience and the gaze in social media… all while meeting Common Core ELA standards.
This resource includes:
The full text of the story
with helpful pull-quotes.
Pre-reading writing prompt
for students to start deep-thinking about the role of the audience and applying the idea of the audience to their use of social media.
A mini-review of allegory.
An allegory tabling graphic organizer
for students to extract one of the allegories most commonly associated with the story: the allegory of the artist. I’ve included 2 versions of the organizer: one version for most students; the 2nd version for advanced students. In the first version, all details are provided, but they’ve been placed in the wrong table cells… requiring students to determine the correct placing. In the 2nd version, I’ve left the table blank so students can use the text to find the required details for the surface story, then make the necessary inferences to supply the allegory details.
A closing reflective activity
that draws on the concept of the gaze as social necessity and asks students to think about the gaze in connection to social media.
Plus 17 more questions & activities
to guide your students through the text as they:
• provide textual evidence
• paraphrase the text
• make inferences
• analyze character motivation
• make contrasts
• determine theme & author perspective
I’ve also included a detailed key for quick-as-a-breeze grading AND teaching notes with lots of helpful suggestions.
• 2-DAY PLAN: includes the story, questions & activities, teaching notes, CCSS alignment page (15 pages, 1 pdf file)
• KEY (4 pages, 1 pdf file)
A perfect lesson plan to introduce Kafka to your grade 9 - 10 literature class!
Looking for short story materials? You might be interested in these resources...
★ "Ancient Lights" short story literary analysis with non-fiction science article
★ "The Sniper": Literary Analysis, Presentation, & Creative Thinking Task
★ Edgar Allan Poe "The Fall of the House of Usher": Literary Analysis, 3-Day Plan
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