This comprehensive mini-unit provides a literary analysis of the enduring and beloved story, the parable of "The Prodigal Son." Social justice themes, such as poverty and equity, are emphasized through a historic-critical reading of this ancient Mediterranean classic. This lesson attends to three major components of English Language Arts: social perspective taking, critical thinking and inquiry, and composition. The social scientific research article on social perspective taking (Harvard University) develops the students understanding of empathy in relationship building, and provides synthesis content in a modern context. The activities are highly collaborative. They include: readings, a characterization questionnaire, role play activity, socratic seminar, differentiated essay prompts, and more! The complete three-session lesson plan includes a beautiful PDF powerpoint that walks the teacher and the students through the instructional sequence. Rubrics are also included. Each lesson/activity responds to common core standards. This literature unit is most near and dear to my heart, and it has been a consistent success in my classroom. I hope you grow to love it as much as I do!