This lesson is designed to encourage students to write with greater profundity when analyzing an author’s choices regarding narrative perspective and tone. Langston Hughes’s “The Weary Blues” and the passage from James Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues” are appropriately rich text selections to discuss to this purpose. Students will also be exposed to multimedia that teaches a history of jazz music and its nature of collaboration and improvisation. Students will show mastery of the standards at the end of the lesson through a written timed essay scored on an AP style rubric.
In the packet, students are provided links to learn the concept of narrative perspective through a couple different videos, a review of tone words, and two fantastic videos that bring the literature to life. A video that brings one to Harlem during the Jazz Age to experience “The Weary Blues” and a graphic animated reading of the passage from James Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues” is provided. An AP English styled prompt, student samples, rubric, and commentary from an experienced AP English reader is provided.
Key words: James Baldwin, Langston Hughes, African-American literature, jazz, American Literature, fiction, poetry, narrative perspective, AP English Literature, AP English Language, gifted, video study, essay writing