Inside Llewyn Davis is a 2013 comedy drama film written, directed, produced, and edited by Joel and Ethan Coen. Set in 1961, the film follows one week in the life of Llewyn Davis, played by Oscar Isaac, a folk singer struggling to achieve musical success while keeping his life in order. Although Davis is a fictional character, the story was partly inspired by the autobiography of folk singer Dave Van Ronk. The film won the Grand Prix at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, and has been highly acclaimed.
Students will read the Criterion Collection film essay on Inside Llewyn Davis and view supporting video clips on the film. An additional resource is a TED Talk on the importance of folk music. Students will view links to clips from the film as well as have access to a couple of interviews with the directors and star of the film.
Included is a lesson on crafting a thesis sentence, as well as a link to the Question #3 prompt for the 2009 AP English Language and Composition examination. The students will consider “Inside Llewyn Davis “in writing an original thematic argument concerned with the theme of adversity. Instructions and strategies are included on how to teach a rhetorical précis, and hold an inner and outer Socratic Circle.
The activities fit any Honors Literature class, Pre-AP, American Literature, or AP English Language or Literature class. The packet includes complete lessons, Common Core standards, essential and key questions.
These four lessons prepare students for AP English Language exams, Common Core extended response assessments, American Literature Course exams, the SAT and ACT essay, and critical thinking activities.
Tags: Socratic Seminar, writing, Pre-AP, critical thinking, adversity, musicians, folk music, American Literature