Naomi Shihab Nye writes beautiful poetry that makes one think of peace under difficult conditions. Her poem, “My Father and the Fig Tree,” speaks of her father’s love of seemingly fig trees, but really fig trees are just a symbol for a longing for his homeland. Her father was a refugee journalist from Palestine and Naomi Shihab Nye grew up in Ferguson, Missouri.
There are several links to videos, interviews, and resources for understanding the poem, poet and the experience of exile. Also included in the resource, is a TED Talk that explains Palestinians and Israelis working for peace. There is an excerpt from the “On Being” webcast in which Naomi Shihab Nye is interviewed.
The lesson features an original poetry prompt in which students will analysis the poem, as they will craft a persuasive thesis sentence. Instructions and strategies are included on how to teach a SIFT poetry analysis and hold an inner and outer Socratic Circle.
These lessons fit any Honors Literature class, Pre-AP, American Literature, AP English Language or Literature class to 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. Now adaptable for ESOL classes.
The packet includes complete lessons, Common Core standards, essential and key questions. There is an addendum that describes how to adapt the lessons for ELL students.
Tags: Close Reading, writing, Pre-AP, critical thinking, Palestine, Israel, theme, ELL adaptable material, fig trees, peace