I taught this unit to both my advanced senior English classes that, during Black History month, started a unit on the treatment of Black Americans after the Civil War. In part because of its mature themes, reading the novel The Color Purple by Alice Walker is a very powerful way to help a student understand what Black Americans, especially women, went through in the early 1900's.
This unit integrates history, art, public speaking and listening, and technology. The final assessment is a critical analysis paper (prompts provided by the teacher) graded via an established rubric. There are also six formal chapter tests included that serve the purpose of evaluating reading comprehension and progress. The tests are over certain sections of the novel and are short answer.
To prepare students for the critical analysis paper summative assessment, each was asked to bring in two original writing prompts for each section of the book, to read one of these prompts aloud to their classmates, and then to write about whichever prompt they liked best. During the last class period of the unit, students were given written feedback on the prompts they had submitted and chose one to extend. These were required to be in MLA format.
- Lesson 1: Historical Context & Biography
- Lesson 2: Structure & point of view
- Lesson 3: Characters & Character Development
- Lesson 4: Themes, Symbols, & Figurative Language
- Lesson 5: Significance of the Novel
- Quizzes (1-6)
Revised version now includes KEYS to crossword puzzle and all quizzes!