The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck Unit
This unit is made up of readings, reading/study guide questions, worksheets/graphic organizers, quizzes, final essays, final exam, and other activities and ideas. They are all in MS Word format for easy editing if needed. Below is a brief description of what is included.
1. Women in Our World.doc
a. An anticipation guide/chart for students to access prior knowledge about the roles of women, and to also consider/compare the progress of women here and in other places.
b. Upon completion, use this document to jumpstart a class discussion about the role of women in our society before beginning the novel.
2. Readings folder (2 files):
a. Generally, I like to start off any unit for a novel with shorter readings that deal with related themes, ideas, background knowledge, etc. I try not to include too much actual "work" with these pre-readings since my sole purpose is to engage their interest in the topics. I like to go through the readings together and solicit thoughts and ideas/responses to the readings with my students. These readings will better help them engage with the upcoming ideas in the actual novel where they'll have to do more significant work/thinking. Included:
i. An excerpt from a novel (4 pages) that details the ideas of "filial piety" and the rules and obligations that Chinese females often had to abide by within their families.
ii. A reading about the history of foot-binding and concubinage (5 pages). It is directly related to The Good Earth and refers to various parts of the novel in explaining these Chinese customs and I've left it in a MS Word doc so that you can edit out plot points if you don't want to spoil the book for your students.
3. Reading Questions folder (6 files)
a. Reading questions are provided for chapters 1-20 (after 20, I have students focus on more activities/essay writing, and thus have forgone additional nightly reading questions for homework). These can be used as discussion when reviewing chapters or assigned in conjunction with nightly reading assignments.
4. Essay assignments folder (7 files)
a. After chapter 7, I assign students a "Conquering Challenges" essay and prompt with related questions and peer editing questions are included.
b. I've included the final essay prompt and directions I primarily use for the end of the book -- focusing on Wang Lung's treatment of O-Lan and Lotus. Guided questions, format, and requirements are included. I use the Jane Schaeffer method, and have included a guide for that as well.
c. One more essay prompt about the fall and rise of the houses is also included as another option. A detailed list of what students should focus on is listed as well.
5. Thoughts vs Actions.doc
a. A graphic organizer to help students record Wang Lung's thoughts versus his actual actions and their implications of the culture.
6. Expectations of Females.doc
a. A graphic organizer to analyze the expectations of females based on the example as set by O-Lan.
7. Alice Walker Poem.doc
a. A worksheet for the analysis of a poem about the role of women and how it relates to the events of The Good Earth.
8. Jade Poem.doc
a. Another worksheet where students take a poem (by Tu Fu) and respond to it by comparing it to the events of The Good Earth. This one focuses on the ruin of a palace.
9. Land Poem.doc
a. Another poem activity that addresses the importance of "land" in The Good Earth and requires a bit of a search through the novel itself. Detailed directions and an example are provided.
10. Poor vs Rich.doc
a. A worksheet in which students do a comparison between the rich and poor in the novel.
11. Dual Voices Poem folder
a. A really fun poem activity that helps students analyze characters -- student worksheet/chart, example poem, and directions are included. The example is done for O-Lan and Lotus, but any other character comparisons can be done. I've left all documents in MS Word format so that you can edit directions if needed.
12. Rise and Fall.doc
a. A worksheet to help students analyze and compare/contrast the rise and fall of both houses.
13. Grand Conversation.doc
a. A great culminating activity where students are given quotes to share/analyze/discuss together. A list of quotes are included along with directions on how to run the discussion.
14. Testing Materials folders
a. Quizzes folder -- 11 quizzes are included for various chapters in the book (most of the quizzes cover several chapters, and take the format of short answer, multiple choice, or true or false).
b. Final exam -- The exam I've included tests students on key words, events, or quotes from the book. The twenty items tested can be used for a Jeopardy review game as well, and a worksheet for students to take notes on is included. Two versions of the final exam are included along with an answer key. For a Jeopardy game, just divide the twenty items into 5 groups of 4 (200, 400, 600, 800, 1000 pts). Put the key term on one side of a notecard/piece of paper, and the point value on the other. You'll have to do some improvising, as there isn't a particular "question" for the answer. But I just have students choose the pt value, read the key term to them, and ask them where the term appears in the novel, and why it's significant to the novel.
15. Additional Assignment Ideas.doc
a. And finally, prompts for quick writes, letters, and other short writing assignment ideas are included (8 more activities).