The Things They Carried Background and Chapter 1 Unit {Distance Learning}

Created ByAngie Kratzer
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  1. This 190-page bundle of ten resources is more than you will ever need to dive in to Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried. It is designed for students in AP English Language & Composition, dual enrollment, college freshman composition, or a Common Core-aligned American literature class. The unit
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This 34-page unit on the background and Chapter 1 of Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried contains five lesson plans (60-120 minutes each), eleven handouts, one reading quiz, and four versions of a map of Southeast Asia. Materials focus on student understanding of the Vietnam conflict, analysis of symbolism, and writing and analysis of essays in the definition mode.

All materials are provided in both PDF and Google Slides.


Lesson 1: Building Background Knowledge (including Student Handouts A-D---a Vietnam War Timeline, several maps of Vietnam, a soldier lingo scavenger hunt, and a summarizer)

Lesson 2: Symbolism Analysis (including a reading quiz, an exhaustive list of the things the men carry, and Student Handout E, a literary analysis writing exercise)

Lesson 3: The Extended Definition Mode (including Student Handout F, a two-page handout on the extended definition mode)

Lesson 4: Extended Definition as a Device (including Student Handouts G and H, exercises on analyzing the use of extended definition as a device)

Lesson 5: Rhetorical Analysis of an Extended Definition (including Student Handout I, an annotation and writing exercise)

Bonus Materials:

Mini Practice #1: Diction Analysis (Student Handout J)

Mini Practice #2: Syntax Analysis (Student Handout K)

Multiple Choice Question Exercise (Student Handout L)


You might also be interested in The Things They Carried Complete Unit

These resources are included in AP English Language & Composition Product BUNDLE (Save $20 by buying all my AP Lang. products together in a ZIP file!)


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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Work with peers to promote civil, democratic discussions and decision-making, set clear goals and deadlines, and establish individual roles as needed.
Come to discussions prepared, having read and researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence from texts and other research on the topic or issue to stimulate a thoughtful, well-reasoned exchange of ideas.
By the end of grade 11, read and comprehend literary nonfiction in the grades 11-CCR text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.By the end of grade 12, read and comprehend literary nonfiction at the high end of the grades 11-CCR text complexity band independently and proficiently.
Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.
Total Pages
34 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
1 Week
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