Colson Whitehead is a New York-based novelist. He is the author of six novels, including his 2016 National Book Award-winning novel The Underground Railroad, which was a selection of Oprah's Book Club 2.0, and was also chosen by President Barack Obama as one of five books on his summer vacation reading list.
There are many links to videos, interviews, resources for analyzing the opening passages of the novel. Also included are links to an NPR Fresh Air interview with the author, a documentary film on the historical underground railroad, slavery and current day human trafficking, “Journey to Freedom,” as well as the New York Times review of Whitehead’s novel and a link to the opening passages of the book.
The lesson features an original prompt on analyzing the opening passage, modeled on recent prompt for Question #2 of the AP Literature exam. Students will craft a persuasive thesis sentence. Instructions and strategies are included on how to teach a rhetorical précis, and hold an inner and outer Socratic Circle.
These lessons fit any Honors Literature class, Pre-AP, American Literature, World Literature or 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.
The packet includes complete lessons, Common Core standards, essential and key questions.
Tags: Close Reading, writing, Pre-AP, critical thinking, race, slavery, theme