Things Fall Apart
Tired of teaching Things Fall Apart the same way every year? This is a bundle of 4 activities and 1 test that you can use while teaching Things Fall Apart.
This bundle includes:
1. A hook activity for Things Fall Apart: What Are Your Biases?
2. An Okonkwo analysis activity
3. A sensory detail lesson with a travel journal assignment
4. A Socratic Seminar
5. A multiple-choice test & study guide
1.Things Fall Apart Opening Lesson: What Are Your Biases? This activity helps students to examine their own biases about Africa in order to prepare to read Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. The lesson includes a brainstorm, a small group discussion, three writing events, and a TedTalk. This is a technology enhanced lesson that requires teachers to be comfortable with Youtube, Google Forms, and Wordle.
Achebe wrote Things Fall Apart to help the world learn about Africa from someone other than a colonist. Students will examine what they know about Africa and see if they fall prey to stereotypes. (They usually do.) Recognizing this primes students to tackle Things Fall Apart and makes them more open to reading a book about a culture that may be totally foreign to them.
2. Okonkwo analysis activity: This is a fun, hands-on activity for students studying Things Fall Apart. Students should do this activity after reading Part I. Make available any supplies that students could use to build their representation. Some students will build 3-D objects, but others will just draw a visual. Either way, the point is for them to defend their visual assertion about Okonkwo with text support. Students can work individually or in pairs.
3. Sensory detail lesson and travel journal assignment: In this activity, you will introduce students to sensory details with the provided PowerPoint. Students will then practice using their sensory details to write a descriptive journal about visiting Okonkwo’s village in Things Fall Apart. Students will explore an aspect of Ibo society as if they are an anthropologist studying the Ibo. This product contains a 26-slide PowerPoint that introduces sensory details and an assignment sheet with the requirements for the travel journal. This is a good lesson for teachers who do not feel comfortable teaching sensory details, as it is basically “Sensory Details 101.” I use this lesson with my 10 Honors class. If you have more advanced writers, this may not be a helpful lesson for your students.
This assignment is great to use after students read Part I of Things Fall Apart.
Print, copy, & go!
4. Socratic Seminar: A Socratic seminar is a student-led discussion. Students sit in a circle and share their ideas for each question, ideally building on each other and coming to new and exciting conclusions. Students should discuss each question for about 10-15 minutes.
During the seminar, students should take notes that will help them answer the reflection questions.
This seminar includes a section for personal goal setting, questions for two groups, reflection questions, a rubric, and a note-taking sheet for the teacher.
5. Multiple-choice test: This is a detailed, 81-question multiple choice test for the novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. It also includes a 6-page study guide.The test questions focus on characters, events, Ibo words, and Ibo traditions. The questions are in chronological order and are divided up by chapter. I use this test at the end of my Things Fall Apart unit as a reading check, but you can break up the test and use different sections as reading quizzes throughout the unit.
The study guide has graphic organizers for students to fill in: setting chart, character charts, plot maps, a tradition/culture chart, and a language chart.
Sometimes… a teacher just needs a Scantron test!