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A Raisin in the Sun Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kevin Newton

Kevin has edited encyclopedias, taught history, and has an MA in Islamic law/finance. He has since founded his own financial advice firm, Newton Analytical.

This lesson plan will help your students make the most of having read ''A Raisin in the Sun'' by guiding them through a thematic analysis of the play with a focus on key characters. Find discussion questions and related lessons for expanded learning.

Lesson Objectives

In this lesson, students will learn how to do the following:

  • summarize the events that take place in A Raisin in the Sun
  • list and describe the main characters of the play
  • analyze the themes of dreams, family, and racial prejudice found in the play

Length

  • 40 minutes for instruction
  • 30 minutes for the activity

Materials

  • Index cards
    • Character cards (6), one with each character's name written on it
    • Theme cards (6), two cards for each of the three themes
  • Two baskets/buckets/bowls
  • Copies of the play, A Raisin in the Sun

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.7

Analyze multiple interpretations of a story, drama, or poem (e.g., recorded or live production of a play or recorded novel or poetry), evaluating how each version interprets the source text. (Include at least one play by Shakespeare and one play by an American dramatist.)

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.9-10.3

Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.9-10.3

Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme.

Instructions

This lesson plan assumes that students have read the play, but could be used (without the activity) as an introduction to the play prior to reading it.

  • Begin the lesson by asking students, 'Have you ever been somewhere that you weren't wanted? How did it make you feel?' Write key emotion words on the board.
  • Read the lesson: A Raisin in the Sun: Summary, Characters, Themes, & Analysis and discuss the following questions:
    • Where did the money for the down payment on the house come from?
    • Who lost the remainder of the money, and why?
    • What is Beneatha's dream, and how does it affect the other members of the family?
    • What does the neighborhood want from the Youngers? How does Mr. Lindner try to achieve this?
    • What are some of the themes in A Raisin in the Sun?

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