Intruder in the Dust Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Increase student understanding of Faulkner's 'Intruder in the Dust' with this lesson plan. Two text lessons allow students to accurately apply reading strategies, analyze characters, and comprehend plot. A culminating activity and quiz are included.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • analyze characters in Intruder in the Dust by William Faulkner
  • summarize Intruder in the Dust


Lessons included for before, during, and after reading and may be modified as needed.


Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1

Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.2

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.

  • 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.9-10.4

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language evokes a sense of time and place; how it sets a formal or informal tone).

Before Reading

  • Distribute copies of the novel Intruder in the Dust by William Faulkner.
  • Break students into small groups and ask them to read the back cover, then discuss together what they think the book will be about.
  • Have students create a section in their reading notebooks titled Intruder in the Dust, then create a subcategory for characters.
  • Write the names of the characters on the board as listed in the lesson Intruder in the Dust: Characters & Quotes.
  • Instruct students to copy the character's names into their notebooks, leaving room between each to write important information such as the character's thoughts, words, feelings and actions, along with relevant quotes.
  • Have students finish preparing their notebooks for reading by creating a section for plot, vocabulary, questions and wonderings.

During Reading

  • As students read the novel, have them add information to their notebooks. Meet regularly to review and discuss.
  • Allow students to share their questions and wonderings at meeting times, discussing the plot and character development.

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