Sharon has an Masters of Science in Mathematics and a Masters in Education
After this lesson, students will be able to:
- summarize Salvation by Langston Hughes
- identify and analyze tone and theme in Salvation
1 - 1.5 hours
- Copies of the lesson Salvation by Langston Hughes: Summary, one for each student
- Copies of the essay Salvation by Langston Hughes, one for each student
- Five pieces of chart paper hung around the room, with marker
- Short quotes from the essay exemplifying differing tones, such as sad, sarcastic, formal, informal, and so on, written on paper and cut into strips
- Copies of the quiz, one for each student
- Literary device
Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
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.
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).
- Start by reviewing tone with students, giving a definition and examples. Determine categories for tone (formal, informal, serious, sad, happy, excited and so on depending on your specific curriculum requirements) and record them on the board.
- Now give each student the prepared strips of paper with examples of tone and instruct them to read their quote and decide which category it belongs to.
- Instruct students to form groups with other students with quotes of the same tone.
- When students are in their groups, have them read their quotes and defend their choice; allow students to rearrange themselves as needed.
- When students have made their final decisions, have groups share their quotes and discuss each as a whole class.
- For example, the quote 'What difference does it make for me to show up? I'll do what I want!' may be in the 'Anger' category because it depicts a sense of aggression.
- Now tell students they will be reading an essay by Langston Hughes and working on identifying tone. Distribute the lesson Salvation by Langston Hughes: Summary and read the first section 'Langston Hughes' together. Allow students to share prior knowledge in small groups.
- Now give students a copy of the essay Salvation and have them read silently. Have them work with their groups to analyze and summarize with the help of the section 'Salvation Summary' from the lesson.
- What does Hughes hope to get from the experience in the essay?
- Why is Hughes disappointed?
- Why do you think Hughes chose the title Salvation?
- What is the main idea of the essay Salvation?
- Do you think Langston's aunt mean he would literally see a light, or did he misunderstand her? How can the verb 'see' mean different things?
- Next have groups each stand near one of the pieces of chart paper. Instruct them to label the piece with the tone their group identified (such as 'Anger') from the opening activity.
- Have groups reread and analyze Salvation, having them find examples of tone in the essay. Have them record one example (that isn't the quote you used) from the text along with a brief explanation of why it meets the criteria.
- When all groups are finished, have them rotate clockwise to the next piece of chart paper and repeat the process.
- When students have returned to their original charts have them read the work of other groups and discuss, deciding if they agree or disagree. Before sharing thoughts, have each group decide on the theme and write it on their chart paper, along with how this theme was or was not shown through the tone.
- Have groups share their work and discuss.
- Allow students to read the remainder of the lesson and take the quiz as an exit slip to check understanding.
- Read other autobiographical essays by Hughes and have students analyze in the same way.
- Study poetry by Langston Hughes and allow students to listen to audio recordings, then memorize one poem and perform independently or with a group.
- Study the Jazz Age and Hughes' role in the movement.
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