Masking Fear: A Focus on Characterization in Poe's "Masque of the Red Death"
Lesson 6 of 6
Objective: SWBAT analyze how Poe's central character, Prince Prospero, portrays the elements of Gothic literature through collaborative small-group discussion.
It's also "Rocky and Bullwinkle Day." As students settle at the bell, I note both to the students, and ask them to thank the parapros, secretaries, custodians, and other staff that keeps the school running.
Since I note Daily Holidays to build a sense of community, it only makes sense to add those that help build our school community to the list of those we recognize. I hope students can see the hard work that everyone puts in for them, and give as much back as they get.
Student did not get "quite" as far as I had hoped yesterday, so they need time to complete the "map" of Prince Prospero's apartments in order to analyze specific details of setting. Additionally, the primary objective for the students is to discuss a set of questions in order to analyze how those setting details from the map reflect the character of Prince Prospero (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.2) and how Prince Prospero's complexity and "eccentricity" advance the themes and Gothic elements of the story (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3); ultimately, as a whole class, we discuss how his madness led him to believe he could escape death.
As students wrap up their maps and continue with discussions, I circulate the room, engaging the students' discussion on Prospero and gauging their understanding of the details that shape the story and its themes. As students respond to the assigned questions, they get practice to propel the conversation, address the specifics of the story and the broader themes of the Gothic and the inevitability of death, and clarify each other's opinions and responses (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1c).
With five minutes remaining in the period, I as for students' attentions. For homework, students are to read their textbook's introduction to "Ralph Waldo Emerson" and recap the reading on Transcendentalism that was addressed in the jigsaw reading that introduced the time period (as always, homework assignments are posted on the classroom whiteboard). I then ask students to return their markers and colored pencils to the bins in the room, and return their desks to rows. The extra time at the end to class is to account for this transition.