Reflection: Rigor Creating Tension by Comparing the Yoruba and British Views of African Colonialism - Section 2: Building Knowledge: Sharing Inferences in a Whole Class Discussion


Time, time, time see what's become of me. Paul Simon has it right, there are so many possibilities. However so little time to address them all.  I am really pressed for time to finish this play.  I have cut it down by at least two lessons and tried to combine as many concepts as I can to make sure I cover everything.  It is just not possible.  I struggle with where to let go. 

Today while the groups were reporting to the class, I know they really struggled with making the connections between the two cultures.  The best example is when I asked them to talk about language.  The group's answer about language was not what I expected.  The rigid focus to the conventions of the play caught me off guard.  I pointed out to the group that they were comparing the British spelling to the American spelling. It really had nothing to do with the cultures addressed in the play.  

I think their answer is grounded in the complexities of defining language. I really wanted to stop and just spend some time with defining language and denotation, connotation and literary devices.  These concepts are in their heads, but they seem to be floating around disconnected.  I want them to make the connections on their own.  Instead of creating an opportunity for extension for my advanced students and considering the limited amount of time I have to finish this play,  I gave a superficial overview of language and asked another group to give an example. I partially let go of language, but I feel guilty about it.  

As teachers how to we set priorities and redefine those priorities as we go?

  Rigor: The next step of complexity
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Creating Tension by Comparing the Yoruba and British Views of African Colonialism

Unit 9: Death and the King's Horseman
Lesson 5 of 7

Objective: SWBAT analyze how the parallel plots in create tension by using textual evidence to distinguish the Yoruba and British colonial perspectives in Death and the King's Horseman.

Big Idea: Students compare and contrast how the oppressed react to the oppressor to create tension in the text.

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English / Language Arts, textual evidence, author's purpose, Death and the King's Horseman, African Literature, post, Wole Soyinka, character development, text structures
  80 minutes
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