Lesson: Writing With Alice Walker

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Lesson Objective

Students will be able to write persuasive or informative letters to Alice Walker describing their interpretation of a color purple

Lesson Plan

Do Now:
Pretend you are Alice Walker. Revise the paragraph below from The Color Purple in order to add energy and enthusiasm. HINT: Pay close attention to the last sentence. It could use some energy and enthusiasm, couldn’t it?
“Then she took some cedar sticks out of her bag and lit them and gave one of them to me. Us started at the very top of the house in the attic, and us smoked it all the way down to the basement, chasing out all the evil. Now we have a house big enough for everyone. (246)

Introduction

Even reluctant writers can be encouraged to pen a letter--if they have sufficient motivation. How better to inspire them than through the example of Alice Walker, whose The Color Purple packs an inspirational one-two punch: first, much of the central character Celie's story centers on adolescent experiences; second, Celie tells her story in the form of letters.


Direction Instruction
Ask students:
What conponents make up a good letter?
How should you address someone you don't know in a letter?

Guided & Independent Practice
Students will choose from the three options below to write a letter 2 - 3 page letter to Alice Walker
  1. Students can write letters Ms. Walker, expressing why they like (or dislike) a particular character in The Color Purple. They can consider the flamboyant Shug, the cruel Mr. _______, or the strong-willed Sofia as examples.

  2. Students can write letters to Alice Walker, expressing their reaction to The Color Purple or to the film adaptation.

  3. As a young girl, Celie is portrayed as barely literate and almost totally passive, but is later revealed to be a person of integrity and intelligence. Students who have experienced troubles of their own may relate to the young Celie. They can write letters to Ms. Walker describing their own experiences.


Closing
Have each student share out their favorite two or three sentences from their letter.

Lesson Resources

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