Lesson: Reading and Analyzing "Persepolis"

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Lesson Objective

Students will read and understand main themes of Persepolis Students will answer questions of various types with appropriate depth and references Students will identify historical references and context in the text of Persepolis

Lesson Plan

Lesson Name: Reading & Analyzing Persepolis            Course: High School Language Arts by Anke al-Bataineh

Essential Questions:            (write on board)
What is the story of Persepolis?

How can we learn about history by reading Persepolis?

How do the facts of the time and setting in Persepolis shape the story?

Persepolis Question Packet

Book or photocopies of book http://www.powells.com/cgi-bin/biblio?inkey=2-9780375714832-3

Anticipatory Set:         (5 minutes)
Engage students in discussing and answering Pre-Reading Questions. Model incorrect ways of answering and solicit corrections.

Input:         (10 min)

Establish the reading procedures and expectations you have for your class. This may involve modeling appropriate group reading or having students sign a contract about independent reading. Establish dates to finish reading and submit packet. Establish conditions of discussing answers on packet with peers.


NOTE: I often choose not to have students read every page of a book because it is hard for them to maintain the stamina. You may decide differently on this for different students. I also work in an environment where any mature or violent content is not acceptable, and so I have skipped huge sections of this book.I also warned students about the occasional use of words like ‘shit’ and ‘bastards’. If you are concerned about either brevity and/or appropriateness, here is a list of the pages I skipped.

pp.51-52            pp. 55-61                        pp. 74                        pp. 80

I skipped pages 90-284, partly because of some inappropriate content, and partly to move through the story more quickly. I explained to students that Reza is a classmate who Marji is dating.

Pp. 288-298                        pp. 310-311                        pp. 319- 320                        pp. 332-337

All page numbers are from this version of the book: http://www.powells.com/cgi-bin/biblio?inkey=2-9780375714832-3

Guided Practice:         (43 min)
As a class, using something similar to your normal reading procedure, read the first 25 pages with students. Stop and use think-alouds to ask and answer questions in addition to those in the packet.


Model and/or discuss answers to the first few questions with students so that they get in the swing of reading.

Conclusion/Assessment:         (2 minutes)
Ask students to do a buzz around with the following sentence starter:

“Right now, one word that describes how I am feeling about reading this book is _____________.”




Vocab to Watch Out For:

See Question Packet

Lesson Reflection:


What went well?

What would you change?

What needs explanation?

Students were excited about the book! They thought the episodes with God were hilarious! They definitely got the mix of serious and tongue-in-cheek tones of the book! It helps to read it with think-alouds and feeling.

Some students need more length to keep them busy, since it’s a graphic novel. I might go through and approve some additional chapters for them to read, but I need to reread the content first.

See above note to teachers.




Lesson Resources

PersepolisReading   Lesson Plan
PersepolisQuestionPacket   Combination


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