Lesson: Comparing Redemption Stories

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Lesson Objective

Students read classic literature with related themes of morality and redemption, and write an essay comparing morality across novels and comparing to their own moral ideas.

Lesson Plan

Title: Comparing Redemption Stories
Unit: Redemption, Healing, and Morality in Critical Perspective
Course: Project-Based Learning (Grades 9-12, All Subjects)
by Anke al-Bataineh

Time Estimate: 2-5 class periods, depending on time allotted

Materials/Preparation
Multiple copies of redemption-themed stories

Anticipatory Set
Discuss what students saw and thought about the film watched at the beginning of the unit. Ask what the word “redemption” means and what different belief systems prescribe for being redeemed or being an officially “good person”.

Presentation
Explain that students are now going to engage in independent reading of other books that discuss the same themes of sin, redemption, forgiveness and morality. These books will challenge people’s ideas of what is right and wrong, and the characters will be struggling to decide what is right, and whether they want to do what is right. Not all characters will choose to do right, and not all will get redeemed.

Students will read the book over an amount of time you set for them, using the available Reading Modalities (check your library to see if audio books are available for rent or online) and write an essay about the book’s point of view about morality.

Modeling
Meet with students for a few minutes daily, in same-book groups or individually, and discuss what is happening in the book. Model thinking about the theme and what events and actions say about morality in the book. Prompt students to take notes about key events or quotes, and to ask questions about the implications of character actions.

Activity
Distribute Comparative Morality Essay Instructions.

Students read one of the following stories in order to write a comparative essay on the themes of morals and redemption. The first links are modified texts for low readers, the latter links are regular texts for readers at and above grade level.

Crime & Punishment:
http://www.betterworldbooks.com/crime-punishment-a-graphic-novel-id-9781411415942.aspx
http://www.betterworldbooks.com/crime-and-punishment-id-9780553211757.aspx
Les Miserables:
http://www.betterworldbooks.com/les-miserables-id-9780679866688.aspx
http://www.betterworldbooks.com/les-miserables-id-9780449300022.aspx
The Scarlet Letter:
http://www.betterworldbooks.com/the-scarlet-letter-with-books-id-9781562549374.aspx
http://www.betterworldbooks.com/the-scarlet-letter-id-9780553210095.aspx
A Christmas Carol:
http://www.betterworldbooks.com/a-christmas-carol-the-graphic-novel-original-text-id-9781906332518.aspx
https://www.betterworldbooks.com/a-christmas-carol-the-graphic-novel-quick-text-version-id-9781906332525.aspx
https://www.betterworldbooks.com/a-christmas-carol-id-9780553212440.aspx
The Picture of Dorian Gray:
https://www.betterworldbooks.com/the-picture-of-dorian-gray-a-graphic-novel-id-9781411415935.aspx
https://www.betterworldbooks.com/the-picture-of-dorian-gray-id-9780486278070.aspx

When students have written full drafts of their essays, you may choose to structure a questioning and revision partnership between students who read different books. The main goal of this is to allow students the opportunity to see if another person understands their essay, if it is interesting to them, and if it answers all questions.

Review & Wrap-Up
Once essays are submitted, invite students to share short summaries with the class for the benefit of people who read other books. Discuss the morays in each book and what becomes of the respective characters. Prompt students to draw broad comparisons between novels and between the graphic novel Stigmata and the classic novels they read. Discuss the role of religion where it is mentioned.

Lesson Resources

ComparativemoralityessayInstructions.docx  
524
ComparativemoralityessayInstructions.pdf  
440
ReadingModalities (1).pdf  
435
C&P low readers
2594
C&P high readers
2594
LM low readers
2594
LM high readers
2594
SL low readers
2594
SL high readers
2594
CC low readers
2594
CC medium readers
2594
CC high readers
2594
PDG low readers
2594
PDG high readers
2594

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