How Does Historical Context Influence a Story and Other Burning Questions

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SWBAT analyze the importance of using of specific details in memoir by comparing the story of the Iraqi bombing of Tehran as it appears in Persepolis and in a history source and then applying similar techniques in their own writing.

Big Idea

A skilled author uses historical details to ground his or her narrative. Asking students to identify how authors do this will help them to build skills for their own writing toolbox.


10 minutes

We will start class by giving students their allotted ten minutes of reading time. I will send a spreadsheet around so they can track how many pages they have read so far. I will then read as they read. 

Social Studies Connections Discussion

15 minutes

To support my social studies partner, who is in turn supporting me with non-fiction content related to Persepolis, I will help him to teach the APPARTS reading strategy for primary and secondary sources (RH.9-10.1).

We will use the Iran/Iraq War article from to review a key scene from Persepolis, but model the APPARTS reading strategy to help the students comprehend informational texts. Basically, this strategy asks students to determine the main idea of an informational text (RI.9-10.2) and then consider the ways a non-fiction text sets up its information and how that arrangement support the author's purpose (RI.9-10.3 and RI.9-10.6). 

Memoir Quick Writes/Persepolis Plot check in

20 minutes

After we do our historical analysis of the text, we will switch gears to begin preparing for the final assignment for our reading of Persepolis.

To begin this transition, I will ask students to consider Persepolis as a model text for their own narrative writing. I will give them a prompt and ask them to write as much as they can about that particular topic in the time allotted (W.9-10.3 and W.9-10.10). I haven't decided which prompt to use yet, so here are three options that fit with the reading they had from last night that I will pick from.

1. Describe a time when you were denied something that you wanted. Think about how you felt in the moment, why you were denied that thing and how you feel about it now. Have you learned anything from this experience? If so, what?

2. Marji has to learn about forgiveness multiple times in the text. Describe a time in your life when you should have forgiven someone for something. Did you do it? If so, what happened and what made you decide to do it? If not, what happened and what made you decide to hold that grudge?

3. Marji sees her Uncle Anoosh as a hero. Who is a hero in your life story? Why?


Wrap up and Next Steps

5 minutes

I will use this time to remind them that their reading journals are due tomorrow and let my teaching partner make any announcements he might have on homework assignments or what we did in class today.