As the class walks in, I have signs on the tables with the names of the characters who are giving speeches on market day and will ask students to sit at the table with the name of the character from whose perspective they wrote their speech. Students wrote the speeches in the last class from the point of view of a character in Things Fall Apart to a specific audience. The tables/choices are:
Okonkwo tries to convince Mr. Kiaga and his congregation
Chielo tries to convince Mr. Kiaga and his congregation
Nwoye tries to convince the Igbo village of Umuofia
Mr. Kiaga tries to convince The Igbo village of Umuofia
Now, they have to give their speeches in their small groups. As each person gives their speech the other group members rate the speech on a scale of 1 to 10 for the following categories (SL.9-10.3):
1. Acknowledges the character's place in the community
2. Address the target audience
3. Language is appropriate to the character, time, and location.
4. Speaker's persona is appropriate to the character
Students can also write in other feedback if they so choose.
I use this 10 point scale because it is easy to explain and it is easy for the students to understand the feedback. I will not collect their rankings, it is strictly for them to use for discussion on how to improve the speech. A 10 is perfect and a 7 is average (C). I tell students that if the speech is finished, there is no reason for anyone to get below a 6. Below a 6 is for speeches that are incomplete.
At the end of each speech, the other group members will give the speaker both verbal and written feedback. Finally, they will choose the best speaker to represent their group to the class. I have 34 students in the class. It would take an extra day of instruction for every student to give their speeches to the class. By giving speeches in groups, everyone has the opportunity to present. The group picks the best representation of their character to present to the class. Now, every student will hear at least one speech from each character's perspective--and hopefully it will be a powerful speech.
I will use this grading sheet when I evaluate the speeches. The students who present to the class have an opportunity for extra credit.
Now that each group has chosen their best speaker, the rest of the class will hear from Agbala, Nwoye, Okonkwo, and Mr. Kiaga (SL 9-10.4). At the end of each speech the class will give verbal feedback on how well they thought the student personified the character and connected with his/her target audience.
The homework is for the students to read the last five chapters of the book. They have one two-part question to answer for homework:
What is the significance of Okonkwo killing the messenger at the meeting following their release from prison? How does the reaction of the village change Okonkwo’s faith in the Igbo society?(RL 9-10.1)
In the next class when we examine the end of TFA, the activities will focus on how and why the Igbo community changed from the beginning to the end of the novel. Also we will look at the district commissioner's final comments and book title to see if we agree with his assessment of Igbo culture.