Analyzing Mother-Son Relationship Through Close Reading and Discussion

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SWBAT cite specific evidence from text (Scene 2, Act 3) and video introduction A Raisin in the Sun and demonstrate understanding of character development by writing evidence based answers.

Big Idea

How students spontaneously debate the conflicting values of Walter and Mama.


10 minutes

Venn Diagrams

I begin the Activator by passing out the Venn Diagrams on comparing and contrasting values of two characters from the previous day's reading and viewing RL.9-10.3.  To get another point of view of character interaction I ask students to exchange their papers with another student and read each others comparisons.  I then ask a few students to summarize their partners Venn and if they would change or add any details SL.9-10.1.  This activity helps to create the mind set of character interaction which will support the lessons focus on the interactions between mama and her son Walter.

Building Knowledge

10 minutes

I quickly review the Character Analysis Chart and in particular the values of Walter and Mama because in this scene the themes of racial prejudice and the value of money enter into the play's plot development.

I begin by asking the class to try and put themselves into Mama's and Walter's place.  Both wanting what is best for the family but the means of getting what they want are quite different. Because this is a rich and important question to ask, I first ask students to reflect on their answers by asking them to brainstorm one or two values for each character and then to write them down in their journals.  I use the journals to eliminate the fumbling around looking for scrap paper and to ensure that they will retain a record of their thinking.  I want their answers to be well thought out ones so that their discussions will be rich.

I then ask students to share with a peer which character's values do they align with and why? SL.9-10.1 Their discussion should reveal the theme, Money vs. Family RL.9-10.3 

Student Learning Activity

25 minutes

As in the previous lessons I want the students to first watch a short clip of the video. Watching and listening to the dialogue between characters helps students conceptualize the words that they read. Students listen to and watch approximately (11 minutes) of the Act 2 Scene 3 of the video because I want the class to see how the character Walter begins to become the head of the family as requested by Mama.  Next I facilitate a short discussion to give insight into how complex characters develop over the course of the play.  The characters Mama, Beneatha, Ruth, and Walter all have significant interactions that further develop the plays plot and theme RL.9-10.3.  

I assign character roles and put name tents on student's desks while asking them to record their role on their Characters Read Chart template.  As we read I will pause to discuss the character's interactions RL.9-10.3 and ask students to record in their learning packet the characters and their traits on the Character Analysis Chart citing textual evidence or dialogue  to support the analysis of each character RL.9-10.3.  



20 minutes

After completing the reading of Scene 3, I pass out a  formative assessment for Act 2 Scene 3 and tell students that they will cite evidence from the texts to support their answers RL.9-10.1.  Students can complete the Quiz individually or with a partner.  

As they complete the quiz I circulate among the class checking for understanding by asking analytical questions.  The quiz address how these complex characters advance the plays theme of Family vs. Money RL.9-10.3

Wrap Up

10 minutes

Quiz Wrap Up

For the Wrap Up I ask students to pick one question from the quiz and share their answer with the class SL.9-10.1a.  We continue the protocol until the end of class. I use this protocol as a wrap up activity to give me a reading of students understanding of the complex characters thinking during this important event between Walter and Mama.  I will review the scene the following day if I find  that the majority of the students are still needing time to reflect on their answers.