Resolution of A Raisin in the Sun: Analysis of Characters and Theme

2 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


SWBAT analyze how complex characters develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot by an analysis of the resolution and completing a writing and cooperative plot line activity.

Big Idea

Students write an analysis of Walter's decision to become "a man."


15 minutes

I begin today's lesson by reviewing the lesson's agenda and remind the students that the day before we almost finished reading the final act and to further our analysis of how the resolution evolves we will be focusing on theme and character development. To get students minds actively into the play and increase their understanding of the development of characters and theme, I ask each student to re-read what they wrote for the prediction #7 question on the previous days quiz:

7. PREDICTION: What do you think Walter and the family will end up doing and Why?

Here are some possibilities:

  • Take the money from Mr. Linder and fix up their apartment
  • Move to the home Mama bought
  • Split up and live in separate apartments so they have more room 

Next I ask them to now read the final 2-3 pages of the play which will answer their predictions RL.9-10.10.

Building Knowledge

20 minutes

By using the strategy Think-Pair-Share, I first facilitate a short discussion on the play's resolution by asking students if they think the family made the right choice.  For example, I ask, "Why do you think Walter changed his mind?  Now tell your partner what you think"  I then choose a student to share their answer with the class.

A summative test will be administered in the next lesson. As required in standard RL.9-10.2, which asks students to determine a theme and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, I want to get a clearer understanding of what my students know and need to know about the play's plot and its themes. As standard RL.9-10.3 requires, I need to get additional clarity about what my students know and need to know concerning how the characters develop and interact with each other to advance the plot and develop the themes.  

One of my past principals once said to me, "If you expect students to learn you have to inspect what they learned."  Now it's time to "inspect" by reviewing the quiz that students took the previous day, by asking them to exchange papers while putting their initials on their partners quiz for accountability. I check for understanding by randomly calling on a student to read the question and give their partners answer.  I then ask if they agree with the answer and if not how did they answer the question?

I continue this checking for understanding until we answer each question.


Student Learning Activity

30 minutes

For the student learning activity I hand out a Resolution Question activity which asks the students to answer a question based on an excerpt between Walter and Mr. Linder. I differentiated the assessment by designing two different activities.  

Differentiated Assessment

For my students with a learning disability I give them a Cloze reading/writing activity. A Cloze activity is one in which words are removed from a passage for the student to fill in as an exercise in reading comprehension or to improve writing skills. The missing words may or may not be provided in a word bank. I decided to not use a word bank because I felt that these students could figure out the missing words from their prior knowledge and contextual clues.  I designed this adapted Cloze activity as a teaching strategy to help them engage in the reading and eventual writing part of the task.  After they complete the activity I give them a completed paragraph so that they can self-correct their Cloze activity.  I then ask them to write a paragraph in their own words using the Cloze activity as a writing guide W.9-10.2 and RL.9-10.2

The remaining students answer the Resolution Question 1 with a well written paragraph and as required in standard W.9-10.1, they use their play as a resource for understanding the quote.

I circulate among the students checking for understanding and keeping them focused on the assignment.

Wrap Up

15 minutes

Summary Activity

I end the lesson with this wrap up activity because characters are the most important aspects of literature. They drive the story and the plot. I want my students to also see how the author delved into the themes about life in Chicago for African Americans. These characters are the most analyzed elements because they provide the richest critical analysis of Lorraine Hansberry's intent. In order to analyze the characters and their impact on theme development, it is important to know the plot, what the characters did and how they related to the overall themes in the play.

To achieve this goal students are given strips of paper with the events in the play. As required in standard SL.9-10.1a, having read the play, they work in pairs and discuss where to tape the event on a large plot line in front of the class.  Events will be moved according to their sequence: Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.

As they decide where to tape the events strips, I facilitate the Plot Activity by providing feedback.  We will discuss the accuracy of the plot line during the next days Activator.