Reading Drama: Small Group Reading of "A Raisin in the Sun" Act 1, Sc. 2

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SWBAT work with peers to set rules for collegial discussions and individual roles as they analyze the development of family conflicts as they actively read Act I, Scene 2 of "A Raisin in the Sun."

Big Idea

Everyone has a voice, and today every student will explore the voice of one of the characters in "A Raisin in the Sun."

Intro & Welcome: It's National Waiter & Waitress Day

3 minutes

We open class with a welcome to National Waiter and Waitress Day, and thank those students who are servers. I ask students if any of the waiters and waitresses have a server story to tell. As with all Daily Holidays, my objective is to build a sense of community, class identity, and trust in the classroom.

Small-Group Reading: Understanding Act II, Scene 2

45 minutes

Students are given a copy of the "Write Your Own Study Guide" assignment, and asked to consider questions they have while reading regarding specific details about setting (RL.9-10.1), character development and interaction (RL.9-10.3), symbols that shape the themes of the play (RL.9-10.2), and the connection between Hansberry's own life and work (students have read the biography from the "One Book, One Chicago" program).

Students are asked to pull their desks from rows into "pods" of five, and return to their "family" groups from the lesson, "Family Conflict: Understanding Theme in 'A Raisin in the Sun'." Within these groups, the peers set rules for discussions and assign individual roles (SL.9-10.1b). Students are reading in small groups to provide additional focus and engagement beyond the whole-class reading we have been doing for the past two days. This way, every student has the opportunity to, and is required to, participate and practice the rhythm and nuances of Hansberry's writing style.

Each group member takes on one of the roles in Act I, Scene 2 of the play. The characters in Act I, Scene 2 are: Travis, Mama, Beneatha, Walter, Ruth, and Asagai (resource: Character Sheet page 2) Since the students work in groups of five, the roles of Travis and Asagai should be read by the same student. One group member is asked to also take on the role of reading the stage directions. Each group member presents their role so that the other group members can follow in a style appropriate to ensure their peers can understanding the rhythms and nuances of Lorraine Hansberry's writing (SL.9-10.4).

Once students have completed the scene, they are asked to begin writing questions for the "Write Your Own Study Guide" assignment; we will begin this activity in class tomorrow. By writing their own study guides, students demonstrate ownership of the material and self-evaluate their understanding of the play. Their questions demonstrate both the areas in which they feel they have mastery and those in which they struggle; tomorrow, they will share their questions with group members and either provide answers to others or get clarification for themselves. 

Two-Minute Warning: Wrap-Up & Reminders

2 minutes

With two minutes remaining, students are asked to pull their desks back into rows and return to their usual seats. For homework, students are asked to complete reading the scene individually and finish writing the questions they will ask. They do not need to write the answers to their questions, as they will be answered by a peer in discussion.