Reflection: Trust and Respect Generating Text Dependent Questions and Examining Metaphor in Death and the King's Horseman - Section 3: Building Knowledge: Deconstructing Figurative Language


The Not I Bird and the conversation Elsin has with the women of the market not only explores the nature of death and the next realm but also life, specifically, the creation of life.  He figuratively discusses a non-christian perspective what happens after death and how he wants to create life before he dies.  Students quickly pick up on the sexual connotations.  Experience has taught me how to establish the mutual trust and respect necessary to discuss sex in the context of literature. My students have developed a self-policing strategy for these conversations.  We can all predict who is going to try to energize the conversation and their peers will usually call them out if they use explicit or inappropriate language.  I find that peer admonishment is more effective than my correction.

My greater concern is always religion.  I am not a Christian.  I am a non-participating Jew. I am not a person of faith.  Therefore it is hard for me to gage when a discussion on differences in religious practice or beliefs may be uncomfortable for my students. I also try to rely on them to give me an indication of their feelings.  I want them to feel safe to express their interpretation of the text and compare it to their beliefs but it always makes me nervous to go down this path.  

I welcome any suggestions on how to have an open discussion of religion in a room of diverse religious beliefs. 

  Life, Death, and Self-Assessment
  Trust and Respect: Life, Death, and Self-Assessment
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Generating Text Dependent Questions and Examining Metaphor in Death and the King's Horseman

Unit 9: Death and the King's Horseman
Lesson 2 of 7

Objective: SWBAT create text dependent questions and interpret figurative language by evaluating Act I of Death and the King's Horseman.

Big Idea: Students will develop text-dependent questions and break down the extended metaphors that lead to death and bring honor into the next life.

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