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Lesson Plan

Demonstrating Understanding of Richard Wright's Rite of Passage

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Demonstrating Understanding of Richard Wright's Rite of Passage

Grades 9 – 12
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Five 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Scott Filkins

Scott Filkins

Champaign, Illinois


National Council of Teachers of English



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



After reading Richard Wright's short novel Rite of Passage, students will demonstrate their understanding of
plot, character, and conflict by writing recommendations for the protagonists' future to a juvenile court system
judge. Students are guided through the development of these recommendations, including attention to
counterarguments based on potential prevailing attitudes in the justice system at the time.

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Wiggins and McTighe (2005) argue for the use of authentic performance tasks in the classroom, featuring real world goals, a context of challenges and possibilities, and a work product designed for a specified audience.
The performance task in this lesson, designed to assess students’ multiple understandings of Richard Wright’s
novel Rite of Passage, utilizes their GRASPS framework: Goal, Role, Audience, Situation, Product/Purpose, and
Standards for Success. The task encourages an imaginative response that is deeply rooted in analysis of the
text itself.


Further Reading

Wiggins, G., and McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by Design. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, 2005.

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