ReadWriteThink couldn't publish all of this great content without literacy experts to write and review for us. If you've got lessons plans, activities, or other ideas you'd like to contribute, we'd love to hear from you.
Find the latest in professional publications, learn new techniques and strategies, and find out how you can connect with other literacy professionals.
Teacher Resources by Grade
|1st - 2nd||3rd - 4th|
|5th - 6th||7th - 8th|
|9th - 10th||11th - 12th|
Exploring Setting: Constructing Character, Point of View, Atmosphere, and Theme
|Grades||9 – 12|
|Lesson Plan Type||Standard Lesson|
|Estimated Time||Five 50-minute sessions|
MATERIALS AND TECHNOLOGY
- Audio recording of “The Town Is Lit”
- Lyrics for “The Town Is Lit”
- Stuart Dybek’s short story “Blight”
- Analyzing Language: Setting and "The Cask of Amontillado"
- Analyzing Language: Setting and Great Expectations
- Guided Reading Questions for “Blight” by Stuart Dybek
- Passages for Analysis—Great Expectations
- First Project Gutenberg Collection of Edgar Allan Poe
- Encyclopedia of Chicago Entry on “Urban renewal”
- The Morning News Interview with Stuart Dybek
- Interactive Chicago City Map
- Wikipedia Entry on “Miss Havisham”
- Read the Dybek story carefully before sharing with the class. There are several instances of cursing by the narrator and other characters. Determine if the story is acceptable reading material for your students and school. For background information you may wish to read The Morning News interview with Stuart Dybek.
- Listen to “The Town is Lit” and determine the amount of preparation students need for listening to an art song by a classical soprano. This style of music is largely unfamiliar to many students, and they may need a bit of prepping for what they are about to hear.
- Obtain or make copies of all the literary pieces and student handouts.
- Familiarize yourself with the concept of Urban Renewal in Chicago history, particularly the “Blighted Areas Redevelopment Act,” from which Dybek takes the title of his story. You may also find this map of Chicago useful.
- Arrange for copies of the lyrics of “The Town Is Lit” from the CD booklet of Honey and Rue.
- If you have not read Great Expectations, familiarize yourself with the story of Miss Havisham and her key characteristics.