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Objectives:CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.2a Introduce a topic; organize complex ideas, concepts, & information to make important connections and distinctions; & graphics.CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.9-10.6 Acquire and use accurately general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.

small group narrative share
Small Group Narrative Share
  • In a group of 3 – share your narrative.
fatalism vs individualism
Fatalism vs. Individualism:
  • In A Lesson Before Dying Grant struggles with the notion of whether people can change their own nature and by doing so effect their own environment. Different characters represent the two views.
    • Protagonists - The individualist faction, which included Vivian, Tante Lou, Reverend Ambrose, believed that a man is capable of determining his own destiny.
    • Antagonists - The fatalist faction, which included Sheriff Guidry, Henri Pichot, and Professor Antoine, believed that race determines your fate.
    • Jefferson struggles to overcome his fatalist attitude and to understands his own importance as a symbol of pride and dignity for the entire black community.
journal response
Journal Response
  • How does Grant view himself and his community? Describe his existential crisis.
    • * See the next slide for possible answer
grant s existential crisis
Grant’s Existential Crisis
  • The main conflict of A Lesson Before Dying lies within Grant himself.

He struggles to manage in the racist white society, his primary struggle is with his own mind. As he says to Vivian, he cannot face Jefferson because he cannot face himself and his own life.

journal response1
Journal Response

Is Jefferson or Grant the hero of the story? What evidence supports this?

hero archetypes epic hero anti hero and tragic hero

List the specific traits for each of the prototypes of the hero.

Consider the hero archetypes and how books you have studied fit into particular categories.

Consider which categories Grant and Jefferson fall into. Support your response.

epic hero
Epic Hero:

Hero is of national or legendary significance.

Hero often refuses at first to begin his quest.

Hero undergoes many adventures on a long journey to unknown places.

Hero receives supernatural aid or intervention.

Conflict is in the form of battles or feats.

Hero is handsomely rewardedand/or mythologized.

anti hero
  • Hero has a dark and troubled past.
  • Hero is in some form an outlaw or has no status in society, so he must wander on fringes of society.
  • Hero rejects values, rules, attitudes of society and political establishment.
  • Hero seeks to establish his own rules and ethics. He often does “the wrong thing for the right reasons.”
  • We are sympathetic with the hero despite distinctly negative character traits—he is often angry, crude, selfish or even dishonest.
  • Hero goes on a (sometimes obsessive) quest for self-actualization.
tragic hero
Tragic Hero

Hero is of noble stature and be highly regarded.

Hero commits a tragic mistake due to a character weakness, also known as tragic flaw or hamartia.

He usually falls prey to his own hubris or overarching pride.

Hero’s error in judgment leads to his/her demise.

Hero experiences a reversal of fortune and eventually has an epiphany in which he takes responsibility for causing his own misfortune.

The story culminates in catharsis or emotional outpouring, in which audience feels pity for

the hero and fear that we may be like him.

modern tragic hero
Modern Tragic hero:
  • Hero is a person of lower status or less worth or consideration.
  • Hero commits a tragic mistake due to a character weakness, also known as tragic flaw or hamartia.
  • Hero’s error in judgment leads to his/her demise.
  • Hero may die without any epiphany of his destiny.
  • Hero may not have the needed catharsis

to bring the story to a close.

  • Hero may suffer without the ability to

change the events that are happening to


revisit your journal response
REVISIT your journal response.

Is Jefferson or Grant the hero of the story? What evidence supports this?


“We black men…stay here in the South and are broken, or we run away and leave them alone to look after the children and themselves. So each time a male child is born, they hope he will be the one to change this vicious circle—which he never does. Because even though he wants to change it, and maybe even tries to change, it, it is too heavy a burden because of all the others who have run away and left their burdens behind… I can give them something that neither a husband, a father, nor a grandfather ever did, so they want to hold on as long as they can. Not realizing that their holding on will break me too.” (pp.166-177)

“I suppose every man wonders about death sometimes in his life.” (p.126)

“A hero does for others. He would do anything for people he loves, because he knows it would make their lives better.” (p.191)

“I was not there, yet I was there.” (first sentence )


Film to Movie Comparison

A Lesson Before Dying – The book is written by Ernest Gaines in 1993 and the movie is directed by Joseph Sargent in 1999


“I need you much more than you could ever need me. I need to know what to do with my life. I want to run away, but go where and do what? I’m needed her and I know it, but I feel that all I’m doing here is choking myself. I need someone to tell me what to do. I need you to tell me, to show me. I’m no hero; I can just give something small. That’s all I have to offer. It is the only way that we can chip away at that myth. You – you can be bigger than anyone you have ever met.” (p.193 – Grant speaking to Jefferson)

“Only when the mind is free has the body a chance to be free.” (p.251 – Rev. Ambrose speaking)

  • RL.9-10.1. Cite strong and thorough textual evidence ; Students should demonstrate the ability to read a fictional passage or text, understand and articulate what the text directly & indirectly states in order to make an assumption about or respond to prompts from the text.
  • RL.9-10.2. Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text
  • How DO specific characters, THE setting, and elements of the plot reveal and contribute to the theme of the text? Identify and cite text to thoroughly support YOUR response.
  • IN YOUR TASK FORCE - write a summary of the text that is free of bias and personal opinions.
  • WHO ARE THE main and subordinate CHARACTERS IN ALBD? Round and flat? Dynamic and static?.
  • What is Grant’s motivation? How do characters conflict with and influence each other? How do characters respond and change as the plot moves forward?
  • WHAT incidents in ALBD further the plot? Reveal character traits directly or indirectly? Provoke characters to make decisions based upon the incident?
comma splice
Comma Splice
  • Comma splice: use of a comma to join two independent clauses
    • Ex: She went home that night, she just wanted to be alone.
  • Fix it:
    • Add a conjunction
    • Use a semicolon
    • Separate the sentences into two
  • Ex: She went home that night, for she just wanted to be alone.
comma splices
Comma Splices
  • A lot happened in my first year of high school, I have to say it was all a lesson learned on who you can and cannot trust.
  • I always get sidetracked by any small noise, this particular noise happened to be the sound of one of the meanest girls in sixth grade.
  • I always loved making my parents proud, they were my mentors so I had to show them what I could do.

  • Can join two sentences together.
    • Ex: Jimmy took my suitcase upstairs. He left his own bag in the car.

Jimmy took my suitcase upstairs; he left his own bag in the car.

  • If a sentence has too many commas, use a semicolon to join them instead.
    • Ex: I wrote to Ann, Ramona, and Mai, and Jean wrote to Charles, Latoya, and Sue.

I wrote to Ann, Ramona, and Mai; Jean wrote to Charles, Latoya, and Sue.

semicolon cont
Semicolon (cont.)
  • When you are listing things, use semicolons to join items that already contain commas.
    • Ex: They visited Phoenix, Arizona; Santa Fe, New Mexico; and San Antonio, Texas.
    • Ex: Mr. Schultz, my science teacher; Ms. O’Hara, my English teacher; Mrs. Gomez, my math teacher; and Mr. Jones, my social studies teacher, attended the seventh-grade picnic.
  • DO NOT use semicolons to join an independent clause with a dependent clause or phrase.
    • Ex: I really wanted to go home; but couldn’t.
    • Ex: As if she read his mind; he walked to the door.
  • The contestants came from Dubuque, Iowa Memphis, Tennessee and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
  • I got all dressed up for the party, however, my best friend wore jeans.
  • Berman is a difficult language to mater, however, if you plan to be a scientist, you may want to study this language.
  • The roof was leaking, and the walls were sagging, therefore, the Smiths hired a contractor to repair the house.
  • Applies are usually sold by the pound oranges are sold by the dozen.
second person
Second Person
  • Don’t use second person in formal writing.
    • You (also thee, thou, thy—but I don’t think you’ll be tempted to use these)
    • Letters and “How-tos” are different.
  • An informal style may make listeners feel more comfortable when you are speaking, but a formal writing style can make a good impression.
  • You should sleep eight hours each night. (informal)
  • One should sleep eight hours each night. (formal)
revising you try it now
Revising “You” – Try It Now
  • Too bad, because the three year old sitting in the booster seat next to you wants to scream at the top of her lungs.
  • Running long distances in the rain is not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of wrestling.
  • It’s like when you run until you can’t feel your legs anymore.
verb tense
Verb Tense
  • Stay in one tense throughout your entire writing piece.
  • Don’t shift between past and present tense.
    • Ex: I was so excited to go home. I arrive and tell my mom how much I can’t wait to greet my sister.
    • ALL PAST: I was so excited to go home. I arrived and told my mom how much I couldn’t wait to greet my sister.
    • ALL PRESENT: I’m so excited to go home. I arrive and tell my sister how much I can’t wait to greet my sister.
tense try it now
Tense – Try It Now
  • I tell her to wake up, and she ignored me.
  • He screamed in my face, so I tell my mom.
  • I laughed so hard, I start crying.
  • Write your name on folder.
    • Last, First.
  • Put your name and information on your Cover Sheet.
  • Read through your comments and rubric.
  • Complete the feedback section.
  • Then go through your essay and fix places where you made any of the following errors:
    • Comma splice
    • “You”
    • Semicolon misuse
    • In consistent verb tense
  • If you don’t have any errors there, go through and see how you might combine some of your sentences using commas and conjunctions or semicolons to make your writing flow more smoothly.