James Baldwin



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James Baldwin Essays. 2013 Unit Plan

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Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday / Sunday

Week 1: Baldwin as a merger of the personal and political




9/10
Finish discussion: “Autobiographical Notes”
Watch parts of American Masters: James Baldwin
Assign “Notes of a Native Son”

9/11
College Trip: No Class

9/12
Socratic Seminar #1: Part I of “Notes of a Native Son”
Come prepared:

What is the role of anecdote in the first half of the essay?

What stylistic choices – distinctly Baldwinian and otherwise -- are used and how do they contribute to meaning?


9/13
Socratic Seminar #2: What is Baldwin’s overall purpose in the essay and how do structural and language choices form his argument?
Come prepared: Outline the structure of the essay and have some hypotheses about why he does it that way. Categorize the parts how you see fit.

9/14-9/15
HW : Reflective Essay #1 On Turnitin.com and Hard Copy by Monday a.m.  Reflective response to Baldwin’s essay, one of the following (500 words, make sure you focus on style/techniques):

  1. Why does Baldwin title the novel the way he does?

  2. How successfully does Baldwin merge the political and the personal?

  3. How does Baldwin lead the readers to the concluding thoughts of the essay?

Week 2: Baldwin as a examiner of American racism

9/16

Poem #1 commentary

Assign “Many Thousands Gone”


9/17

Small Group Work: “Many Thousands Gone”


Assign: “Carmen Jones: The Dark is Light Enough”


9/18
Watch: Film Carmen Jones in class; take notes on how it corresponds with Baldwin's criticism
Assign: “The Harlem Ghetto”

9/19

Socratic Seminar #3:

What political arguments is Baldwin making in the three essays assigned this week? How does his techniques (rhetorical/literary), structure, imagery, language/style/syntactical choices contribute to his points?
Assign: “Nobody Knows My Name: A Letter from the South”


9/20
Demonstration and Practice with Literary Discussion Questions

9/21-9/22

HW : Reflective Essay #2 On Turnitin.com and Hard Copy by Monday a.m.  500-750 word reflective response linking “Nobody Knows My Name” to any one (or more) of the other three essays this week


Week 3: Baldwin as expatriate

9/23

Poem #2 commentary


Assign “Equal in Paris”

9/24

Activity around “Equal in Paris”


Assign: “Stranger in the Village”

9/25

Video: “Stranger in the Village”


Activity on imagery in “Stranger in the Village”
Assign: “The Discovery of What It Means to Be an American”

9/26
Socratic Seminar #4: What images, symbols, and other stylistic tools does Baldwin use to describe his realizations while abroad? And, of course, what are those realizations?

9/27
PD Day – No school


9/28-9/29
HW: Reflective Essay #3 On Turnitin.com and Hard Copy by Monday a.m.  500-750 word response
What epiphanies does Baldwin come to as a result of his time abroad?


Week 4: Baldwin as adviser and prophet

9/30

Poem #3 commentary


HW:

Assign “My Dungeon Shook: Letter to My Nephew” for Tuesday; “Down at the Cross” for Wednesday



10/1

Reading Day


HW:

Finish “Down at the Cross”



10/2
Reading Check Quiz: “Down at the Cross”
HW: Assign “Take Me To the Water” (due Tuesday)

10/3
Activity: Biblical allusions in The Fire Next Time
Practice with Literary Discussion Questions


10/4

Socratic Seminar #5:

What is Baldwin's advice for white and black America? How does his techniques (rhetorical/literary), structure, imagery, language/style/syntactical choices contribute to his points?


10/5-10/6

SAT weekend, no written homework



Week 5: What are my own “notes”? What have been my epiphanies? What is my warning?

10/7
Poem #4 commentary
HW: Due Wednesday a.m., Reflective Essay #4 – How have Baldwin’s ideas stayed the same or changed over the years? Use evidence from three different essays. 500-750 words, hard and soft copies.



10/8
“Take Me to the Water” reading check quiz / activity



10/9
Note due date of reflective essay.
Baldwin personal essay assigned
Write draft

10/10
Literary Discussion Practice

10/11
Workshop Baldwin personal essay, bring a draft (hard copy or on laptop computer)

10/12-10/13
Revise Baldwin personal essay, prepare to turn in on Monday, Oct. 14.
Begin Richard III on Oct. 14.



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