Song of Solomon Chapters 1-3 Lessons (Lessons 1-7)

Song of Solomon Text in pdf

Day 1 ( chapter 1 page 3-9)

Objectives: Students will demonstrate their understanding of Tony Morrison’s use of details to establish the story setting by responding to a writing prompt at the end of the lesson.

Aim: How does Morrison introduce the setting of her novel through her description of this event of Mr. Smith’s flight off of the rooftop of Mercy Hospital?

Materials: Copies of Son of Solomon, copies of lesson tool ( assessment rubric)

CCS

RL.11-12.3 Analyze the impact of the author’s choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed).

Voc

• expectant (adj.) – pregnant
• wards (n.) – sections in a hospital for patients needing a particular kind of care
• cupola (n.) – a rounded roof or part of a roof
• placards (n.) – large notices or signs put up in a public place or carried by people setting?

  • sniggered (v.) – made a short, quiet laugh in a way that shows disrespect

Agenda

  • Review Objectives
  • Review standards and voc.
  • Do Now
  • Mini Lesson and guided practice
  • Independent Discussion
  • Quick Write

Do Now: Who is Tony Morrison?  Read the following passage and respond: Where is the title of the book Son of Solomon originated? What does it mean?

Biblical Allusions( cited from sparknotes.com)

Song of Solomon’s title refers to the biblical book of the same name, emphasizing that the novel adresses age-old themes. The biblical book depicts a conversation between two lovers, King Solomon and his beautiful, black Shulamite bride. Similarly, Morrison’s novel is a celebration of the triumph of earthly love. Morrison gives her characters biblical names in order to align them with well-known figures. As a result, many of the characters in Song of Solomon carry with them not only their own personal history as described in the novel, but also the history of a biblical namesake. By giving her characters the names of biblical figures, Morrison compares them to epic heroes whose experience transcends cultural and temporal boundaries. For instance, the biblical Hagar is Sarah’s handmaiden, who bears Sarah’s husband Abraham a son and is then banished from his sight. Likewise, Morrison’s Hagar is used by Milkman, who enjoys her offerings. The similarity of both Hagars’ experiences suggests that women will be abused in any patriarchal society.

Names

In Song of Solomon,names show the effects of both oppression and liberation. Before Milkman uncovers his grandfather’s true name, he is known as Macon Dead, the same name that white oppressors gave his grandfather. When Milkman finds out his grandfather’s true name he begins to feel proud of himself and his family. The fact that Milkman’s nickname describes him better than his recorded name shows that written names are often unreliable. For this reason, they are often replaced by names from the oral tradition. For instance, Dr. Foster’s street is officially labeled Mains Avenue. But after his death, it is commonly known as “Not Doctor Street.” Although the official name is accurate, the popular name is more descriptive.

In the novel, names describe characters’ personalities and behavior. Circe, for instance, shares her name with an enchantress in Homer’s Odyssey who provides Odysseus with crucial help for his voyage homeward. Likewise, Morrison’s Circe directs Milkman toward his ancestral home and allows him to bridge a gap in his family history. Another example is Guitar’s last name, Bains, which is a homonym for “banes,” or sources of distress. His name suggests both the oppression he has suffered and his profession as an assassin. Finally, Pilate’s name is a homonym for “pilot.” She guides Milkman along his journey to spiritual redemption.

Singing

In Song of Solomon, singing is a means of maintaining a link to a forgotten family history. In a community where most of the past generations were illiterate, songs rather than history books tell the story of the past. Songs record details about Milkman’s heritage and cause Milkman to research his family history.

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Mini Lesson with Guided Practice

Class read pages 3–5 (from “The North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance agent” to “the place of her delivery, it certainly contributed to its time”)and annotate the text for details that show when and where Morrison’s novel takes place (W.11-12.9.a). After reading, write a brief note explaining the significance of each detail you identify.

Student pairs reread pages 3–5 of Song of Solomon and answer the following questions before sharing out with the class.

  • Reread pages 3–5 in pairs and annotate the text for details that show when and where Morrison’s novel takes place (W.11-12.9.a). Write a brief note explaining the significance of each detail you identify.
  • How does the tone of Mr. Smith’s note relate to its content? What does this relationship suggest about Mr. Smith?
  • What does Morrison’s description of the history of Not Doctor Street on page 4 indicate about the residents of Southside? What does this description suggest about their relationship to the city legislators?
  • How do the reasons behind the names that the African-American community gives Not Doctor Street differ from the reasons behind the name that the city legislators give this street?

Mid-Lesson Assessment: How does Morrison’s description of Not Doctor Street on page 4 contribute to the development of the novel’s setting?

Student Independent Practice: 

Student pairs to read pages 5–9 (from “When the dead doctor’s daughter saw Mr. Smith” to “Mr. Smith had seen the rose petals, heard the music, and leaped on into the air”) and answer ONE of the following questions before sharing out with the class.

  1. From whose point of view are the events of Mr. Smith’s flight being told? How does this point of view contribute to the style of the scene?
  2. How do the people in the community react to Mr. Smith’s flight? What might these reactions suggest about this community?
  3. What does Morrison’s use of imagery in this scene suggest about the nature of Mr. Smith’s flight?
  4. What does Morrison leave uncertain in this excerpt? How does this uncertainty develop the setting of the novel?

End of the Lesson Assessment: Analyze the details Morrison uses to establish the novel’s setting.

Homework: Record any new questions that emerge during your reading. Read pages 9–15 of Song of Solomon and annotate for how Morrison introduces and develops characters. Also, develop 2–3 discussion questions focused on how Morrison introduces and develops characters and prepare possible answers to your questions for discussion.

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Day 2

Objectives: Students will be able to analyze how Morrison introduces and develops the character of Ruth by reading closely pages 9–15 of Song of Solomon  and discussing self-developed questions.

Aim: How does Morrison introduce and develop Ruth’s character in pages 9–15?

Materials: Son of Solomon textbooks and copies of lesson tool ( assessment rubric), copies of short response rubric

CCS

RL.11-12.3
Analyze the impact of the author’s choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed).

W.11-12.9.a
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
a. Apply grades 11–12 Reading standards to literature (e.g., “Demonstrate knowledge of eighteenth-, nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century foundational works of American literature, including how two or more texts from the same period treat similar themes or topics”).

Vocabulary

  • bereft (adj.) – deprived or robbed of the possession or use of something
    • malice (n.) – desire to inflict injury, harm, or suffering on another, either because of a hostile impulse or out of deep-seated meanness
    • guileless (adj.) – very innocent
    • complicity (n.) – the state of being an accomplice; partnership or involvement in wrongdoing
  • mooring (n.) – a place where a boat or ship can be anchored or moored

Agenda
1. Introduction of Lesson MA, Aim and End of the Lesson assessment
2. Review voc and Do Now
3. Mini Lesson with guided practice
4. Student Independent practice
4. End of the lesson assessment
5. Quick Sum-up and homework

Do Now: In pairs, discuss the questions you developed for homework, specifically focusing on how Morrison introduces and develops characters.

Mini Lesson with Guided Practice

Activity 1: In small groups, students read  pages 9–13 (from “The next day a colored baby was born” to “But it could also be still. Patient, restful, and still”) for evidence to support your responses.  Discuss the following questions( each group will discuss only assigned questions) in groups before sharing out with the class-

  1. How does Morrison describe Ruth in pages 9–15?
  2. What connection does Morrison establish between Mr. Smith and Ruth’s son on page 9?
  3. What does flying mean to Ruth’s son?
  4. *What does Morrison’s description of the water mark on Ruth’s dining room table suggest about Ruth’s relationship with her father?
  5. Why is the water mark a “mooring” for Ruth (p. 11)?
  6. How does Morrison’s use of figurative language on page 11 clarify the meaning of the word mooring in this context?

Activity 2 Lead a brief whole-class discussion of student responses.

Student Independent Practice

In pairs, read closely  pages 13–15 (from “But there was nothing you could do” to “that did nothing to improve either one’s relationship with his father”) for evidence to support your responses as you discuss the following questions( assigned)  before sharing out with the class.

  1. How do the feelings Ruth has when she feeds her husband on page 11 compare to the feelings she has when she feeds her son on pages 13–14?
  2. Compare Freddie’s reaction to Ruth’s actions to Ruth’s feelings about her actions.
  3. How does Freddie’s discovery impact Ruth? How does his discovery impact her son?
  4. What connection does Morrison establish between Ruth’s relationship with her son and her relationship with her husband?

Lead a brief whole-class discussion of student responses.

End of the Lesson Assessment: Respond briefly in writing to the following prompt-How does Morrison introduce and develop Ruth’s character in pages 9–15? ( evaluated by using the short response rubric)

Homework: Read and annotate pages 15–30 of Song of Solomon (from “Macon Dead never knew how it came about” to “Pilate swayed like a willow over her stirring”). Also, instruct students to develop 2–3 discussion questions focused on how Morrison develops the character of Macon Dead and prepare possible answers to their questions for discussion.

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Day 3

Objectives: Students will be able to  develop a central idea of the text (pages 15–30 of Song of Solomon) in which Morrison explores Macon Dead’s perspective on his family and himself through close reading and discussion in a collaborative group.

Aim: How does Morrison develop a central idea of the passage by exploring Macon Dead’s perspective on his family?

Materials:

  • Copies of the Central Ideas and Motifs Tracking Tool for each student
    • Student copies of the Short Response Rubric and Checklist

Agenda

  1. Introduction of Lesson Objectives, Aim & Standards
  2. Review homework
  3. Mini Lesson with guided practice
  4. Student independent discussion in pairs
  5. Lesson Assessment:  Quick Write

CCS

RL.11-12.2: Determine two or more themes or central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to produce a complex account; provide an objective summary of the text.

W.11-12.9.a: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
a. Apply grades 11–12 Reading standards to literature (e.g., “Demonstrate knowledge of eighteenth-, nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century foundational works of American literature, including how two or more texts from the same period treat similar themes or topics”).

Materials: Texts of Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison, pages 15–30; lesson tools

ResourcesLesson Vocabulary 

  • begat (v.) – became the father of (someone)
    • Magdalene (n.) – Saint Mary Magdalene, a woman whom Jesus cured of evil spirits. In Christian tradition she is usually taken to have been a prostitute.
    • First Corinthians (n.) – a book of the New Testament canon of the Christian Bible
  • Pilate (n.) – Roman official of Judea, A.D. 26–36; the final authority concerned in the condemnation and execution of Jesus Christ
    • bootlegger (n.) – someone who makes or sells alcohol illegally
    • navel (n.) – bellybutton
  • propriety (n.) – the state or quality of being correct or proper
  • summation (n.) – a brief description of the most important information about something
    • odiousness (n.) – the quality of causing hatred or strong dislike
    • onyx (adj.) – black, especially jet black
    • illiterate (adj.) – not knowing how to read or write
    • mortgage (v.) – to give someone a legal claim on (property that you own) in exchange for money that you pay back over a period of years
    • chafe (v.) – to become irritated or annoyed
    • ecstasy (n.) – a state of very great happiness; extreme delight
    • charade (n.) – something that is done in order to pretend something is true when it is not really true
    • willow (n.) – a tree that has long, narrow leaves and strong, thin branches that are used to make baskets

Do Now: Share Lesson 2 homework assignment (develop 2–3 discussion questions focused on how Morrison develops the character of Macon Dead). Select one question from below and respond briefly-

  • What does Macon’s response to Milkman’s “rechristen[ing]” (p. 15) suggest about his relationship with his son?
  • What does Macon’s interaction with Mrs. Bains convey about his character?
  • How does Morrison’s description of Macon’s relationship with Pilate develop his character?

Mini Lesson with Guided Practice:

Form small groups. Continue to annotate the text as you discuss the following questions( each pair will be assigned one question)-

  1. How does the central idea of identity develop in this excerpt?
  2. Why does Macon guess that Milkman’s name is “not clean” (p. 15)?
  3. How does Macon feel about his own name? Why does he feel this way?
  4. How does the story of Pilate’s name further develop the significance of naming in Macon’s family?

Mid-Lesson Assessment: Lead a brief whole-class discussion by checking each group’s responses.  Model the response.

Independent Practice:

Use the guidelines in the model response. Read in pairs pages 19–30 (from “Macon Dead remembered when his son was born” to “Pilate swayed like a willow over her stirring”) for evidence to support your responses as you  discuss the following questions ( one for each pair) before sharing out with the class.

  1. What does Macon’s attitude toward Pilate suggest about his values?
  2. What do Macon’s interactions with Mrs. Bains and Mr. Porter further demonstrate about Macon’s values?
  3. Why is Macon drawn to Pilate’s house? What does this visit to Pilate’s house demonstrate about Macon’s drive to become a “man of property” (p. 23)?
  4. *How does Macon’s relationship with Pilate develop a central idea in the text?
    Lead a brief whole-class discussion of student responses.

Lesson Assessment:

Respond to the following prompt and citing textual evidence to support analysis and inferences drawn from the text.  Use this lesson’s vocabulary wherever possible in their written responses.
• How does Morrison develop a central idea over the course of pages 15–30?

Homework:

Read and annotate pages 31–43 of Song of Solomon (from “Only Magdalene called Lena and First Corinthians were genuinely happy” to “‘Shaking like leaves,’ she murmured, ‘just like leaves.’”). Also, develop 2–3 discussion questions focused on how Morrison develops characters during the family drive in the Packard and prepare possible answers to your questions for discussion.

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Lesson 4 (pages 31–43 of Song of Solomon)

Objectives: Students  will be able to analyze and discuss Pilate’s character development through the story she tells Milkman and Guitar.

Aim: How do Pilate’s stories on pages 40–43 further develop her character?

CCS

RL.11-12.3: Analyze the impact of the author’s choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed).

L.11-12.4.a: Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grades 11–12 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.

Materials:

  • copies of the Short Response Rubric and Checklist
  • copies of text Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison, pages 31–43

Resources: Lesson Vocabulary

  • feigning (v.) – representing fictitiously; putting on an appearance of
    • unkempt (adj.) – unpolished; rough; crude
    • pervading (v.) – becoming spread throughout all parts of
    • semi-stupor (n.) – a condition in which someone is almost not able to think normally because of being drunk, drugged, tired, etc.
  • unfettered (v.) – freed from restraint; liberated
  • liberate (v.) – to give freedom or more freedom to someone
  • • lest (conj.) – for fear that; used to say that you do not want something to happen

Agenda

  1. Introduction of Lesson Objectives, Aim & Standards
  2. Review homework
  3. Mini Lesson with guided practice
  4. Student independent discussion in pairs
  5. Class discussion of questions from independent reading
  6. Lesson Assessment:  Quick Write

Do Now: Form pairs and discuss the questions you developed for homework, specifically focusing on how Morrison develops the characters during the family drive in the Packard.

Suggested questions:

  • What does the repetition in the description of “Macon Dead’s Packard” (p. 32) further illustrate about Macon’s character?
  • How do Morrison’s descriptions of how Milkman rides in the Packard (p. 32) and his accident (p. 35) contribute to his development as a character?
  • How does Morrison’s description of the ride in the Packard develop the relationship between Milkman and the rest of his family?
  • How does the dialogue between Macon Dead and Ruth on pages 33–35 further develop their relationship?

Mini Lesson with Guided Practice:

Form small groups. Continue to annotate the text as we discuss (W.11-12.9.a) the following questions: What do Pilate’s stories demonstrate about her character?

We’ll read and refer pages 35–40 (from “But if the future did not arrive, the present did extend itself” to “they sat in a pleasant semi-stupor, listening to her go on and on”) for evidence to support our responses as we discuss the following questions in groups before sharing out with the class.

  1. How do Milkman’s ideas about Pilate compare to his actual interaction with her?
  2. How does the description of Pilate’s home contribute to the development of her character?

Mid-Lesson Assessment: Lead a brief whole-class discussion and model the text-based responses.

Student Independent Practice in Small Groups

Refer to pages 40–43 (from “Hadn’t been for your daddy, I wouldn’t be here today” to “‘Shaking like leaves,’ she murmured, ‘just like leaves.’”) for evidence to support your responses as you discuss the following questions in groups before sharing out with the class.

  1. What happened to Pilate and Macon’s father?
  2. *What do Pilate and Macon’s different interpretations of their father’s return suggest about their characters?
  3. *How does Pilate’s telling of the story of “a man and his wife … down in Virginia” (pp. 41–42) further develop her character?
  4. *How does Pilate’s use of language in her storytelling further develop her character?
  5. *How does the structure of Pilate’s story contribute to her character development?

End of the Lesson Assessment:

Respond briefly in writing to the following prompt: How do Pilate’s stories on pages 40–43 further develop her character?

Homework:

  • Read and annotate pages 43–55 of Song of Solomon (from “Suddenly she lifted her head and made a sound” to “Starting Monday, I’m going to teach you how”). Also, develop 2–3 discussion questions focused on character development and Morrison’s structural choices, and prepare possible answers to the questions for discussion.
  • Record in your journal or notebook any new questions that emerge during your reading, and write answers to any earlier questions that you have resolved.

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Lesson 5 ( pages 43–55 of Song of Solomon (from “Suddenly she lifted her head and made a sound” to “Starting Monday, I’m going to teach you how”)

Objectives: Students will be able to analyze how Macon’s description of his early years further develops his character through evidence-based discussion.

Aim:  How does Macon’s account of his childhood further develop his character?

CCS

RL.11-12.5: Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure specific parts of a text (e.g., the choice of where to begin or end a story, the choice to provide a comedic or tragic resolution) contribute to its overall structure and meaning as well as its aesthetic impact.

SL.11-12.1.a, c: Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions(one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11–12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.)

L.11-12.5.a: Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

Materials:

  • copies of the Central Ideas and Motifs Tracking Tool
  • Copies of the 12 LC Speaking and Listening Rubric and Checklist for each student
  • copies of the Short Response Rubric and Checklist
  • Character list

Resources: lesson vocabulary

  • deferential (adj.) – showing respect for someone or something
    vacuousness (n.) – lacking in ideas or intelligence
  • guileless (adj.) – very innocent
    etched (v.) – fixed permanently in or implanted firmly on the mind; rooted in the memory
    • reminisced (v.) – recalled past experiences, events
  • brambles (n.) – rough bushes or vines that usually have sharp thorns on their branches
    haunches (n.) – the upper parts of a person’s or animal’s legs

Agenda

  1. Introduction of Lesson Objectives, Aim & Standards
  2. Review homework
  3. Mini Lesson with guided practice
  4. Student independent discussion in pairs
  5. Class discussion of questions from independent reading
  6. Lesson Assessment:  Quick Write

Do Now: Share in pairs about the discussion questions you developed for homework, specifically analyzing character development and structural choices.

Suggested questions:

  • Compare Pilate’s and Macon’s accounts of their childhood. What do their respective accounts suggest about their individual characters?
  • How does Morrison’s choice to include the song about Sugarman in this scene relate to the opening scene on pages 5–9?

Mini Lesson with Guided Practice:

Read in pairs pages 43–49 (from “Suddenly she lifted her head and made a sound” to “putting into shadow a slow smile of recognition”) for evidence to support your responses as you discuss the following questions ( one for each group) in groups before sharing out with the class.

  1. How does Pilate’s introduction of Milkman to Hagar convey her beliefs about family?
  2. What does Reba’s relationship to money and objects suggest about the values in Pilate’s family?
  3. What does Milkman’s reflection, “No wonder his father was afraid of them” (p. 47), imply about Macon’s character?
  4. *How are Pilate and Macon similar to each other? How are they different from each other?

Mid-Lesson Assessment: Lead a brief whole-class discussion to check on student responses.

Student Independent Practice

This discussion is structured with two main discussion prompts. In small groups, discuss each question in-depth, presenting a variety of text evidence and analysis.

Use the 12 LC Speaking and Listening Rubric and Checklist to guide your discussion.

  1. *What do Macon’s interactions with his son in this excerpt illustrate about his character?
  2. *How do Macon’s descriptions of his childhood home further develop his character?
    Lead a brief whole-class discussion of student responses.

End of the Lesson Assessment: How does Macon’s account of his childhood further develop his character?
Look at your annotations to find evidence and use this lesson’s vocabulary wherever possible in your written responses.

Homework
Read pages 56–74 of Song of Solomon (from “Life improved for Milkman enormously after he began working for Macon” to “Macon turned the doorknob, and without a backward glance, left the room”) and annotate for the development of central ideas. Also, develop 2–3 discussion questions focused on the character development of Ruth and Macon, and prepare possible answers to your questions for discussion.

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Lesson 6 (pages 56–74 of Song of Solomon (from “Life improved for Milkman enormously after he began working” to “Macon turned the doorknob, and without a backward glance, left the room”)

Objectives: Students will be able to analyze the passage, paying particular attention to how Morrison develops the central idea of identity.

Aim: How does Morrison develop the central idea of identity in this passage?

Materials: copies of the Short Response Rubric and Checklist

CCS

RL.11-12.2: Determine two or more themes or central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to produce a complex account; provide an objective summary of the text.

RL.11-12.3: Analyze the impact of the author’s choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed).

Resources: Lesson Vocabulary

  • academe (n.) – the campus activity, life, and interests of a college or university; the academic world
    • pique (n.) – feeling of irritation or resentment, as from a wound to pride or self-esteem
    • audacity (n.) – boldness or daring, especially with confident or arrogant disregard for personal safety, conventional thought, or other restrictions
    • buffoon (n.) – stupid or foolish person who tries to be funny
    • detrimental (adj.) – causing damage or injury
    • impregnable (adj.) – strong enough to resist or withstand attack; not to be taken by force, unconquerable
  • emulate (v.) – imitate with effort to equal or surpass
  • contrary (adj.) – exactly opposite to something else; entirely different from something else

• sparse (adj.) – present only in small amounts; less than necessary or normal
• ambled (v.) – walked slowly in a free and relaxed way
• strut (v.) – to walk in a confident and proud way

Agenda

  1. Introduction of Lesson Objectives, Aim & Standards
  2. Review homework
  3. Mini Lesson with guided practice
  4. Student independent discussion in pairs
  5. Class discussion of questions from independent reading
  6. Lesson Assessment:  Quick Write

Do Now: Take out their responses to the previous lesson’s homework assignment and talk in pairs about questions you developed for homework, specifically analyzing the development of Ruth and Macon’s characters.

Suggested questions:

  • How do Corinthians’s suspicions about Ruth on pages 64–66 further develop Ruth’s character?
  • What does Macon’s response to Ruth’s story suggest about his attitude toward Ruth?
  • How does the meaning and tone of the phrase “daddy’s daughter” change depending on the speaker?

Mini Lesson with Guided Practice

Read pages 56–62 (from “Life improved for Milkman enormously after he began working” to “That’s one thing I can have”) in pairs for evidence to support your responses as you discuss the following questions  before sharing out with the class.

  1. *What does Feather’s refusal to allow Milkman into his pool hall suggest about Milkman’s place in his community?
  2. How does Railroad Tommy’s lecture to the boys depict the lives of African-American men in Milkman’s community?

Lead a brief whole-class discussion to monitor and check student understanding.

Student Independent Practice

In pairs, read pages 62–74 (from “By the time Milkman was fourteen he had noticed” to “Macon turned the doorknob, and without a backward glance, left the room) for evidence to support their responses as you discuss the following questions before sharing out with the class.

  1. *How does Milkman’s “deformity” (p. 62) affect his perception of himself?
  2. *What does Macon’s reaction to Milkman’s efforts to “do the work the way Macon wanted it done” (p. 63) suggest about Macon’s view of his relationship with his son?
  3. How does Milkman’s physical confrontation with his father change their relationship?
  4. *What do the “silver-backed brushes” (p. 69) in Milkman’s room suggest about his mother’s role in shaping his identity?
  5. *What does Milkman’s image in the mirror suggest about his identity after attacking his father?
  6. How does Macon’s storytelling develop the central idea of identity?

Lead a brief whole-class discussion to check on student understainding.

End  of the Lesson Assessment: How does Morrison develop the central idea of identity in this passage?
Look at their annotations to find evidence and use this lesson’s vocabulary wherever possible in your written responses.

Homework
Read pages 74–89 of Song of Solomon (from “Milkman sat on the edge of his bed” to “‘Somebody should have shot him.’ ‘What for? He was already Dead’”) and annotate for the development of central ideas. Also, develop 2–3 questions focused on Milkman’s character development and prepare possible responses to the questions for discussion.

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Lesson 7 (pages 74–89 of Song of Solomon (from “Milkman sat on the edge of his bed” to “‘Somebody should have shot him.’ ‘What for? He was already Dead’”)

Objectives: Students will be able to analyze the passage and pay particular attention to how the central ideas of identity and community develop.

Aim: How do the ideas of community and identity interact and build on one another in this excerpt?

Materials: 

  • copies of the Central Ideas and Motifs Tracking Tool
  • Student copies of the Short Response Rubric and Checklist

CCS

W.11-12.9.a: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
a. Apply grades 11–12 Reading standards to literature (e.g., “Demonstrate knowledge of eighteenth-, nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century foundational works of American literature, including how two or more texts from the same period treat similar themes or topics”).

L.11-12.4.a: Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grades 11–12 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.
a. Use context (e.g., the overall meaning of a sentence, paragraph, or text; a word’s position or function in a sentence) as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.

Resources: Lesson Vocabulary

  • aporishness (n.) – quality of resembling steam; something insubstantial and transitory
  •  shrew (n.) – woman of violent temper and speech
  • animation (n.) – lively or excited quality
  • disassociated (adj.) – separated from someone or something
  • atrocities (n.) – very cruel or terrible acts or actions

Agenda

  1. Introduction of Lesson Objectives, Aim & Standards
  2. Review homework
  3. Mini Lesson with guided practice
  4. Student independent discussion in pairs
  5. Class discussion of questions from independent reading
  6. Lesson Assessment:  Quick Write

Do Now: Take out your responses to the previous lesson’s homework assignment. Form pairs and discuss the questions  you developed for homework, specifically analyzing Milkman’s character development.

Suggested questions:

  • What do Milkman’s thoughts about his mother on page 75 suggest about his character?
  • How does Milkman’s memory of being nursed by his mother contribute to his character development?

Activity 1: Mini Lesson  with Guided Practice

In pairs, read pages 74–80 (from “Milkman sat on the edge of his bed” to “he had slept with others, and was a Northerner visiting the South. His name was Till”) for evidence to support your responses as you discuss the following questions in groups before sharing out with the class.

  1. *How does Milkman describe his parents after hearing his father’s story? What does this description suggest about Milkman’s identity?
  2. How do Milkman’s thoughts about love on pages 78–79 convey his understanding of his role in his family?
  3. *How does Milkman’s search for Guitar demonstrate the contrast between Milkman’s role and Guitar’s role in the community?

Lead a brief whole-class discussion to check on student understanding.

Activity 2: Student Independent Practice

In pairs, read pages 80–83 (from “Railroad Tommy was trying to keep the noise down” to “His animation had died down, leaving its traces in his eyes”) for evidence to support your  answers as you discuss the following questions  before sharing out with the class.

  1. *What does the discussion about Till demonstrate about the Southside community’s concerns?
  2. What do the men’s “tales” (p. 82) suggest about the role of storytelling in the Southside community?

Lead a brief whole-class discussion to check  student responses.

Activity 3: Continue the discussion questions based pages 83–88 (from “Milkman waited until he could get his attention” to “I ain’t going home, Guitar. Hear me?”). Use evidence to support your responses.

  • How does this excerpt further develop the relationship between Milkman and Guitar?
  • How does Guitar’s story about hunting develop a central idea in the text?
  • *What does Milkman’s response to the Till’s murder suggest about his identity as a member of the Southside community?

Activity 4End of the Lesson Assessment

Respond briefly in writing to the following prompt- How do the ideas of community and identity interact and build on one another in this excerpt? Look at their annotations to find evidence and use this lesson’s vocabulary wherever possible in your written responses.

Activity 5: Motif Discussion 
Form small groups. Refer to the text, your Quick Writes, and notes to identify and explain the function of motifs that you have noticed throughout the text so far.

Lead a brief whole-class discussion of student responses.

Homework:

Read and annotate pages 90–112 of Song of Solomon (from “Once again he did his Christmas shopping” to “He flashed his gold merrily and was gone”). Also, develop 2–3 questions focused on character development in this excerpt and prepare possible answers to your questions for discussion.
Additionally, record any new questions that emerge during your reading and write answers to any earlier questions that you have resolved.

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