A Thousand Splendid Suns Theme Analysis Lesson
Subject: English Language Arts Grades: 9‐12 Timeframe: Four 45 minute sessions
Student Outreach for Shelters (SOS) Program
This lesson is designed to deepen students’ analysis of the novel A Thousand Splendid Suns. In addition, this lesson is designed to provide educators with a core novel connection to the shelter outreach themes of the Khaled Hosseini Foundation SOS program.
Review Lesson Plan & novel. Adapt lesson plan as necessary. Prepare students as necessary: a) this lesson assumes that all students have read A Thousand Splendid Suns, and that students have clear expectations (e.g. rubrics or exemplars) for both oral and written response, namely group presentations and expository, essay‐ prompt‐based writing; b) this lesson can be taught in isolation of World Studies and Civics. However, student learning may be enhanced by a basic knowledge of Afghanistan and its recent history, as well as the current situation of Afghan refugees. See TKHF Additional Resources for additional lesson suggestions. If time does not allow for additional lessons, there is a helpful PowerPoint™ overview of Afghanistan that can be accessed from this lesson link: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/teachers/lessonplan s/world/afghanistan_overview_10‐06.html
Students will be able to: Complete a focused re‐reading of A Thousand Splendid Suns (ATSS) Participate in active learning, taking responsibility for making meaning of text Identify elements of theme in ATSS Synthesize findings by determining relevance and impact of theme on plot and characterization Make a connection between his/her life and theme Demonstrate learning through oral and written responses Complete peer review and reflection of their learning
Journal Activity (5min) ‐ Have students write a journal response to the following prompt: How did you respond to A Thousand Splendid Suns emotionally or intellectually? Did you feel involved with the reading or distant from it? Explain. Partner share & compare (15min) ‐ Ask volunteers to contribute responses to the class. Students may respond that they felt distant or involved from the novel for a variety of reasons. Discuss. Guide conversation towards the importance of analyzing fiction through themes. Themes are a fundamental element of fiction and connect the reader to a universal and/or personal
Address vocabulary as needed. Ensure students have an understanding of key Farsi / Dari words from the novel, such as kolba, harami, etc., as well as familiarity with fictional elements that will be discussed, such as theme, plot and characterization. Address geography as needed. Students should know the location and conditions of cities and towns named in the novel
truth. (The goal here is to increase students’ connection to the novel through the theme analysis.) Student Responses captured on video ‐ For engaging peer responses, view these TKHF videos regarding characters, themes, lessons learned and character connections, respectively: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDN9OETGiz0 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KChgd8vR1e0 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=‐zaWdpAx‐cM http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q51mwVwY3EQ
such as Herat, Kabul and Kandahar, Afghanistan and Murree, Pakistan. Information as well as photos can be accessed easily through Google maps: http://maps.google.com/. (Note: Gul of Daman is a fictional place.)
Materials & Resources
Class copies of A Thousand Splendid Suns 3x5 index cards (one per student) or other journaling materials Theme Graphic Organizer (one copy per student & one for overhead or reproduced on whiteboard)
Intro to Graphic Organizer activity (25 min) ‐ Tell students that they will ...