A Lesson Before Dying: Character Development

This A Lesson Before Dying: Character Development lesson plan also includes:

What characteristics would your class attribute to a hero? Have them explore heroic acts and character development with a lesson from Ernest J. Gaines's A Lesson Before Dying. After discussing a handout, readers decide if small acts can be heroic, and determine which characters from the book are like Jackie Robinson and Joe Louis. In a writing activity, they then examine Grant's speech to Jefferson as it relates to men or women becoming heroes, and identify the women in the novel who could be considered heroes. The next activity begins with a homework assignment, in which kids read the next few chapters of the book and explore their portrayal of racism.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Have kids write about their own personal heroes before starting the lesson
Classroom Considerations
  • You might want to split the activities into several class periods, as the lesson is packed with great discussion topics and writing assignments
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  • All auxiliary materials are available as URLs or in an attached zip file
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Common Core