Discussion Guide for Handmaid's Tale

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This Discussion Guide for Handmaid's Tale activity also includes:

Great literature discussions are a consequence of carefully crafted questions, interpretative questions that permit more than one response, and responses supported by specific evidence from the text. The discussion questions in a guide focused on Margret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale are designed to develop readers' critical thinking skills and to generate meaningful and engaging discussion.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Organize a district-wide professional development seminar in the shared inquiry approach
  • Model the shared inquiry approach to crafting discussion questions for class members using the first several pages of the novel
  • Ask readers to develop three interpretative questions and follow-up questions for each reading assignment
Classroom Considerations
  • The Great Books Foundation offers professional development courses to train instructors in their Shared inquiry approach
  • Class members should have experience with the shared inquiry protocols for discussions
  • The seven-page guide includes background information about Atwood and her novel as well as the discussion questions
  • The questions model the shared inquiry approach of beginning with a broad-based interpretative question and follow-up questions related to the initial query
  • The questions for further reflection ask readers to make personal and global connections to the text
  • None