My Ántonia: Characters

Explore the motivations and personalities of the main characters from Willa Cather's My Ántonia. Once kids have finished Book One of the novel, have them work in groups to analyze Ántonia Shimerda, Jim Burden, Mr. Shimerda, Lena Lingard, and the land as a character. For homework, they continue reading Book Two, and either consider or answer several reading questions.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Assign one character per group, or have each group rotate through analyzing each character
  • Have kids write a short essay about their character of choice, and whether he or she is the protagonist, antagonist, foil, or hero
  • Precede this lesson with a discussion about different character types, drawing on familiar stories and books
Classroom Considerations

  • Depending on how long you make each group discussion, you could fit this lesson into one class period or extend it through several days
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  • Comes with all materials in a zip file or links on the unit's main page

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