This three week unit for 11th grade English (American Literature) is for the assigned summer reading novel, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. The first goal of the unit is to introduce the students to the concept that the established American literary canon has evolved to include diverse authors with myriad experiences and from different backgrounds. Furthermore, the lessons in this unit will introduce the concept that all language functions as rhetoric and is, essentially, an argument. Students will continue to revisit this concept throughout the year. Finally, students will explore three major themes of The Kite Runner: power/privilege, injustice, and redemption.
Concurrently, students will be completing poetry exercises that are a part of San Antonio Poet Laureate, Jenny Browne’s city-wide poetry initiative - St. Anthony's Lost & Found: A Poetry Exchange. Poetry is an excellent way for students to explore themes of the novel, characterization, setting, and more. Therefore, the performance assessment asks students to create a poetry publication that demonstrates their insight into the unit’s understandings.
With a high-interest text and lessons that promote inquiry, problem solving, analysis, discussion, and reflection, this unit is sure to engage students and set the tone for the rest of the year.
Bilbrey, Alice, "The Kite Runner (11th grade)" (2017). Understanding by Design: Complete Collection. 374.
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