Language Arts Understanding by Design Lesson Plans


By Lauren Lee

This unit, written for a primarily senior college preparatory English Literature class, uses several short stories from James Joyce’s Dubliners to focus on the thematic idea of loss, grief, and coping to build on students’ understanding of research, creative writing, discussion, reading, making connections, and literary terms. At the unit’s conclusion, students will demonstrate their mastery of these skills and understandings in a Wikispace in which they conduct first-person research on a culture, as Joyce did, and emulate some of his creative writing skills to develop vignettes about that culture working independently or in groups. Some activities that will lead up to this culminating assessment include scored discussion, prompted annotations, exploration of the text’s thematic ideas in outside sources, group work, and Blogging. Although this seventeen-day unit focuses on 9 stories from the collection including “The Sisters”, “An Encounter”, “Araby”, “Eveline”, “The Boarding House”, “A Little Cloud”, “Counterparts”, “A Painful Case”, and “The Dead”, one could extend this unit by teaching more of Joyce’s stories or the text in its entirety.

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