Lesson Plan : The Scarlet Letter

Teacher Name:
 Ms. Georges
Grade:
 Grade 11-12
Subject:
 Literature Activities

Topic:
 Summing Up the book, The Scarlet Letter
Goals:
 The Student will read the novel and gather various data, facts and ideas about the time of the puritans. The Student will Gather information from the internet about puritan times. The student will discuss and form opinoins with other classmates. The students will use information learned about this time period to create a finaproject.
Objectives:
 Students will understand the following: Compare/Contrast Puritan times with today. Discuss and voice their opinions in groups about questions the teacher will provide. The ending of a novel does not resolve all questions that may occur to readers. Readers may imagine characters living out their lives beyond the ending that the author gives to a novel.
Materials:
 The novel the Scarlet Letter, Notebooks, Pen/Pencil, computers with internet access
Introduction:
 Part one of This activity allows the students to use the computer as a learning tool. The students are able to gather information from Internet so they can better understanding of the material. This will add a sociological perspective allowing students to understand the values of the time and the significance of the characters actions. Students will be asked to work independently to do the following: The student will be able to compare and contrast the acceptance of unwed mothers from Puritan times to today. Use The Internet to To search moral codes of the Puritans. The student will compare and contrast judicial punishment in Puritan times verse today's punishment. Use Database to Search for punishment modes for Puritan times. Use The Internet to Search for modern forms of judicial punishment. Afterwards, the students will come together and the teacher will lead a class discussion about their findings.
Development:
 After the discussion, the teacher will start a new topic to discuss: Point out that very little information about Pearl is shared at the end of The Scarlet Letter. All that we learn is that when Chillingworth dies, he leaves Pearl a great inheritance, making her “the richest heiress of her day, in the New World.” Then Pearl leaves town, never to return. According to the novel, “None knew—nor ever learned, with the fulness of perfect certainty—whether the elf-child had gone thus untimely to a maiden grave, or whether her wild, rich nature had been softened and subdued, and made capable of a woman’s gentle happiness.” In this project, students will use hints in the novel, their sense of romance, their sense of tragedy, and their knowledge of human psychology to propose a logical resolution to the question “What happens to Pearl?” establish what your students think they know from the novel about Pearl as a child. Ask them to describe Pearl based on the techniques that any author has of presenting a character to readers. That is, ask the following questions: • What do we learn about Pearl from her appearance? • What do we learn about Pearl from the way she talks and the way she acts? • What do we learn about Pearl from what other people (including the author) say or suggest about her? Having established some sense of who Pearl is, ask your students to discuss the following questions or scenarios relating to her life beyond the end of the novel: • How might Pearl’s childhood experiences affect her emotions and her life choices once she leaves New England? • What basic life skills will Pearl have to learn as a young woman? • Under what conditions might Pearl marry or have a child? • How likely is it that Pearl might take out her anger on people in her new community? What antisocial actions might she take? • How likely is it that Pearl would grow beyond her anger? How would Pearl display normality? • If Pearl survives, what communication if any do you think she will have with her mother back in New England? • What role could Pearl play in a new community—witch? religious leader who dispenses mercy and punishment? recluse? mystery woman? • If Pearl survives and has a child, what if anything do you think she will tell the child about Hester? about Dimmesdale and Chillingworth? about Pearl’s own childhood?
Practice:
 After the class discussion, break up the students in groups of three and give the groups of students the following options for putting their thoughts into writing: • Writing a short story with Pearl as a young woman of 18 as the main character • Writing a letter from Pearl as a young woman of 18 to her mother • Writing a scene between Pearl as a young woman of 18 and her mother, whom she goes to visit • A doctor’s report on the cause of Pearl’s death at age 18 Let each student or group of students share the written product with the rest of the class. Ask for comments from the audience on the credibility and authenticity of how Pearl is portrayed in each original piece. Have students stay in their gropsand let them work on one of the following project: Design a model that replicates a scene from The Scarlet Letter. You model should include some miniature characters. • Design four greeting cards that you think Hester, Pearl, Dimmesdale, and Chillingworth would have sent to each other for a holiday… you choose the holiday and design four cards, one from each of these characters. Include a picture and a quote or poem that they would have written in the card. This can be funny, or serious. • Create a poster that compares Hawthorne's scarlet letter, to a modern scarlet letter that is recognized by our society.
Teacher Reflections:
 Doing the lesson this way breaks the ritual of "lecture - discussion". Students are given various different methods to understand the novel in a fuller sense. They are going beyond the novel and gathering information so as to compare the Puritan times to today. Also they are learning to work as a team and interact with other classmates when they do cooperative learning. Students are using higher level thinking skills when they answer various questions. **I did not actually try this activity since I do not currently teach, but I believe that this lesson would really work in the classroom since it engages the student allowing them to participate in all different types of learning.

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