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TeachNet NYC: Lesson Plans

Symbolism in The Scarlet Letter

Project URL: http://teachnet-lab.org/goldman/scarletletter/contents.htm

 

How it works:
Symbolism in The Scarlet Letter is a unit designed to help students understand and interpret literary works. Here they examine specific clues in the Nathaniel Hawthorne novel. Students discover that Hawthorne had a specific goal in mind when writing this novel, with each character representing different aspects of his feelings about Puritan society. By using symbolism, he reveals these feelings to the reader. These lessons are designed for use in conjunction with other lessons pertaining to the novel. They may be used during or after reading this work.

Standards addressed:  
Students use general skills and strategies of the writing process as well as the stylistic and rhetorical aspects of writing. They also use grammatical and mechanical conventions in written compositions and gather and employ information for research purposes. They understand and interpret literary and informational texts, use listening and speaking strategies for different purposes, use viewing skills and strategies to understand and interpret visual media, and understand the characteristics and components of that media.

Materials used:
Required materials include computers with Internet connection, and construction paper and markers for illustrations.

The students:
This program is suitable for 10th graders and older. Some level of higher thinking should be previously ingrained, such as the exploration of a novel that studies symbolism at great length.


Overall value:
This unit improves students’ abilities in reading literature and uncovering deeper meanings. Students learn to uncover these ideas through reading “between the lines”. Furthermore, it helps them comprehend other pieces of literature as well.
 
Tips: 
Using the Internet to find images to illustrate their work helps students present an understanding of their ideas to other classmates.

   

About the teacher:
Denise Goldman has been teaching English for six years. She is a member of the New York City Writing Project and a recipient of an Impact II grant. She received her Masters Degree in English Education from NYU in 1999.

Email: 
mrsgoldman@msn.com

Subject Areas: 
English
Technology

Grade Levels: 
10-12

 

 

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