A Lesson Before Dying: Symbols

This A Lesson Before Dying: Symbols lesson plan also includes:

Explore the religious symbolism in A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines. Once your class has read through Chapter 21, lead them in a discussion about the way religious symbols make their way through the novel, and their impact on the characters and plot. They then examine how various character names could act as symbols, and how each character represents his or her symbolic namesake. Pass out the handout on Jackie Robinson and Joe Louis for homework to discuss Grant's concept of a hero.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Writing activity would be a great assignment for half-way through the unit, or you could save it for a final writing project
Classroom Considerations
  • This resource is only available on an unencrypted HTTP website. It should be fine for general use, but don’t use it to share any personally identifiable information
  • Delves deeply into the text and author's purpose in choosing names and symbols
  • None