My Ántonia: Character Development

This My Ántonia: Character Development lesson plan also includes:

How do the main characters of Willa Cather's My Ántonia develop and change throughout the course of the novel? Explore Jim Burden, Ántonia Shimerda, and Lena Lingard toward the end of the novel, comparing their goals and expectations in Book One to their choices and outcomes in Book Three. Kids delve deeper into Jim's character with a writing assignment about his education, and how relevant the novel's epigraph has become. For homework, they begin Book Four and discuss the effectiveness of Cather's text structure.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Assign one character to small groups, and have them form a presentation based on research from the novel
  • Have kids write letters from the point of view of each character to minor characters in the book, referencing their changes and circumstances
Classroom Considerations

  • Split the activities into several class periods, or layer them into one extended block period