My Ántonia: Symbols

My Ántonia, by Willa Cather, features several symbols that add to the depth of the story. After finishing Book Two of the novel, readers analyze the snake and the crossroads from Book One, and the plough from Book Two, based on passages from the novel. For homework, they begin Book Three, noting and commenting on Ántonia's absence.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Split the class into groups and assign one symbol to each group, prompting them to present their discussion with a visual aid
  • Have kids consider each symbol and create a mini-poster, featuring the image, what it represents, and key passages from the book that support their analysis
Classroom Considerations

  • You could finish the lesson in one class period or several, depending on how you structure your discussion