We Wear the Mask

Paul Laurence Dunbar's "We Wear the Mask" provides an opportunity for a discussion of the various masks people craft and their reasons for doing so.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Have individuals craft two masks: one that represents what they show to others and one that represents what others do not see
  • Cover the illustration and the information about Dunbar for the first reading and discussion of the poem
  • After revealing the image and Dunbar's background, ask class members how this information adds to their understanding
Classroom Considerations

  • The discussion requires a safe and respectful classroom environment

  • The packet includes both text-based and discussion questions
  • Also included are a list of teaching resources for Dunbar's poem and suggestions for related poems

  • Some class members may need additional scaffolding to make connections between the poem and the adversity question