- About the Initiative
- Topical Index of Curriculum Units
- View Topical Index of Curriculum Units
- Search Curricular Resources
- View Volumes of Curriculum Units from National Seminars
- Find Curriculum Units Written in Seminars Led by Yale Faculty
- Find Curriculum Units Written by Teachers in National Seminars
- Browse Curriculum Units Developed in Teachers Institutes
- On Common Ground
- League of Institutes
- Video Programs
Have a suggestion to improve this page?
To leave a general comment about our Web site, please click here
Many students come into my English classes afraid to participate for fear saying something wrong; there is also consistently a group of students who will either parrot my connections and assertions or those found on a study-helper website such as SparkNotes or Shmoop. Students need to develop the skill of original thought based upon critical analysis of text, and literature classes offer access to developing that skill. Students enter their classes with a wide variety of experiences that influence their reading of texts, and these connections can be used to make connections when they are grounded by textual evidence.
In order to help students develop their ability to form and express their own original analysis of text, this unit uses Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire (1947) and two of the more common critical analyses of this play to invite students to challenge such analyses of the work and assert commentaries that are authentic.
This unit was written with an audience of twelfth-grade IB literature students in mind; however, it can be modified to work for students as young as ninth grade as long as the teacher is comfortable with discussing the mature, sexual content of the play. The suggested activities are flexible enough to be easily modified to fit the needs of student group in the secondary setting.
(Developed for IB Language A: Literature Year 2, grade 12; recommended for English, grades 9-12)