Uncovering Individuality in a Scripted World

byPatrice Henry

Who am I? and Where am I Going? are two questions that many teens struggle to answer in efforts to define their identity. For some, these two questions, although seemingly connected, are confusing to ponder and overwhelming to decide. For others, these two questions are redundant, and original responses are ludicrous when the answers have already been defined. In an effort to help my students  more clearly define the difference between their person and their personal experience, this unit allows students to view life and identity through the characters in August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson and selections regarding the Greenwood District and the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921. Through the process of research, analysis, and theatrical character development, students will be able to explore various aspects of individual identity in connection with familial, social, and political constructs.

(Developed for Language Arts, grade 7; recommended for Language Arts, grades 8-12, United States History, grade 11, African American Studies, grades 11-12, and Oklahoma History, grade 9)

Comments (1)

    Linda Gail Dunham (Oral Roberts University, Tulsa, Ok)
    Subject taught:
    Don\'t Give up on yourself
    The lesson plan submitted by Patrice Henry is going to be very impactful to the students in Tulsa, Oklahoma, who are familiar with the Greenwood Riots. Patrice has used solid Oklahoma standards for this unit for Middle School students, and the overall theme will change many young lives with the message of not giving up on yourself just because you may have made some mistakes. Patrice\'s original research at the Greenwood center adds authenticity to the entire unit.

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