Daily Lessons for Teaching Black Dog of Fate: A Memoir

Peter Balakian
This set of Lesson Plans consists of approximately 119 pages of tests, essay questions, lessons, and other teaching materials.
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Lesson 1 (from Part I: Grandmother)


Part I: Grandmother

In "Black Dog of Fate," Balakian relates memories of baking in the kitchen while his grandmother talked baseball and sometimes told strange tales. In this lesson, students will examine the significance of these afternoons in the kitchen and how they established a relationship between grandmother and grandson.


1. Class Discussion: How was Balakian affected by his monthly visits to his grandmother's apartment? How did these baking/talking sessions help him form a connection with her? What were some of the unique ingredients used in the baking and how did they serve to introduce Balakian to Armenian culture? What was the significance of the tales his grandmother related? Did any of them contain hints of the Armenian experience? Did the grandmother tell these tales as a way of discussing the Armenian experience without overwhelming a young child?

2. Partner Discussion: Pair up with another student...

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