Daily Lessons for Teaching Butcher's Crossing

John Williams
This set of Lesson Plans consists of approximately 165 pages of tests, essay questions, lessons, and other teaching materials.
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Lesson 1 (from Part One: Chapters I-V)

Objective

Students will make predictions about how the epigraph section of the text will reflect the greater themes and messages contained within the narrative.

John Williams’s novel Butcher’s Crossing begins with a pair of epigraphs presenting opposing viewpoints about the characteristics of the natural world. A quote by Henry David Thoreau from his famous work Walden, discusses the sanctity of nature and its ability to heal the human soul. The second quote Williams includes, however, makes clear that its author, Herman Melville, sees the tremendous power and danger inherent in the natural world. Melville states that poets are wrong when they "have it that for sore hearts, as well as for sore lungs, nature is the grand cure." He then asks sharply, "But who froze to death my teamster on the prairie? And who made an idiot of Peter the Will Boy?" (iv). In crafting...

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