Lesson 1 (from chapters 1-4)
The first chapter introduces us to Virginia Hamilton and to her writing style. This lesson discusses Virginia Hamilton's writing, and how it reveals her strategies for using language to convey meaning.
1. Close Reading: Read the first few paragraphs, and analyze the writing style. How does Virginia Hamilton write? What kinds of words does she use? How are her sentences structured?
2. Small Group Discussion: Ask students to work together in small groups to characterize Virginia Hamilton's style. When or how does she vary from that cadence ? What does she lay emphasis on when she varies from her typical sentences? Ask each group to report back to the class after some time for discussion.
3. Class Discussion: How would you characterize Virginia Hamilton's values as a writer? What does she talk about? How does she use language to tell Tree's story? Is she neutral, partisan, prejudiced...
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