Lesson 1 (from Preface and Part 1, Chapter I)
Preface and Part 1, Chapter I
The setting for the novel is Minnesota from 1860-1890. The objective of this lesson is to explore the local color of Minnesota and its impact on the story.
Lead the class in a discussion about local color. Begin with a definition and ask the class to validate their understanding by offering examples from the book. How is regionalism exhibited in language? Interpersonal dynamics? Clothing? What other elements can the students define that make this story one from Minnesota during this particular time period?
Divide the class into small groups and have them discuss the author's authenticity with the book. Could this story take place anywhere else but Minnesota in the mid- to late-19th century? Why or why not? What is it about the elements of this story that slots in into this particular time period?
Lead a class discussion...
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