Day 2 – Faith
I. Prep – Write on Board Before Class
“Yet Do I Marvel”
I doubt not God is good, well-meaning, kind,
And did He stoop to quibble could tell why
The little buried mole continues blind,
Why flesh that mirrors Him must some day die,
Make plain the reason tortured Tantalus
Is baited by the fickle fruit, declare
If merely brute caprice dooms Sisyphus
To struggle up a never-ending stair.
Inscrutable His ways are, and immune
To catechism by a mind too strewn
With petty cares to slightly understand
What awful brain compels His awful hand.
Yet do I marvel at this curious thing:
To make a poet black, and bid him sing!
-Countee Cullen (1925)
II. Settling in – “Yet Do I Marvel” 15 minutes
Explain briefly the mythological significance of Tantalus and Sisyphus as the Greek kings damned to an eternity of desire and struggle without satisfaction, one for want of food, the other for pushing a boulder endlessly uphill.
1. Ask students to take out a looseleaf and pen or pencil
2. Ask students to read the poem silently.
After most students have read the poem to themselves, give third direction:
b. Ask students to write up to 5 sentences about the meaning of the last line in the poem.
III. Review of Reading 5 minutes
Ask a student to recall what happened in the first scene of A Raisin in the Sun.
1. What are the major conflicts experienced by the family? Experienced by which members?
2. Who is Beneatha? What is she experiencing?
3. Who is Mama? “?
IV. Small Group Discussion 15 minutes
Have students join pods of four.
Assign each student in the pod a concept:
1. Poverty and Wealth
2. Level of Education
4. Self Identity
Ask the following questions, asking each student to consider from the view of their concept:
1. Consider two characters, Beneatha and Mama, and their attitudes toward religion.
A. How does each factor (poverty/wealth, education, family, and self-identity) influence Beneatha’s religious beliefs?
B. How does each factor influence Mama’s beliefs?
2. Think about Countee Cullen’s poem and the conditions of the Younger family. Does poverty and desire increase or decrease faith? How? For which members of the family?
V. Drama Team Assignments 10 minutes
Assign the groups of four to a scene in the play (there are six scenes). Rearrange if necessary.
Teams will be responsible for casting, acting out the most important six minutes of the scene, and light costume and prop design.
On the last day of the unit, students will perform their section of the scene.
VI. Silent Reading (Scene 2) 10 minutes to end