Struggle

Issue 4.2          July 2022          

In this mini-unit we’ll explore how three of the pieces in Write the World Review 4.2 express ideas related to the various struggles present in our lives and in the world.


Please adapt, condense, or expand the following lesson ideas as you see fit, according to your class’s needs and your curricular goals. We hope you’ll reach out to our teacher liaison at Lori@WritetheWorld.com with any questions or suggestions, or to tell us how your class engaged with Write the World Review!


Pre-Reading Quick-Write:


Choose one of the following mini-prompts as inspiration for five minutes of writing. Afterward, share your responses aloud and, if time allows, expand the conversation through relevant responses and reactions. 


  • When you are faced with a conflict or some form of adversity, what physical responses do you notice in your body? What thoughts come to mind first as you decide how to respond to the situation? Feel free to write about a particular example or in a more general sense.

  • Think of a book you have read recently, either for an assignment or for fun. What was the central conflict of the novel? What challenges did the main character face? How did the way the main character responded to the conflict indicate something about their personality?

  • How is conflict with the environment different from conflict between people? Are there parallels?


Read:


  1. Algebraic Fractures

  2. Plague and Prejudice

  3. Trembling Survival


Discuss:


The following questions could work well for a class discussion, small group discussions, or written responses in the form of short essays or reflections.


  • Explore how there’s a sense of “pressure” in all three of these poems and the struggles they describe. What are the consequences of this pressure, as shown in each poem?

  • What is the relationship between the individual and the environment in “Plague and Prejudice” and “Trembling Survival”? What emotions do these poems evoke? Is there a call to action in these poems beyond an emotional response, and if so, what is your reaction?

  • There are references to the physical body and its various reactions/responses throughout each of these poems. Find some examples of these moments. What do these moments contribute to the poems and to your reading/understanding of them?

  • The struggles portrayed in these poems span from the individual to the larger society, from specific moments to broader events. Analyze one of the poems (your choice) and explain the struggle that’s portrayed, how the speaker responds to that struggle, and why conflict seems to be at the root of that poem—what does the poet want you to know?...to feel?...to question?


Write:


Poetry: Review the 7 most common types of conflict in literature and identify the conflict present in each poem: “Algebraic Fractures,” “Plague and Prejudice,” and “Trembling Survival.” Then, write your own poem in which struggle (or a form of conflict) is at the heart of the poem. Decide how you’ll respond to that struggle within the poem and what you want the reader to walk away understanding.




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