StudySync Lesson Plan Araby

 StudySync Lesson Plan
Engage students in the plot, characters, themes, setting, and language of James Joyce's
Araby so that they are prepared to discuss and write about the excerpt.
2. Practice and reinforce the following Grade 11-12 ELA Common Core Standards for reading
literature, writing, language, and speaking and listening:
READING: LITERATURE - RL.11-12. 1-5, 7, 9, 10
WRITING - W.11-12.3-6
LANGUAGE - L.11-12.5
150 minutes (with up to an additional 115 minutes of extension possibilities)
SyncTV Premium Lesson James Joyce’s Araby
This is an excerpt of Araby, one of fifteen short stories from Irish author James Joyce's Dubliners,
a collection of thematically and geographically interwoven tales taking place in early twentieth
century Dublin. The story explores an Irish teenager's infatuation with a neighborhood girl and his
subsequent quest to buy her a gift from an exotic Dublin bazaar she cannot visit. One of the most
revered authors of the 20th century, Joyce is considered a master of the literary device of
epiphany; here, as in all of Joyce's works, the majority of the action is internal, taking place in the
minds and hearts of its main character(s). In Araby, Joyce explores themes of the coming of
adolescence and the disillusionment of love. Close examination of this text will prepare students
to develop thoughtful responses to higher-level literary texts, and to write thoughtful, informed,
and textually-rooted responses, consistent with the ELA Common Core Standards for the high
school grades.
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Lesson Plan: Araby
Background (10 minutes)
Watch the Preview (SL.11-12.1-2). As a group, watch the video preview of the premium
lesson. Use the following questions to spur discussion following the preview:
a. The preview mentions the three major themes of the story: obsession, loss of
innocence, and disillusionment. Discuss as a group what each of these ideas
mean. What do you think of when you hear these words?
b. Based on the images in the preview, what can you infer this story will be about?
Where will it take place? What time period? What is the world of the story?
c. Can you relate to the plight of the main character? Have you ever gone out of
your way to do something because of some sense of romantic longing? Ask
willing students to share an appropriate story about either themselves or
someone they know.
Extension (additional 10 minutes)
d. Discuss (SL.11-12.1-2). The preview states that whatever the boy finds at the bazaar
"changes him forever." Without knowing, what do you think the boy might find? Do
you think what he finds is literal? Or could it be intangible, perhaps a lesson
learned? On a blank sheet of paper, have students predict what the boy will find,
then have them compare their predictions with what actually happens once they
read the text.
Engaging the Text (140 minutes)
2. Read the Text (40 minutes)
a. Read and Annotate (RL.11-12.1-4, 10). Have students read and annotate the excerpt
from Araby. As students read, have them make three kinds of textual connections
using the annotation tool: text-to-world, text-to-self, text-to-text. Encourage them
to engage with the text in creative ways. These questions are visible to you after
the students submit their writing assignments or beforehand if you use the
“mimic” function to access the students’ accounts.
i. text-to-world: Students connect a particular passage, image, idea, etc., in
the text to something they know or have learned.
ii. text-to-self: Students connect a particular passage, image, idea, etc., in the
text to something they have experienced or felt in their own lives.
iii. text-to-text: Students connect a passage, image, idea, etc., in the text to
something else they have previously read.
b. Discuss (SL.11-12.1-3). Have students get into small groups or pairs and briefly
discuss the responses they had while reading. Have them share their own textual
connections with each other. As a class, discuss the images that come to mind
while reading Araby.
Extension (additional 20 minutes)
c. Listen and Discuss (SL.11-12.1-3). As a class, listen to the audio reading of the text.
What are some of the different effects of reading the text versus hearing it read
aloud? What words does the author use to develop the characters and setting?
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Lesson Plan: Araby
d. Comprehend (RL.11-12.1-4). Have students complete the multiple-choice questions.
Collect papers or discuss answers as a class.
3. Watch SyncTV (40 minutes)
a. Watch. Either watch the SyncTV discussion associated with Araby as a class or
ask students to watch it on their individual computers.
b. Focus (RL.11-12.4; L.11-12.5) Using the portion of the episode from 1:25-2:00, focus
in as the SyncTV students discuss the use of figurative language from the text.
Have students highlight any lines/passages that stand out and consider Joyce's
use of figurative language in this story. How does Joyce's use of simile and
metaphor develop the theme(s) of the story?
c. Focus (RL.11-12.1, 3-4 and L.11-12.5). In the portion of the episode from 2:35-3:00
the students discuss some of the imagery Joyce uses in the story. Focus on how
the external imagery corresponds to the narrator's internal reality.
d. Focus (RL.11-12.1-5, 7) Watch the portion of the episode from 3:35-5:00 wherein
the students discuss varying interpretations of why the boy doesn't end up buying
the girl a gift. Think about how stories can have different interpretations and
different layers of meaning. Have students consider their own interpretations of
the story's ending.
e. Discuss (SL.11-12.1-3 and RL.11-12.1-7). After watching the model discussion, have a
conversation with the class about the ideas discussed in the SyncTV episode that
stood out the most. What new thoughts do they have after hearing the students'
discussion? Next, divide students into small groups (3-4 students). Move around
the room monitoring the groups as students follow the SyncTV episode as a
model to discuss some of the following questions:
i. What do you think finally motivates the boy to leave the bazaar emptyhanded? Cite specific passages from the text.
ii. All stories supposedly contain characters, setting, and a plot, but one
could argue that Araby lacks a traditional plot. Define these terms. Does
this excerpt from Araby have a plot? Why/why not?
iii. Compare/contrast fantasy vs. reality as it is presented in Araby. What do
you think this says about the deeper meaning of the story?
iv. Though the boy's epiphany is not directly stated by the author, he
definitely has an inner realization at the story's end. What do you think his
epiphany is? What has he learned? Why doesn’t Joyce just tell us what the
boy has learned at the end?
v. Discuss the neighborhood where the first half of the story takes place.
Describe its attributes, pointing to specific descriptions and details in the
vi. Describe the bazaar, as seen through the boy's eyes at the end of the
story. How is it different than one might imagine? How is this parallel to
some of the important themes of the story?
Extension (additional 45 minutes)
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Lesson Plan: Araby
Write (W.11-12.3). Though different in their specifics, all of us have certain
memories from childhood that affect us deeply, well beyond our adolescence. In
Araby, a somewhat older and wiser narrator shares a specific coming-of-age story
about a romantic obsession and the disillusionment that followed. Have students
write a short narrative of an especially memorable event from their childhood. The
specifics are up to the students, but students should pay special focus to
characters, plot, and setting. Students can complete the assignment as a quick
write activity or go through the writing process of planning, revising, editing, and
publishing. Be sure to have time for students to share their final writing pieces
with the class.
4. Think (10 minutes)
a. Respond (W.11-12.4, 6). Ask students to read the “Think” questions, watch the
corresponding video clips, and respond to the questions, either in class or for
5. Write (50 minutes)
a. Discuss (SL.9–10.1). Read the prompt you have chosen for students, and allow
time for questions regarding the prompt and the assignment expectations. Use
this short discussion time to make sure students have a clear understanding of the
assignment expectations and the rubric by which you and the other students will
be evaluating them.
b. Organize (RI.9–10.1-6, 10; W.9–10.1-5). Ask students to go back and annotate the
text with the prompt in mind. They should be organizing their thoughts and the
points they’ll address in their writing as they make annotations. They should apply
any outlining or organizational tools you have been working on as a class.
c. Write (W.9–10.1-6, 9–10). Have students go through the writing process of
planning, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing their writing responses.
d. Review (W.9–10.4-6). Use the StudySync “Review” feature to have students
complete one to two evaluations of their peers’ work based on your chosen
review rubric. Have the students look at and reflect upon the peer evaluations of
their own writing. If time allows, have students write a final revised version of their
essays based on the suggestions their peers have given them, as well as any new
ideas they might have for what their essays need.
Extension (additional 40 minutes)
e. Write (W.11-12.4-6). For homework, have students write an essay using one of the
prompts you did not chose to do in class. Students should publish their responses
Describe (W.11-12.4-6; RL.11-12.1,3). Have students write descriptions of the
principal characters from Araby. Responses should reference specific details
mentioned in the story, but students are welcome to go further and make
inferences based on the descriptive details within.
g. Diagram (RL.11-12.1,3). Ask students to draw, to the best of their ability, the two
main settings in the story: North Richmond Street and the bazaar at night. They
should cite evidence from the book to support their descriptions.
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Lesson Plan: Araby
Key Vocabulary
blind (for a street) – (adj.) - (U.K.) Describing a street without an outlet (today more
commonly known as a dead-end street or a cul-de-sac)
2. summons – (n.) An order or urgent call to a particular action (esp. in a court of law)
3. deride – (v.) To ridicule or mock
4. linger – (v.) To stay in a place longer than expected or necessary
5. bazaar – (n.) A street market comprised of individual merchants selling various wares
6. pervade – (v.) To spread through and be apparent throughout
7. anguish – (n.) Extreme mental or physical suffering
8. vanity – (n.) 1. Excessive concern with one's own appearance 2. Futility, worthlessness
Reading Comprehension Questions
Mangan is _______________.
a. a priest
b. a neighborhood boy
c. a shopkeeper
d. the narrator's uncle
2. We can infer all of the following about the narrator EXCEPT
a. He isn't being raised by his biological parents
b. He is probably not a focused and diligent student
c. He comes from a wealthy, upper-class background
d. He is in some stage of adolescence
3. Mangan's sister _______________.
a. is older than Mangan
b. plans to become a nun
c. probably doesn't have the same feelings for the narrator
d. all of the above
4. The narrator is being cared for by ________________.
a. His mother
b. His brothers
c. His aunt and uncle
d. none of the above
5. We can infer from the uncle saying, "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy," that
a. the uncle believes the boy should work harder
b. the uncle thinks the boy deserves to have some fun
c. the boy's name is Jack
d. he thinks the boy is dull
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Lesson Plan: Araby
6. Which of the following IS NOT a theme of the story?
a. faith in God
b. disillusionment
c. romantic longing
d. growing up
7. Which of the following words best describes the narrator's emotions at the story's end?
a. hopeful
b. defeated
c. afraid
d. curious
8. Which of the following IS NOT a potential reason the narrator doesn't buy the girl a gift?
a. he doesn't have enough money
b. most of the vendors are closed by the time he arrives
c. he realizes his quest to win the girl's attention is probably futile
d. he decides he'd rather buy something for himself
9. We can infer that the uncle ___________________.
a. is drunk when he comes home
b. is a schoolteacher
c. is not the boy's biological uncle
d. is only pretending to forget the boy's request
10. Mrs. Mercer is probably ___________________.
a. the narrator's mother
b. one of the narrator's teachers
c. some kind of caretaker
d. living in their house
Answer Key
1. B
2. C
3. D
4. C
5. B
6. A
7. B
8. D
9. A
10. C
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Lesson Plan: Araby
Further Assignments
Read The Dead, a longer short story in Joyce's Dubliners. Compare the two stories -Araby and The Dead -- and their formal characteristics. In a written response, discuss
what these stories have in common, as well as what sets them apart. (RL.11-12.1-6, 9; W.1112.4-6)
2. Have students do research about the time and place in which the story is set. Discuss
and write how the setting impacted the decisions of the characters. (RL.11-12.7, 9)
3. James Joyce is one of the most well-respected authors of the twentieth century. As a
homework assignment, have students research Joyce's life and write a short biography of
Joyce's life. What is his background? What were his major works? Why is he so well
remembered in the annals of literature? (RL.11-12.7, 9)
4. Have students paraphrase the true meaning of the final phrase of the story. What does "a
creature driven and derided by vanity" mean? (RL.11-12. 2, 4)
5. Ask students to analyze how James Joyce’s choice of structuring his story as an epiphany
shapes the meaning of the text and contributes to its overall narrative arc. (RL.11–12.5)
6. Ask students to go back through this excerpt from the novel and identify the different
verb tenses used throughout. Each student should develop a list of simple present tense,
simple past tense, and other verb tenses. As a class, come together to discuss any
sentences which students may have had trouble determining the tense for. (ELL)
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Lesson Plan: Araby