The Kite Runner by

Lesson Plans Presentation:
A. Tachouet
CI 548: LA
Professor Lenski
March 2009
Khaled Hosseini
How can a flawed hero seek redemption?
Week 1: Agenda
Begin The Kite Characters &
Friendship in
The Kite
Read p. 1-34
Tradition of
Read p. 35-79 Read p. 80-109
Lesson 1: Agenda
How does our history impact our stories?
• Discuss similar and different words, themes
and relationships found in the wordle.
• Take pre-test.
• Powerpoint presentation about author and
novel’s historical context.
• Listen to Hosseini reading chapter one aloud.
• Discuss allusions to history, friendship and
Khaled Hosseini
• Born in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 1965, the
son of a diplomat and a teacher.
• Lived in Tehran, Iran, and Paris, France, for
parts of his childhood. In 1980, granted political
asylum and moved to California.
• Graduated from high school, college and
medical school in California.
• Practiced medicine and now a writer. The Kite
Runner was his first novel, published 2003.
• Works with the United Nations Refugee
Agency, as a goodwill envoy.
• Relationship: Khaled taught Hossein Khan,
the family’s racial Hazara cook to read and
write despite the social
injustice and
racial bias imposed by their society.
• Memories: Fond recollections of pre-Soviet
era childhood in Afghanistan.
• Literature: Persian stories and poems,
characters and themes presented in John
Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath.
Where is Afghanistan?
Afghanistan is:
Before The Kite Runner
• A landlocked country located in central Asia, focal
point of regional trade and migration.
• 1800-1900s: Buffer state in rivalry between British
Indian Empire and Russia.
• 1919, 1924: Declared full independence and first
constitution is established.
• Through 1970s: Ruled by monarchy then
constitutional monarchy.
• 1933 – 1973: King Mohammad Zahir Shah reigned
during the longest period of stability.
Afghanistan during The Kite Runner
• 1973: King’s brother-in-law waged a coup and
declared a republic.
• 1978: People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan
organized an coup d’état, promoted freedom of
religion and women’s rights.
• 1979: USSR invaded, killed the president and up to
2 million civilians. Over 5 million fled the country.
• 1989: U.S. sent aid to the mujahideen to stop
communist expansion, Soviets withdrew.
Historical perspective:
• Since 1979, Afghanistan has been in a continuous
state of open warfare.
• There are various ethnic groups: Pashtuns,
Tajiks, Hazaras and others. Pashtu and Dari
are considered the official languages.
• Approximately 99% of the population is Muslim; of
those 84% are of the Sunni sect.
• There has been a long history of an ethnic
hierarchy. Traditionally, Pashtuns have dominated
the country.
Let’s begin the book!
With an audio recording of Hosseini reading
chapter one aloud…
• What is the setting and time frame of the
opening of he novel? What history is
• How are we introduced to friendship?
• When are kites mentioned and how?
• Do all writers include some of their own
in their books?
• Can our
persuade us to tell
our stories?
• What do we take from
incorporate into our own writing?
• How does
effect the
perspective we have?
"It is better to be
in chains with friends,
than to be
in a garden with strangers."
-Persian Proverb
Lesson 2: Agenda
What is the role of friendship in the novel?
1) Discuss characters
we have met
2)Look at dynamics
and relationships
characters with
Venn Diagrams
3)Textual Evidence
4)Exit Slip
have we met so far?
____________ & ____________
____________ & ____________
____________ & ____________
____________ & ____________
Protagonist: AMIR
• Born 1963 in Kabul
• Son of
• Educated, graduated from high school at
age 20 in 1983
• Migrates to America
• Narrator of the novel.
• Born 1964 in Kabul, in
• Son of Ali
on Baba’s
(ethnic minority)
• Not educated,
to Baba and Amir, friend (?) to Amir
• Has a “China doll face” and green eyes
Core characters are
In groups, discuss the similarities/ differences
between the core characters in the novel:
• Amir & Hassan (sons) – Group 1 & 4
• Baba & Ali (fathers) – Group 2 & 5
• Baba & Amir – Group 3 & 6
Then, share your main ideas with the class.
What can we see about
characters early on based on
* how they act
* things they say?
Textual evidence helps us
support ideas we form about
P. 4 – Amir about Hassan: “Hassan never
wanted to, but if I asked, really asked, he
wouldn’t deny me. Hassan never denied me
P. 29 – Amir to Hassan: “You don’t know what
it means?.. Everyone in my school knows
what (that word) means… ‘Imbecile.’ It
means smart, intelligent.”
P. 34 – Hassan to Amir: “No. You will be great
and famous”
P. 8 – Amir about Ali: “Ali turned around, caught
me aping him. He didn’t say anything. Not
then, not ever. He just kept walking.”
P. 15 – Amir about Baba: “People were always
doubting him… so Baba proved them all
wrong by not only running his own business
but becoming one of the richest merchants in
• P. 17 – Baba to Amir: “I mean to speak to you
man to man. Do you think you can handle
that for once?”
• P. 22 - Baba to friend Rahim Khan: “There is
something missing in that boy.”
• P. 14 – Amir about Baba: “Baba was there,
watching, and he patted Hassan on the back.
Even put his arm around his shoulder.”
• What qualities do I appreciate in a friend?
• Do any of the characters in the novel
have those qualities?
• Which characters (if any) do I see as
someone I could befriend?
Lesson 3:
Who is a kite runner?
What is it like to be a refugee?
One that flees to a
foreign country or
nation to escape
danger or
Lesson 4: Agenda
What does it mean to be a refugee?
• Discuss: what it’s like to be a refugee,
who is a refugee.
• Read:
– quotes from Afghan refugees who fleed as
– poem from Huang Xiang and look at
• Compare: With experience of Baba and Amir
• Write: How would you feel?
Refugee Experiences
• 10.3 million refugees worldwide in 2003 which
means one new refugee every 21 seconds.
• The United States resettles more of these refugees
than any other country in the world. In 2001, the
majority of refugees came from Afghanistan, the
Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Angola,
Sudan and Congo.
• Many refugees see America as a haven, but fleeing
from their own country can be dangerous and
I am from Afghanistan. It's a very beautiful
country in the heart of Asia. It has very nice,
peaceful, hospitable, brave, innocent, warthreatened and poor people.
I am from Ningarhar, the border province of
Afghanistan and Pakistan. We were living a
peaceful life. Everyone was happy, everything
was OK. Suddenly a plan was made by the
Russians and they invaded our homeland. A
war started, a holy war against the
-Farid Ahmad, 16, Afghan refugee who
fled to London leaving family behind
When we were in Afghanistan my father always wished that
we were educated. I wasn’t in school for very long in
Afghanistan. After the conditions got worse, all the schools
closed and there was nowhere that you could go to every day.
It wasn’t safe, there were so many risks, you wouldn’t just go
outside, you
might get shot.
-Waheed Safi,
18, Afghan refugee,
admitted to Oxford
Refusing Exile, by: Huang Xiang
• What does he say about exits and
• How does he describe America?
• What are Huang’s “bygone
Comparing to the book
• How do these refugees’ perspectives
compare to that of Baba and Amir?
• What does being from a privileged
background mean for them in this
• How are they treated? How do they treat
fellow refugees?
• What differences between father and son are
presented as they flee their country, as they
acclimate to the U.S.?
How would you feel?
Write in your journal on ONE topic:
• If you were moving to Afghanistan today,
what would you look forward to? What
would you not look forward to?
• How have you felt when you have moved
homes or cities? What did you do?
• What did you think when you first spent
time in an uncomfortable setting (away
from family or your home)?