Are you looking for lesson plans for Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe? You’ve come to the right spot if you’re teaching Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe and are looking for classroom activities and resources.
This blog post will give you great pre-reading, while-reading, after-reading activities and whole unit bundles for Things Fall Apart.
Pre-reading lesson plans for Things Fall Apart
As most teachers know, pre-reading or anticipation activities for novels are a great way for students to build interest and understanding before they begin reading.
1. Agree or disagree activity
One great way to do this is to explore major ideas and themes from novels in an agree or disagree lesson. In this lesson by The Lit Guy, students must agree or disagree with ten statements.
The statements cover issues from the novel, and students must defend their opinions. This activity often leads to great conversations relevant to the novel.
Not only does the activity get students up and moving, but it also ensures students must think about the issues in the novel before they read it.
2. Pre-reading stations
Another Things Fall Apart lesson plan is this pre-reading stations lesson by mrs gemmen. In the activity, students rotate through eight stations and use background information about Igbo culture and the author, as well as song lyrics, to learn about the novel.
3. Background reading
If station activities are not really your thing, you might prefer a background reading activity so your students can familiarize themselves with the social and cultural setting in Things Fall Apart.
You might be better served by this shorter two-page reading activity by English and History Resources for You.
4. Cultural spotlight mini-research project
Another Things Fall Apart lesson plan that might help your students’ background knowledge is this mini-research project activity by Bradley Thompson.
In the activity, students do a mini-research project and then share their findings with their classmates. Students are also asked to document and format their chosen resource using MLA formatting conventions, so it’s a great review of that too.
The pre-reading topics covered in this mini-research activity include agbala, chi, the author Chinua Achebe, Chukwu, colonialism, dowry, egwugwu, and the Ibo/Igbo tribe.
Other topics covered include the Heart of Darkness, the husband as the head of the household, kola nuts as a symbol of hospitality, locusts, and Christian missionaries at the end of the 19th century.
Monotheism, the New Yam Festival, Nigeria, obi, oganje, and oracles are also covered. As is the osu caste system, ozo, paganism, palm oil/wine, polygamy, and sacred python.
Finally, the snake in the Garden of Eden tale from the Bible, titles/status, twin killing, Week of Peace, and yams are also covered.
While-reading lesson plans for Things Fall Apart
So, once your students are excited about the novel and have some background information, your job is to keep them reading and understanding the novel as best they can.
Ways to do that include setting reading comprehension questions, using worksheets, practicing analysis, getting students to keep a reading log, providing a study guide, as well as other activities.
Luckily, all of those activities and lesson plans for Things Fall Apart are covered in this while-reading section.
5. Things Fall Apart reading activities
If you are looking for reading activities to use with Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, these reading activities by High School English Teacher may be what you’re after.
The activities include critical thinking tasks as well as writing assignments. Included are worksheets and graphic organizers on topics such as:
- the author’s use of figurative language
- cultural aspects of the novel
- the significance of point of view and textual structure
- and character analysis.
The activities are great for close reading and are aligned with Common Core State Standards.
6. Things Fall Apart reading guide questions
If you’re looking for some no-frills reading questions for your students to use while reading, these Things Fall Apart reading guide questions by Tiffany Hartford may be just what you need.
The questions are for all 25 chapters of the novels, with each chapter having between two and five questions focused on the main ideas from the chapter.
7. Crash Course Literature Things Fall Apart video worksheet
If you’re looking for something a substitute can do, or you want to break up some of the reading/writing-type tasks, you may like these visual note-taking worksheets (by me).
The worksheets are a great way to get your students to take independent notes, while still offering guidance about important points from the videos.
It’s also the type of task you can set for homework or a flipped classroom lesson.
8. Comprehension and analysis bundle
If you’re looking for a comprehensive set of activities to help your students understand Chinua Achebe’s novel, you may prefer this comprehension and analysis bundle by LitCharts.
The bundle includes Common Core aligned organizers, worksheets, projects, quizzes, and revision material for the novel, including:
- ten pages of character analysis organizers for every major character in the novel
- three pages of symbol analysis organizers for major symbols throughout the novel
- seven pages of theme analysis organizers that help students identify evidence relating to themes and write evidence-based paragraphs about the themes
- 102 pages of a structured summary of Things Fall Apart to helps students perform close reading analysis of themes, language and structure, character development, reader response, and/or other annotations
- 23 pages of worksheets to help students comprehend the context of important quaotes and how they relate to themes in Things Fall Apart
- a two-page quotes quiz where students identify the speaker of important quotes from the text
- a four-page chart board themes visualization poster and project
- a 32-page teacher review guide for Things Fall Apart including side-by-side summary, analysis, and color-coded theme tracking
Most of the worksheets and activities in the bundle are editable so you can customize them for your class. They also generally include sample answers.
9. Things Fall Apart reading log prompts
Some teachers also like to use reading logs to help keep students on track with reading. If that’s you, you might like these Things Fall Apart reading log prompts by Mrs Erspamer.
In the reading log, students are guided to engage with ideas from the text that support their deeper understanding of the themes, issues, and writer’s techniques in the novel. Students use the prompts to write a journal entry in their reading log.
These logs can then be used to generate small-group discussions or prepare for assessment tasks such as writing an analytical essay.
10. Things Fall Apart study guide
If your students prefer to learn individually, they might enjoy this study guide for Things Fall Apart by English Teacher 9-12.
The study guide helps students to connect plot and characters to larger ideas and literary terms.
This study guide is great for review but also helps students discuss the larger themes and ideas in the novel.
11. Things Fall Apart activity mini-bundle
If you are looking for activities for teaching Things Fall Apart that encourage student movement and discussion, then this activity mini-bundle by English Bulldog may suit your needs.
The bundle contains three activities:
- a carousel discussion – this pre-reading activity encourages student movement by placing posters of statements (designed to encourage strong dis/agreement) around the room. Students need to read the statements, dis/agree, and write a statement explaining their dis/agreement with the statements. At the end, students analyse the trend in thinking of a poster and then have a debriefing discussion.
- a themes activity – this activity is used after students have read a few chapters of Things Fall Apart. In small groups students are given quotations from the novel. Students read the quotations and try to decide on a theme that can relate to all of the quotations. After checking with the teacher, students create a poster that includes the most powerful quotation to represent the theme as well as an analysis of the author’s use of language. After the wall posters, students do a carousel discussion and review other groups’ posters.
- a fishbowl debate – this activity provides a structured way for students to discuss the text. After completing prepration activities, students participate in a discussion in which they argue their selected (or assigned) positions. Students can also use graphic organizers and notes to write an argumentative essay at the end of the lesson.
Each of the three activities includes:
- a Things Fall Apart lesson plan (of the activity) with Common Core objectives, preparation steps, a classroom agenda and assessment strategies
- a class PowerPoint with student-friendly objectives, student directions, and activity time limits.
12. AP English unit plan
This Things Fall Apart unit plant for AP English (or other honors/accelerated courses) enables students to discuss critical perspectives on the novel.
Included in the unit plan are:
- discussion questions for chapters 1-7, chapters 8-11, and chapters 12-16
- an understading critical theory handout
- a Socratic seminar activity – a pre-seminar form, Socratic seminar questions, student scoring chart, and a teacher rubric
- an in-class timed AP-style writing assignment with rubric
The teacher-author is also happy to send examples of successful writings from the writing assignment prompt.
After-reading lesson plans for Things Fall Apart
Now that you’re students have read Things Fall Apart, you have to assess what they’ve learned. Below are two different multiple-choice tests, a synthesis bundle, and an extended evidence-based essay writing task that you could use to assess student learning.
13. Multiple choice test
One thing you may want if you’re teaching Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is this 50-question multiple-choice test by Bill Pilgrim.
The test has a mixture of questions – literal, inferential, evaluative comprehensive questions.
More appropriate for senior years students, it comes with an answer key.
14. Synthesis bundle
If you aren’t looking for a test or exam, but rather wishing to judge how your students have synthesized the ideas from the novel, you might prefer this Things Fall Apart synthesis bundle by Moore English.
The 50-page Google resources bundle helps you pair the novel with other meaningful texts, such as:
- “The Second Coming” by William Butler Yeats
- excerpts from The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
- “Shooting an elephant” by George Orwell
- a listening guide, a text-connection tool, and a SOAPSTone analysis of “The danger of the single story”, a TED Talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- “Words and behavior” by Aldous Huxley
The bundled teaching resources for Things Fall Apart also offer activities such as:
- context clues for Things Fall Apart
- twenty journal prompts that touch on the themes, topics and ideas within the novel
- an anticipation guide
- a Crash Course Literature listening guide for the YouTube videos about the novel
15. Multiple choice test
A different assessment you might prefer is this Things Fall Apart test by Bradley Thompson.
The test asks students to answer questions about:
- the author’s style
- character archetypes
- indirect characterization
- figurative language
- the plot diagram
- point of view
- recurring cultural topics
- sociocultural context
- tragedy and a character’s tragic flaws
- and tone.
The test has
- 10 matching questions asking students to match a definition or description to an item
- 5 matching questions requiring students to match quotes to indirect characterization exemplified
- 27 multiple choice questions
16. Expository essay writing
If you’re wanting your students to do some extended writing instead of an exam, this essay writing tutorial on Things Fall Apart by Write On with Jamie may be what you want.
The product includes a video tutorial on how to write a 5-paragraph (or more) essay response with text-dependent analysis as support.
It can be used in class, via a flipped-classroom model, or assigned for remote/distance learning.
Along with the video, you get a PowerPoint, graphic organizer, worksheets, and grading rubric to help your students improve their writing skills. It also includes a detailed lesson plan.
Use this to help your students
- brainstorm ideas
- develop a thesis statement
- introduce supporting evidence
- use writing hooks, leads, and conclusions
- use appropriate transitions
- and incorporate the six traits of writing.
The Things Fall Apart lesson plan includes common core state standards, instructional focus and procedures, objectives/goals, direct instruction, guided practice, enrichment and differentiation, ESE and ELL strategies, I can statements, and an essential question.
Whole-unit bundles of lesson plans for Things Fall Apart
Now, if you’re short on time, you may not want individual activities and Things Fall Apart lesson plans to supplement your curriculum, You may want an entire unit of work all ready to go.
If that’s you, we have four to choose from.
17. Unit bundle by SJ Brull
The first full-unit plan for teaching Things Fall Apart is this whole-unit bundle by SJ Brull.
Included in the bundle are a pacing guide, pre-reading activities, quizzes, notes, posters, an author study, character analysis, and discussions.
The bundle has eight text-specific resources and two resources that can be used with any text or to round out the Things Fall Apart teaching resources.
The bundle’s resources include:
- an anticipation guide and reflection task that has agree/disagree statements that they need to explain their opinions. There are additonal notes on how to expand this into a whole-class discussion. Students are asked to reflect on the task after reading the novel.
- quote analysis and reading quizzes
- theme tracking notes so students can track key events and ideas and develop an author’s theme statement
- character analysis packet to track the development of key characters where students are guided to illustrate, describe, record, and analyze evidence, as well as synthesize their ideas
- character-theme graffiti table that helps students identify how minor characters support the theme development in the text
- character review project – a creative project that encourages abstract thinking and evidence-based writing
- post-reading discussion in Socratic method format – semi-strustured approach to class discussion with 20-slide PowerPoint that introduces students to the format of the discussion, a student preparation sheet and reflection, and detailed teacher instructions
- an author study – stuents use handouts to create an author facebook profile, facebook newsfeed, facebook exit ticket and twitter exit tickets
- and theme and quote posters
18. Things Fall Apart complete literature guide by Simply Novel
Another whole-unit option is this bundle by Simply Novel. It is a 214-page literature guide with ready-to-go Things Fall Apart lesson plans, activities, worksheets, quizzes, tests, and more.
The bundle includes:
- a list of ten pre-reading activities for introducing themes and activating prior knowledge
- an author biography on Chinua Achebe with corresponding questions about the article
- historical context articles and questions on Africa, colonialism and the colonial period in Africa, Nigeria, and Olaudah Equiano – Ibo Slave
- notes on and explanations for the allusions and proverbs in the novel
- vocabulary lists with and without definitions
- an anticipation activity on the themes of Things Fall Apart
- a map of character relationships
- an active reading guide for note-taking throughout the novel
- study guide, discussion, and reading comprehension questions for each chapter
Other activities and topics covered include:
- elements of a tragedy
- direct vs. indirect characterization
- literary devices such as: allusions, allegorical tales, symbolism, conflict, irony, voice – narrative point of view, voice – diction and tone, analogies
- figurative language such as metaphor, simile, and hyberbole
- recognizing how words are related
- context clues
- understanding dictionary entries
- word parts
- latin roots
- multiple choice, matching, true/false, or short response reading quizzes for each section
- three vocabulary crossword puzzles for review, early finishers, or extra credit
- three vocabulary tests
- reading extension activity with a comparison of colonialism in poetry to the novel
- two final test versions – one test completely multiple choice
- final vocabulary test
- teacher guide including sample agenda and teacher notes, a bibliography with references and resources
- a summary of the novel
- post-reading activities and alternative assessment project ideas
- essay prompts and writing ideas
- two project rubrics
- response to literature rubric
- complete answer key
19. AP Things Fall Apart unit
If you’re teaching advanced students, this AP unit by Lit and More might be a good choice for you.
The notes, quizzes, tests, and a study guide from the bundle are available in interactive Google versions to use online (or in class).
Included in the bundle are:
- 10 PowerPoint presentations of introductory and chapter guided reading notes, plus answer key for discussion questions aligned with guided reading notes
- a poem study slideshow guiding students through W.B. Yeats’ “The Second Coming”
- two novel quizzes and answer keys
- a timed writing prompt and holistic rubric
- one unit test and answer key
- a literary criticism paper and rubric
- pronunciation guide for characters and places
- recommended unit plan and homework written reflection prompts
- nine AP Literature skill-based mini-lessons aligned with chapter notes including tone, African proverbs, prose analysis, syntax, folk tale, connotation and denotation, rhetorical analysis, poem study of Bassey Ipki’s “Homeward”, and a point of view on-demand paragraph
20. Complete unit and lesson plans: Things Fall Apart
The final whole-unit bundle on our list are these lesson plans for Things Fall Apart by Angie Kratzer.
The bundle includes three differentiated types of reading assessments for students who need more guidance or oversight, average students, and more independent students.
There are eleven lesson plans aimed at the ‘average’ students who read the text in sections. Each lesson plan includes assessment, discussion, and writing exercises.
The bundle also includes twenty-five vocabulary exercises, one for each chapter. Five to twenty words in context are provided in each exercise, and students are required to define and manipulate the words in some way.
The lessons focus on the following:
- building background knowledge: about Nigeria, Ibo culture and language, map work, and character previews
- setting in chapters 1-6: chapter quizzes, vocabulary work, literary analysis for setting, and smooth text use
- characterization in chapters 1-6: methods of characterization, characterization chart, literary analysis for characterization
- flashback in chapters 1-13: chapter quizzes, vocabulary work, literary analysis for flashback
- chapters 14-19: chapter quizzes, vocabulary work, mapping practice, debating Christian missions
- irony in chapters 1-25: chapter quizzes, vocabulary work, and literary analysis for irony
- symbolism and theme in Things Fall Apart, Africa map test, chatper quizzes for chapter 20-25, vocabulary work, literary analysis for symbolism and theme
- “The Second Coming” paideia seminar, debating colonialism in Nigeria, and a post-seminar writing assignment with rubric
- literary analysis essay and final reading test
- sentence-level revision: sentence combining, sentence variety, and transitions
- introduction and conclusion, and peer editing
That rounds out the activities and lesson plans for Things Fall Apart. Hopefully, you’ve managed to find useful teaching resources and activities for Chinua Achebe’s novel.
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