Objective: In Part 2, the author uses the technique of foreshadowing to allude to F. Jasmin, Berenice, and John Henry's separation. The author also uses foreshadowing to allude to danger when F. Jasmin meets the red-haired soldier. The objective of this lesson is to understand the technique of foreshadowing.
1) Activity 1: Have each student take out a sheet of paper. Students should write down their answers to the following questions: What is foreshadowing? In your experience, what types of novels or books tend to use foreshadowing the most? How does the author, Carson McCullers, use foreshadowing in the novel?
Lecture: Give students a short lecture on foreshadowing and its use in novels.
Activity 2: Have students reread the sections of Part 2 that use foreshadowing. They should identify instances of foreshadowing. Have students identify what events are being foreshadowed and why it necessary to conceal the actual event.
Discussion: How can you tell that the author is using foreshadowing? What event is he trying to foreshadow? Why is it necessary for him to use foreshadowing in this novel?
Homework: Have students brainstorm creative ways to foreshadow coming events. Students should think of 4 or more suggestions and be prepared to share with the class.
Objective: The plot of a story provides the structure needed to move the story from the beginning to the end. It is necessary to identify the elements of plot in order to understand the progression of the novel. By the end of the novel, the reader has explored the different elements of the plot through the text. In Part 10 of the novel, the reader has reached the climax of the story and it is important to understand the different elements that comprised the story. The objective of this lesson is to understand the characteristics of plot structure and to apply the characteristics of plots to the novel.
1) Lecture: Introduce students to plot structure: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution. Plot is the main story arc of a novel. Exposition of the novel is the start of the novel where the main characters and the setting are introduced. The rising action occurs when one of the character encounters a a series of conflicts or a crisis that lead to the climax, the climax is the turning point in the novel, and the falling action is all of the action that follows the climax. The resolution of the novel is the conclusion in which all of the loose threads are tied together. Diagram these elements of plot structure on a plot pyramid so students can see that exposition starts at the bottom left-hand side, rising action above exposition on the left-hand side, climax at the top of the pyramid in the middle, falling action in the upper right-hand corner of the pyramid, and ends with the resolution on the bottom right-hand corner. Explain each of the concepts of plot structure.
Activity 1: Divide students into small groups. Have each group write out a list of significant events that occurred throughout the book. After students have created a list of significant events, have each group diagram the plot of the novel on a plot pyramid. Students should be prepared to share their pyramids with the class.
Discussion: Did everyone plot the same events in the same location their plot pyramid? Why or why not? Is it possible to have different events at the same point on the plot pyramid? Why or why not?
Activity 2: Have students write a journal entry about the structure of the story plot. Does the author use the traditional plot structure? Why or why not? What is the climax of The Member of the Wedding? Why is it important for the author to include a climax for the story? How would the story fare if there was no climax to the story?
Homework: Have students read a short story of their choice and diagram the plot of the story using a plot pyramid. Students should be prepared to share.
Objective: McCullers develops Frances' character throughout the novel. Because she is the protagonist, she is the only fully developed character by the end of the novel. The objective of this lesson is to examine Frances as a character.
1) Activity 1: Divide students into small groups. Have each group make a list of Frances' characteristics. Students should include information about her attributes, such as her name, age, and gender, and background information about him, such as family status, political views, religion, and time and place of the story. Have students create a collage based on their lists of Frances' characteristics. These collages should represent the character. Students should be prepared to share their lists and collages with other groups.
Discussion: Does Frances have different attributes depending on the name that she is going by? If so, how do these attributes differ? If not, why does she remain the same even when she changes her name? Is Frances a static character and remain consistent throughout the novel?
Activity 2: Have students write a journal entry about the following questions. What is significant about Frances' character? How does Frances' character evolve over the course of the story? How would you describe Frances' personality?
Homework: Have students recall Parts 1 and 2 of the novel. Students should identify at least four words, phrases, or sentences that contribute to the development Frances as a character. Students should describe how each word, phrase, or sentence contributes to her character and why we learn more about her as a character from these words.
Objective: Most novels have a protagonist, antagonist and a foil character. The objective of this lesson is to understand the definition of a foil character and identify the foil character in the novel.
1) Discussion: What is a foil character? How do you identify the foil character? What are some examples of foil characters?
Activity 1: Divide students into small groups. Have students use the internet and other resources to find the definition of a foil character. Students should be prepared to report out their definitions. Use the definitions that students have researched to create a classroom definition of a "foil character."
Activity 2: Have students identify the foil character. They should include scenes from the book and specific quotes as evidence that their chosen character is the foil character. Each group should be prepared to report. The teacher should identify the foil character as Berenice and give specific examples why she is the foil character.
Homework: Have students write a journal entry on their feelings about Berenice being the foil character. How do they feel about her being the foil character? What would have not made her the foil character? Who else do you think could potentially be a foil character? Why?
Objective: Irony can be seen throughout the novel. Examples of the irony in the novel include Frankie's apparent loneliness even though she is surrounded by people and one of her closest relationships is with the cook. Another irony is that Berenice, Frankie, and John Henry cry together not knowing that they are saying their last good-byes, but not for the reasons that Frankie thinks. The objective of this lesson is to identify and understand the concept of irony.
1) Lecture: Give students a lecture on irony and the three different types of irony: situational irony, verbal irony, and dramatic irony. Also provide students with information on the purposes authors use irony: humor, fear, suspense, etc.
Activity 1: Divide students into small groups. Have each group reread Part 3. Students should identify examples of irony in the text. Each group should write down why that experience is ironic. Students should also classify the irony in each situation as situational irony, verbal irony, and dramatic irony. They should also determine the purpose of the irony (i.e. humor, fear, suspense, etc.). Each group should be prepared to share with the class.
Discussion: Why does the author choose to use irony in certain instances? How does irony enhance the novel? Where else in the novel should the author have used irony? Why should he have used it in this section of the novel?
Activity 2: Have students choose their favorite ironic instance in the novel and write a journal entry on why they think the author used irony in that section of the novel. Students should also write how that section of the novel would change if the author had not used irony.
Homework: Have students write two paragraphs on the use of irony in the novel, especially in the chapters leading up to Part 3. They can choose a specific chapter to write about or they can write about the entire novel. However, they should provide at least two examples of irony. Students should be prepared to share with the class.
Objective: Authors tend to write their novels with a purpose in mind. The objective of this lesson is to understand the author's purpose for writing the novel and the meaning of the novel's title.
1) Activity 1: Divide students into groups. Have each group use the internet to research the author. Where is the author from? Where did the author grow up? What other books has the author written? What was the author doing before he started writing books? How is the author's background related to the book or the characters in the book? Students should be prepared to report to the class and discuss the author's background and its relationship to the book.
Activity 2: Have each group of students brainstorm the meaning of the novel. Who does the title refer to? Why do you think the author made the title pretty straight forward? Does the title connect to anything in the author's past? Provide specific references to the text. Students should be prepared to report to the class.
Discussion: What is the purpose of this book? Why do you think the author wrote it? What do you think is the message in the novel? How does the author portray this message? How do the character contribute to the purpose of the novel?
Homework: Have students review the book and suggest alternate title for the book. They should write a brief paragraph on why the new title should replace the old title. How does the new title connects to the book? What is the meaning behind the new title? How does the new title relate to the original title?
Objective: Death is a very prominent theme in the novel. The theme is highlighted in Part 1 when Frankie mentions that her mother died while giving birth to her. It is also mentioned in Part 2, Chapter 1 when Royal Quincy Addams notifies F. Jasmin that Uncle Charles has died and in Part 2, Chapter 2 when Berenice speaks about the death of Ludie Freeman. Then it is later mentioned in Part 3 when John Henry dies. The objective of this lesson is to explore the theme of death in the novel.
1) Activity 1: Divide students into groups. Assign each group of students to either Part 1, Part 2 - Chapter 1, Part 2 - Chapter 2, or Part 3 of the novel. Have each group reread their assigned part of the text that deals with death. Students should discuss how Frankie and/or her family and his friend's react to death. Why do they react that way? Is this a normal reaction do death? Why or why not? Students should be prepared to share their responses.
Activity 2: Have students write an essay responding to Frankie's reaction to death in the parts that they were assigned to reread. They should discuss whether Frankie's reaction to the death in that part of the novel was appropriate? Why or why not?
Activity 3: Have students write a journal entry on their interpretation of the author's need to include death as a theme in the book. Does death have a deeper meaning in the novel? Why do you think the author made it a theme in the novel? What other theme could have replaced that of death? Is life not a theme in the novel? If so, how is life a theme? If not, why is life not a theme? Students should be prepared to share their responses.
Homework: Assign students selections from another novel or poem that deals with death. How is the theme of death similar in each work? How is the theme of death different in each work? How is death portrayed in each work? Students should be prepared to share with the class.
Objective: Literary criticism is important to literature because it provides the author with quality feedback from the literary community about his or her novel. Students should understand that literary criticism is a segment of the literary field that allows other authors and others who read the novel to provide the author with information about how his or her book relates to others in the genre, how the book is viewed - positive or negative, and how well the book does convincing its audience of its purpose. It is important to critique and authors first novel so that they know what was good about their novel and what could be improved. The purpose of this lesson is to understand about literary criticism.
1) Discussion: What is literary criticism? How is it used in the literary world? What types of information does a literary criticism contain? How does criticism differ from a book review?
Lecture: Give a short lecture on literary criticism. Literary criticism is the study, discussion, evaluation, and interpretation of literature. Literary criticism has a long history that dates back to classical and medieval literature. Literary criticism can take on a variety of forms, such as an article, essay, or book.
Activity 1: Divide students into groups. Have each group use the internet to research literary criticism for the novel The Member of the Wedding or any other Carson McCullers books. Students should look at the structure of these writings and determine some of the common elements of literary criticism. What are some common themes amongst literary criticism? What other novels do critics compare The Member of the Wedding to? Students should be prepared to share their research.
Activity 2: Have students write down their interpretations of the novel The Member of the Wedding and list the things that influence their interpretation. Students should be prepared to share.
Discussion: What criticisms do critics have about Member of the Wedding? Why do you think critics criticized the novel? What criticism do you have about the novel? Why do you have these criticisms?
Homework: Have students write a literary criticism of Member of the Wedding. They should be prepared to share with the class. Students with differing views of the novel should discuss what influenced their thoughts about the novel.
Objective: There are four different types of conflict and a novel should have at least one form of conflict. These four types include human versus human, human versus society, human versus nature, and human versus self. The objective of this lesson is to understand the conflict in the novel.
1) Lecture: Give a short lecture on the different types of conflict that can exist in a novel.
Discussion: What types of conflict exist in the novel? How does the author portray that conflict? Why does the author use these types of conflict?
Activity 1: Divide students into groups. Have each group identify the types of conflict that exist in Chapter 3. Students should classify these conflicts as either human versus human, human versus society, human versus nature, and human versus self. Each group should write a statement that explains why they chose to classify the conflicts using the various types of conflict. Groups should be prepared to share with the class.
Activity 2: Have students write a journal entry on why the author chose to use the types of conflicts that he uses in the novel. Students should identify the types of conflicts that he uses in their journal entry.
Homework: Have students identify the types of conflict that exist throughout the novel. Students should classify these conflicts as either human versus human conflict, human versus society, human versus nature, and human versus self. Students should write a statement that explains why they chose to classify the conflicts using the various types of conflict.
Fun Classroom Activities
The 20 enjoyable, interactive classroom activities that are included will help your students understand the text in amusing ways. Fun Classroom Activities include group projects, games, critical thinking activities, brainstorming sessions, writing poems, drawing or sketching, and more that will allow your students to interact with each other, be creative, and ultimately grasp key concepts from the text by "doing" rather than simply studying.
1. Character Crossword Puzzle
Develop a character crossword puzzle. The puzzle should include hints for each answer. On the opposite side of your puzzle, please include a key.
2. Book Cover
Choose your favorite chapter from the book, The Member of the Wedding, and draw a book cover that you think illustrates the message of that chapter.
3. Book Review
Write a review of The Member of the Wedding. Include information that gives the reader a sense of what the book is about, whether or not you would recommend it, and why they should or should not purchase the book.
4. Write a new chapter
Pretend you are Frances. Write a chapter that updates the reader on your life over the past year. Give updates about your friends, your travels,and your latest adventures. Tell the reader how things have changed since John Henry's death and Berenice's marriage.
5. Commerical Fun
Have students create a commercial or movie trailer for any section of The Member of the Wedding that they have read. Students need to decide on the type of reaction they want their reader to have when watching the commercial or trailer. The finished product should be no longer than 3 minutes. Each group should be prepared to share.
Write a creative autobiography of Frances based on the book The Member of the Wedding. Create a book cover that you feel represents your autobiography.
7. Create a Timeline
Create a timeline based on the events that occur in the book. There are several instances in the book where the narrator and characters give the day and the time of day that the events occur.
8. A Collage Depiction of the Time Setting in The Member of the Wedding
The Member of the Wedding was set during World War II. Imagine that the plot of the story was set in the current year. Use images from magazines and newspapers or draw a pictorial depiction of the plot from The Member of the Wedding in the current year. What items do the characters own? How do they communicate with each other? How do they interact in person?
9. Literature set during World War II
Visit the library or use a search engine to find another book that is set during World War II. Read the book and compare the World War II setting in The Member of the Wedding to that in the book you read. How is it similar? How is it different?
10. Fun with Poetry
Pretend you are Frances and you have a new friend. Write a poem describing your friendship with Evelyn Owens, Berenice, and John Henry. Express your feelings about each of these individuals.
11. Write a Monologue
Recall all of the instances in the novel when Frankie tried to talk to her father and he either did not listen to what she was saying or responded jokingly to her questions. If Frankie had the opportunity to tell her father how she really felt without being interrupted, what would she say? Write a monologue that expresses Frankie's feelings towards her father. You can be as creative as you would like.
12. Write a Letter to the Author
Was there something in the story that you really like or that you thought was not necessary in the story? Is there something that could have been added to make the story better? Write a letter to the author expressing your feelings about the novel.
13. Word Search
Students should create their own word search using character names, locations, and other terms used in the novel. Include a word list that has all of the words hidden in the puzzle. Student should exchange word searches and try to find all of the hidden words.
14. The Member of the Wedding Party Comic Strip
Draw a comic strip based on one of the incidents in the book involving Frankie and another character. You can pick any situation in the book. Be as creative as possible. You can draw stick figures if necessary.
15. Theme Song for Member of the Wedding Party
Write a theme song for the Member of the Wedding Party. What emotions does the book evoke? Would it be a slow, medium, or fast-paced song? Create your own beat and write lyrics about the book.
You have been asked to write a script for the movie version of The Member of the Wedding. Typically the movie adaptation of a book does not include everything that was written. What scenes would you not include in the book? What scenes would you include? Why would you include those scenes? Pick the scene that you would most want to include in the movie and write a short script for that scene.
17. The History of Weddings
Use the internet to research the history of weddings. Research how different cultures celebrate weddings. What are some similarities that different cultures share and what are some differences that different cultures have.
18. Frankie's Wedding
Frankie has so many visions of the wedding and the bride and groom. Based on Frankie's ideas about the wedding, write a short story about Frankie's wedding. Who do you think she would marry? Where would she get married? What type of wedding do you think she will have?
19. A Letter to Berenice
Berenice and Frankie had a lot of kitchen conversations about life and love. Pretend that you are Frankie and that you have found a beau that you are very interested in. Write a letter to Berenice about your beau that expresses your feelings. What would you say? How would you respond to the situation? Would you express your true feelings? Would you ask multiple questions about her marriages and how she knew it was time for her to get married?
20. Develop Mary Littlejohn's Character
The audience is introduced to Mary Littlejohn very late in the novel. Little is known about Mary Littlejohn. Write a chapter that precedes Mary Littlejohn's appearance in the novel that gives the reader more information about Mary Littlejohn as a character in the novel. What was she doing before she met Frances? What are some of her hobbies? What is her favorite subject in school? What does she want to be when she is older?
Worksheets and Evaluation Forms
The following worksheets may come in handy for grading in-class student performance.
Note: These forms are included as printable Word and PDF files with your purchase.
Oral Reading Evaluation Sheet Reading Assignment Sheet Writing Evaluation Form