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Suggestions for Voices of Spoon River Lesson Plan

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Suggestions for Voices of Spoon River Lesson Plan

Marie Duncan, Jon Scoresby, Brett Shelton

Utah State University, Department of Instructional Technology

Unit Introduction

Day 1:

  • All periods, introduction to SRA and to VOSR (in classroom), initial homework assignment

Game play 1st method

Day 2:

  • Introduction (in lab) and play game.

Day 3:

  • Play game

Day 4:

  • Take game play assessment and start discussion

Day 5:

  • Continue discussion section

Day 6:

  • Take discussion and unit assessment

Discussion 1st method

Day 2:

  • Start discussion

Day 3:

  • Discussion continued

Day 4:

  • Discussion assessment, start game play

Day 5:

  • Continue game play

Day 6:

  • Take game assessment and unit assessment, final homework assignment

Suggested Unit Introduction Lesson

  • Introduce what an epitaph is and then have the students write epitaphs of some characters in Fahrenheit 451 and discuss.
  • Then introduce Spoon River Anthology.
    • Entire book is nothing but epitaphs
    • Through the epitaphs you can learn about the characters in the town of SR
  • Introduce Interactive Fiction & Voices of Spoon River
    • During this unit of instruction, students will be given the opportunity to play a game centered around SRA
    • Demo another IF game in class (e.g. adverbum or zork)
    • Review the read-me

Suggested Discussion Topics

During the discussion intervention, the instructor will be solely responsible for the scheduling of class time and the direction of all discussion. The instructor will be given guidance, in the form of (a) the Spoon River Anthology text, (b) the design documents of both groups (with particularly relevant sections indicated), (c) websites with relevant materials, including lesson plans, and (d) time with the VOSR team to discuss the text.

Possible instructor resources:

The only study related requirements, during the discussion intervention, will be covering (a) the Judge Somers, Penniwit, Carl Hamblin, and Editor Whedon characters and (c) not covering Harry Wilmans and Judson Stoddard or any additional VOSR related characters (except Judge Somers, Editor Whedon and Carl Hamblin).

  • Read select epitaphs and choose from possible discussion topics.
  • Use this to teach point-of-view. A lot of epitaphs go together and show both sides of the story, i.e. Jack McGuire and Town Marshal. In class activity would be to have students write the other point-of-view. of an epitaph that is not related to another.
  • Final homework assignment (could be started in class) would be to have student develop a cluster that has a problem that can be resolved like in the game. This cluster could include written epitaphs of friends, family, or any relationship they can come up with, or could use SRA epitaphs. Have them apply it to their own lives.

Specific Epitaphs

To Discuss

  • Carl Hamblin
  • Judge Somers
  • Editor Whedon

To NOT Discuss

  • McGees (Ollie and Fletcher)
  • Judson Stoddard
  • Elsa Wertman
  • Mrs. Sibley
  • Jack McGuire
  • Penniwit, the Artist
  • Harry Wilmans

Possible Discussion Topics

  • Thematic elements
    • Relationships
    • Revenge
    • Justice/Injustice
    • Religion
    • Jealousy
  • Poetic structure
    • Epitaph
    • Free verse
    • Figurative language
    • Repetition
  • Interrelationships
    • What can you infer about the relationships between characters?
    • What can you infer about the individual characters’ lives from the information given in the epitaphs?

Copyright 2008, by the Contributing Authors. Cite/attribute Resource . admin. (2008, May 20). Suggestions for Voices of Spoon River Lesson Plan. Retrieved January 07, 2011, from Free Online Course Materials — USU OpenCourseWare Web site: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons License
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