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Monster Lesson Plan
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By using this lesson plan, teachers will be able to guide their students through the award-winning novel Monster by Walter Dean Myers. This lesson plan will help you and your class explore the conflicts and motivations of Steve Harmon, a young African American being tried for robbery. Additionally, the lesson plan will assist you in interpreting Myers's unconventional narrative techniques. Examples of guided discussion and study questions from this lesson plan include the following:
- Where is the narrator at the beginning of Monster? He is in jail.
- Why does Steve laugh when King gives him a threatening look? He says, “They do things to you in jail. You can’t scare somebody with a look in here.” A threatening look is the least of his worries; and he finds King’s show of power ridiculous, and laughs at it.
- What does Steve think as he lies on his cot after Mama’s visit? He thinks, “I could still feel Mama’s pain. And I knew she felt that I didn’t do anything wrong. It was me who wasn’t sure. It was me who lay on the cot wondering if I was fooling myself.”
- What reason does Petrocelli give the jury to urge them to convict Steve Harmon? “Steve Harmon was part of the plan that caused the death of Alguinaldo Nesbitt. . . . He made a moral decision to participate in this “getover.” He wanted to “get paid” with everybody else. He is as guilty as everybody else, no matter how many moral hairs he can split. His participation made the crime easier. His willingness to check out the store, no matter how poorly he did it, was one of those causative factors that resulted in the death of Mr. Nesbitt.
- What is Steve doing with his camera? Why? He is making films of himself from all different angles & in different clothes. He wants to know who he is. “I want to look at myself a thousand times to look for one true image.”
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