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Things Fall Apart Lesson Plan
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Teachers and educators: Get the most from your time in the classroom by using this lesson plan for Chinua Achebe's award-winning novel Things Fall Apart. Within this guide, you will find comprehensive analyses of Achebe's unforgettable characters Okonkwo and Ikemefuna. Also included are clear instructions for conveying the primary themes of conflict and resolution as well as choices and consequences. Examples of guided discussion and study questions from this lesson plan include the following:
- Describe the Feast of the New Yam in Things Fall Apart. The Feast of the New Yam was held yearly before the harvest. It honored the earth goddess, Ani, and the ancestral spirits of the clan. New yams were offered to these powers. The old yams of the previous year were disposed of. All cooking and serving utensils were washed. Yam foo-foo and vegetable soup were the main ceremonial dishes.
- Describe the meeting to determine Obierika’s daughter’s bride price. The suitor, Ibe, his father, Ukegbu, and uncle met with Obierika, his brothers, his son, and Okonkwo. They ate kola nuts and drank palm wine. Then Obierika gave Ukegbu a bundle of thirty short broomsticks. Ukegbu and his clan took the sticks outside. When they returned they gave a bundle of fifteen sticks to Obierika. He added ten more sticks and gave the bundle back. The two groups finally agreed at a bride-price of twenty bags of cowries.
- What did the medicine man tell Okonkwo after the death of Ekwefi’s second child? He said there was an ogbanje, a wicked child who, when it died, re-entered its mother’s womb to be born again. He said Ekwefi should go and stay with her people when she became pregnant again.
- What did Obierika think about after this calamity, and what was his conclusion? He wondered why a man should suffer because of an inadvertent mistake. He also wondered why he had to throw away his wife’s twins when they were born. He concluded that the clan had to punish offenses so that the Earth would not loose her wrath on all the land, instead of just on the offender.
- Briefly retell the story of the destruction of Abame. A white man riding an iron horse had come to the village. The elders killed the man and tied his iron horse to their sacred tree. A few months later, three white men came, saw the iron horse, and left again. A few weeks later, on market day, the white men surrounded the market and killed all of the people there.
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