English Education Methods 332

Grant T. Smith, Ph. D.

Teaching the Novel: My Antonia


I firmly believe that it is true that the person doing most of the work is the person doing most of the learning.  Hence…


We will be reading and discussing My Antonia in the English 221 class in a few weeks.  Your assignment is to prepare a unit plan on this book as if you were going to teach it to a college preparation class.  (This book is often taught at the junior or senior level and so you may have an occasion to use your material.)  In this unit plan you may want to consider any of the following:


·        Biographical information on Willa Cather

·        Literary criticisms on My Antonia

·        Lectures on regional or local color writing

·        Other works by Cather (short stories)

·        Discussion questions

·        Writing assignments (essay questions or creative writing assignments)

·        Vocabulary exercises

·        Group activities (role playing, group discussions)

·        Individual projects

·        The internet

·        Exam (or quizzes)

·        Film


Let's assume that you will take two weeks on My Antonia (five school days).  Prepare daily lesson plans and include in those lesson plans what you plan to do each day, your objectives, assessment measures, and a time table for the activities planned.


Check out the textbooks on reserve in the library for Education 332.  There are several chapters that deal with teaching the novel.  They may be helpful to you.


Will I ask you to "teach" My Antonia to the English 221 students?  I'll leave that up to you.


English 321

Grant T. Smith, Ph. D.

My Antonia – Discussion Questions










  1. Wick Cutter
  2. Pavel and Peter’s story
  3. Jim’s killing of the snake
  4. Mr. Shimerda’s suicide
  5. The black pianist