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A Raisin in the Sun: Whose "American Dream"?

Grade Level Grades 9-12
Standards Alignment
Common Core State Standards


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Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun provides a compelling and honest look into one family's aspiration to move to another Chicago neighborhood and the thunderous crash of a reality that African Americans faced when attempting to do so. A critical reading of A Raisin in the Sun offers students many opportunities to evaluate the shifting meaning of and access to what has been constructed as "The American Dream" in U.S. history and culture. 

This interdisciplinary lesson includes a critical reading and analysis of the play, close examination of biographical and historical documents produced at different times during the long civil rights movement, and assessment options that provide students with opportunities to produce new scenes in graphic or comic form, a newly imagined script based on primary source research, a soundtrack for the play, and annotated maps that bridge the past and the present. 


Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
Analyze how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.
Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.


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