In this Grade 12 Literary Criticism Module, students read and analyze Toni Morrison’s novel Song of Solomon, as they continue to build the skills required to craft strong informative essays and participate effectively in group discussions. Students identify and trace the development of central ideas and motifs in Morrison’s complex narrative of a young African-American man’s journey towards independence and acceptance, engaging with the interrelated concepts of identity, community, love, mercy, freedom, flight, naming, storytelling, and the supernatural. This module is structured around a gradual release of responsibility to students for their learning, which fosters students’ independent thinking and writing capacities. As the module progresses, scaffolds in key text analysis lessons are strategically removed.
Song of Solomon, which is already used in some high school classrooms, includes some mature themes and may use some language that is outside of a student’s particular cultural experience. As with any curriculum module or text, the NYSED encourages a local school district review prior to using in the classroom.