Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Ethan Frome in the Honors Sophomore Classroom

[Isn't this just the most delicious cover ever!? Source]
Ethan Frome

I read Ethan Frome for the first time in college and immediately fell in love. This book is written unlike any of Wharton's other books, but still contains some of the same themes of isolation and redemption. We read it with Our Town. Over the years I've taken to called this unit the Small Town Unit, as we explore the plusses and minuses of small town life and the gloriousness of being alive through these two works. I've read that a lot of 9th graders read this book. While they can read it and probably get it on some level, I enjoy teaching it to my honors kids at the 10th grade level. I think you need to have at least dated or experienced a little heart break of some sort to truly get into this novel.

Classic American Novel
Ethan Frome
  • Delicious love triangle
  • Individual vs. Personal Happiness
  • the color red
Projects used:
Sadly, I have no idea where I got any of these sources, if you know or if the core of one of them is yours tell me...I love to give credit for things I don't totally create from my head. I do know that I've used the study guide from Glencoe McGraw Hill.

Ethan Frome and Edith Wharton notes
FOILS in Ethan Frome
Frame Story
Agatha Christie writing prompt
"Man of the Hour"

Why I love this book: 
When I first read this book a million years ago it was Winter, and I've got to tell you reading a book about a man trapped in a small New England town as stark as its name just made that winter day all the more wonderfully bleak. I love that every year I teach this book I really can't decide who's responsible for Ethan's downfall...naive and desperate Ethan, love-torn and forlorn Mattie or cold and pathetic Zeena. This book can and should be read in one sitting and after you read it I dare you not to be upset with all three characters and I dare you to not look at a winter day a little differently.

Sample calendar with poems and short stories I pair with it:

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