This is a series of lesson plans based around “Persepolis” by Marjane Satrapi. Each plan deals with the next chapter of the book, students read a chapter a week and bring any vocabulary questions they have to class.
Here are some things that may cause problems from chapter 5.
a porter – a person who carries bags in a hotel or hospital
weave – wove – woven = in relation to the weaving of carpets on the first page.
maid – a cleaner / person who helps maintain a house or cleans a hotel room.
to get along with somebody – to have a friendly relationship
to lace a shoe – to tie a bow to keep a shoe on
to slap – to hit with an open hand
- What happens in this chapter?
- What new characters do we meet?
- What does Marji learn in this chapter?
- Are there distinct social classes in your country?
- Can people marry people from other social classes?
- Have you ever sent love letters?
- Did you have a crush / infatuation when you were growing up?
- We see Mehri telling Marji scary stories about jackals, what scary stories do you remember from you childhood?
This is the second part in a series of posts based around the graphic novel “Persepolis” by Marjane Satrapi. I’m currently working through the book with three separate groups of adults with a level ranging from A2 – C1 and one teenage individual with a C1 level. Each week I set the next chapter of the book as homework and we dedicate the first 15-20 minutes of each class to vocabulary and grammar issues that arise and a discussion of the various issues that come up.
Chapter 2, The Bicycle
Here is some of vocabulary that came up in class:
a synonym of “to wake up” but used for more poetic writing, or in older texts. Note that there are irregular conjugations of the verb = awake, awoke, awoken but also regular ones: awake, awakened.
To blame something ON somebody.
The shah blames the fire on the fanatics.
pronunciation of Iran and use of different regional adjectives: Iranian, Middle-Eastern, Western etc.
The collocation unshakeable faith, an indestructible faith. Also verb “to shake” – shake shook shaken. (James Bond Reference)
forbid forbade forbidden
In reference to the police stopping people from rescuing the people trapped in the burning cinema.
a good adjective to teach students to describe Marji, in the last chapter she wanted to be a prophet and was obsessed with religion and now in this one she wants to be a revolutionary like Fidel Castro or Che Guevara. Fickle describes a person who changes their loyalties and tastes very easily and often.
- What happens in this chapter?
- How does Marji’s attitude change?
- Who does she idolise? Is she fickle?
- How does the novel portray the Rex cinema fire? (one of the worst terrorist attacks of modern times, read the wiki here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinema_Rex_fire)
- What do you think of the way Marji’s parents are raising / educating her? (with Descartes, Marx etc.)
- Do you think that children today study reliable history of these events?
- If you are old enough to remember the Iranian revolution, what do you remember? How was it perceived in your country?
- Do you remember where you were and what you were doing at the time of a big atrocity? (in reference to the Rex fire, possiblities could be 9/11, the London bombing, the Madrid bombing etc.)
Set chapter 3 entitled “The Water Cell” for students to read for next class.
For each class I am making a set of vocabulary flashcards on the website http://www.quizlet.com so that at the start of each class we can briefly revise vocab from the week before.
This is the first of a series of posts based around the graphic novel “Persepolis” by Marjane Satrapi. They are suitable for a wide range of levels (A2 – C2). You will need a copy of the book (or a cheeky pdf).
Each week you set the students a chapter of the book as homework. Each chapter consists of approximately 9 pages and the graphic style makes them easy and quick to read. In graphic novels students are presented with direct speech rather than prose, this helps them to pick up more natural language of expression. Also graphic novels are easier to follow than more traditional stories as much of the story is conveyed by the pictures. This means students are less likely to get lost and give up.
The first 15-20 minutes of the following class will be dedicated to vocabulary issues from the chapter and group discussions based on the themes that arise therein.
First ask students for clarification of any new vocabulary and encourage them to share new vocabulary they have learned at home relating to the chapter.
Chapter 1 discussion questions:
- What happened in chapter one?
- How did the chapter make you feel?
- How would you describe Marji? (Head-strong? Precocious? imaginative?
- What themes and issues are introduced?
- What are your views on single sex schools?
- What are you views on compulsory uniforms of any kind?
- Have you ever taken part in a demonstration? When? Where? What was it for / against?
- Do you think that public demonstrations and protests work?