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THE COMPLETE MAUS Unit Plan: Discussion Questions, Worksheets, Quizzes, Writing

Rated 4.87 out of 5, based on 160 reviews
160 Ratings
Rigorous Resources
Grade Levels
9th - 12th, Higher Education, Homeschool
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • Word Document File
170 pages
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List Price:
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Rigorous Resources

What educators are saying

Amazing resource! The materials in this unit are engaging and intellectually rigorous. My class held fantastic discussions and generated insightful written work about Maus.
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    Price $119.99Original Price $236.89Save $116.90


NEW IN 2020: Rigorous! Thought-provoking! Discussion-based!

This 170-page EDITABLE curriculum has everything you'll need for profoundly stimulating lessons on Art Spiegelman's The Complete Maus!! Invite your class to engage in student-driven discussions without compromising on intellectual rigor. The pre-reading handouts, discussion questions, vocabulary lists, and analytical writing assignment will challenge your students to dig beneath the surface of the text and generate profound interpretive insights!!

The graphic novel is an aesthetically innovative genre in which meaning is created through the interplay of image and text. How do we read a novel in which two narrative channels — one verbal, the other visual — interact? And how do graphic novels challenge readers to expand the set of interpretive techniques that make up “close reading”? This bundle will help students understand complex questions about literary genres, aesthetic form, social and political history, and the responsibilities that come with representing historical atrocities like the Holocaust.

Here are some highlights from the 170-page curriculum:

Pre-Reading Activity: Open this unit by reading and discussing Art Spiegelman's early 3-page comic, "Maus" (which was published in an underground comics magazine called Funny Animals in 1972). In addition to the 3-page comic itself, this unit features a double-sided Image Analysis Worksheet in which students encounter questions that will deepen their engagement with Maus. Answer key included. (10 pages)

Discussion Question Handouts: Thirty-five pages of deeply thought-provoking discussion questions! One double-sided handout containing 8-10 questions for each of the book's 10 sections. The discussion questions are the beating heart of these lesson plans. Every discussion question is grounded in concrete textual details and challenges students to arrive at lucid interpretive insights! The questions could be used to focus students’ thinking prior to beginning a discussion, to foster in-class writing such as stop-and-jots, or to assign written reflections for homework. Guaranteed to elicit student engagement and foster profound discussions! (25 pages)

Discussion Question Answer Keys: The answer keys to the discussion questions are informed by cutting-edge scholarship by historians and literature professors who specialize on topics like the Holocaust and Spiegelman's Maus. Of course, there is rarely a single "correct" answer for any question; rather, the discussions questions are made up of higher-order questions designed to foster lively exchanges and interpretive debates among students. They challenge students to build interpretive arguments that require the support of carefully selected textual evidence. (50 pages)

Quick Writes: A "quick write" can be used at any time in a class to get students to pause and reflect on the text in writing. Introduce a quick write before you begin a discussion to allow students to collect their thoughts. Or roll one out toward the end of a discussion to let students capture and refine their best ideas. (10 pages)

Image Analysis Worksheets: Three double-sided worksheets challenge students to analyze 10 visually complex panels from Maus. Students will reflect on how Spiegelman builds meaning by through the use of aesthetic strategies such as visual parallels, visual puns, symbolism, strategic ambiguity, the interweaving of past and present, etc. Help students figure out what it means to "close read" a graphic novel. Answer keys included. (10 pages)

Quotation Race Worksheet: Students work in pairs to identify the speakers of 30 key quotations from Maus. Introduce this fun activity when you need to mix things up, or to refresh students' memories in preparation for the AP exam. Answer key included. (4 pages)

Vocabulary Lists: Lists of 8 vocabulary words for every chapter, complete with definitions and sample sentences with the words as they are used in Maus. A total of 80 words. (10 pages)

• Reading & Vocabulary Quizzes: Daily quizzes with 10 questions on the nightly reading homework plus another 5 questions on the vocabulary words. If you choose not to have your students study vocabulary, you can still use the portion of the quiz devoted to reading comprehension. Grading these quizzes is simple and quick. They’re an easy way to log 10 grades into your gradebook. Answer keys included. (40 pages)

Analytical Writing Assignment: Challenge students to take their interpretations one step further by writing an analytical paper on Art Spiegelman's complex graphic novel. Let students choose from one of four thought-provoking sample topics — or invite them to develop a similar topic of their own. Writing schedule and rubric included. (4 pages)

I recognize that every teacher has different strategies for making literature come alive in the English classroom. Therefore, the materials in this unit are bundled as a single EDITABLE Word document which you can CUSTOMIZE to suit your teaching style and/or your students' skill levels.

Finally, because I believe that teachers on TpT should be able to see what they'd be getting before they make a purchase, the preview for this resource provides access to 50 pages from this 170-page bundle. Click on the green “preview” button to see exactly what you’ll get....

Thank you for choosing “Rigorous Resources”!!

Happy teaching!

Adam Jernigan, Ph.D.

[email protected]

Store: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Rigorous-Resources

Total Pages
170 pages
Answer Key
Included with rubric
Teaching Duration
1 month
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.
Determine two or more themes or central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to produce a complex account; provide an objective summary of the text.
Analyze the impact of the author’s choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed).
Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure specific parts of a text (e.g., the choice of where to begin or end a story, the choice to provide a comedic or tragic resolution) contribute to its overall structure and meaning as well as its aesthetic impact.
Analyze multiple interpretations of a story, drama, or poem (e.g., recorded or live production of a play or recorded novel or poetry), evaluating how each version interprets the source text.


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