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https://www.storyboardthat.com/lesson-plans/american-literary-movements/historical-context

Activity Overview


Using a multi-cell storyboard, ask students to show their knowledge of a time period by depicting what the people, settings, homes, and technology looked like. These categories are important to understand because literature is affected by the popular ideology, technology, advancements, people, and physical setting of its time. Depicting the characteristics of each period will also help students make real world connections. Making connections is a very important skill to acquire and practice.

Using this activity, students will make text-to-text and text-to-world connections. They will also be able to discuss commonalities between texts from a time period. By understanding the motivations of the people in the period, students studying American literature will retain and comprehend each era.

More in-depth classroom use will help students develop a higher level of understanding for each period. Using a chart to graph the differences in style and ideology between literary periods is key to mastery. By graphing categories like values, historical events, style of writing, and common elements, students will make connections and see the progression of the culture.

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 9-12

Difficulty Level 2 (Reinforcing / Developing)

Type of Assignment Partner, or Group

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/11-12/9] Demonstrate knowledge of eighteenth-, nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century foundational works of American literature, including how two or more texts from the same period treat similar themes or topics
  • [ELA-Literacy/W/11-12/6] Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products in response to ongoing feedback, including new arguments or information
  • [ELA-Literacy/SL/11-12/2] Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) in order to make informed decisions and solve problems, evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source and noting any discrepancies among the data
  • [ELA-Literacy/SL/11-12/5] Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest


Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)



Student Instructions

Create a storyboard depicting the different time periods during which each literary movement occurred.

  1. Use the template provided by your teacher and add additional cells as necessary
  2. Label each header "Setting", "Homes", "People", and "Technology/Advancements"
  3. Label the far left cells with each time period
  4. In the descriptions boxes, describe each characteristic as it pertains to that time period
  5. Create an illustration for each description using appropriate scenes, characters, and items
  6. Save and submit your storyboard


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