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My Antonia A Webquest by Joelle Chall Pictures:

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1 My Antonia A Webquest by Joelle Chall Pictures: 5-squared.blogspot.com

2 Introduction  In this webquest, you will discover the historical context and theme of My Antonia.  You're not just reading an old novel that has no relevance to you! You will bring this text to the twenty-first century through online assignments and discussions.  You will be completing assignments on our class wikispace: If you are not yet a member, go to the site, and click “join” to send me a request!  By the end of this unit, you will: 1. Understand the historical context of My Antonia 2. Identify and analyze the major theme of the novel, support it with specific evidence from the text and participate in online discussions about the theme. 4. Be able to pass the unit test. Picture:

3 Task: To understand the historical context of My Antonia and analyze one of the major themes of the novel. Historical Context: Understanding Immigration and its Importance to My Antonia 1. Visit the websites:http://memory.loc.gov/cgi- bin/ampage?collId=rbpe&fileName=rbpe13/rbpe134/ /rbpe page.db&recNum=0http://www.delsjourney.com/images/news/news_ /1-5580_McCone_Sod_House.jpghttp://memory.loc.gov/cgi- bin/ampage?collId=rbpe&fileName=rbpe13/rbpe134/ /rbpe page.db&recNum=0 The first site shows one of the many advertisements enticing families to come to the American Midwest. The next image is of a praire dugout, similar to the Shimerda's house. Here is a timeline of Immigration as relating to the United States: pay special attention to the late nineenth and early twentieth centuries. 2. Create your own timeline (as we have practiced in class)of immigration and other relevant historical events from and FICTIONAL events from My Antonia using See for a timeline rubric, and post a link to your timeline on the discussion tab. Picture:

4 Readings Read paragraphs 3-11 of Willa Cather’s My Antonia: “The Happiness and the Curse” by Carol Leavitt Altieri. 987/2/ x.html 987/2/ x.html Read paragraphs 9-14 of Kathleen Norris' article on Willa Cather. episodes/willa-cather/about-willa- cather/549/ episodes/willa-cather/about-willa- cather/549/ Reference these readings when responding to our online discussions.

5 Lecture: Thoughts on My Antonia by Joelle Chall Willa Cather's novel, set in the pioneer midwest at the turn of the nineteenth century, provides a realistic portrayal of immigrants striving for The American Dream. Characters, including the Shimerda family and the Russians, Peter and Pavel, travel to America, looking to obtain that which they could not in their homeland. They left friends, family, and culture in order to own land, make money, and provide good lives for themselves and their children. While some students may believe that this novel is irrelevant to their own lives, I encourage my students to find similarities between the plotand today's society. Antonia is a character to admire, and she endures physical, mental and emotional trials in order to be able to find happiness in America. While her father, Peter, and Pavel are unable to survive in America, Antonia overcomes many obstacles in order to do so. Students should relate to the characters' struggles to build happy lives, become financially stable, and realize dreams. These goals are the same ones we have today; we are all looking for the American Dream. To Think About: - Are we lucky to be born in the United States today? How was your childhood different from Antonia's? - How does The American Dream apply to you? What do you want to accomplish?

6 Major Theme of My Antonia 1. Read this description of The American Dream: 2. Read the following quotes from My Antonia: “The Bohemian family...had bought the homestead of...Krajiek, and had paid him more than it was worth...Krajek was their only interpreter, and could tell them anything.” (p.15)‏ “I knew it was homesickness that had killed Mr. Shimerda...I went all over what Antonia had ever told me about his life before he came to this country; how he used to play the fiddle at weddings and dances. I thought about the friends he had mourned to leave.” (p.66)‏ “'If I live here, like you, that is different. Things will be easy for you. But they will be hard for us.'” (Antonia to Jim, p.90). 3. In groups of three, discuss the relevance of The American Dream to My Antonia, the quotes, and your readings. Post a summary of your answers on the discussion tab of a. In the novel, which characters are trying to obtain the American Dream? b. Which characters are able and which are unable to obtain The American Dream and why? c. What relevance does each quote above have to The American Dream?

7 Assessments for My Antonia Your grades for this unit will be based upon:  Xtimeline assignment, including a response to a classmate's timeline on our wikispace  Participation in group discussion, including a response to another group's response on our wikispace, with references to class readings and discussions  Passing the Unit Test: Please download the test from the wikispace, take the test, and send your completed test to me via the wikispace.

8 Conclusion to My Antonia Webquest I hope you enjoyed this unit and the novel! Please ensure that you have completed all assessments, including discussions on the wikispace. For more information about Willa Cather, please visit For extra credit, listen to the song, “My Antonia,” by Emmy Lou Harris, and read the lyrics. Then, write a response to the questions: Do you think Emmy Lou's song was inspired by the novel? Why or why not? Explain, using specific lines from the song in your response. Video: Lyrics: harris/my-antonia-lyrics.htm


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