TFA Review

On Monday, March 7, we will have our Things Fall Apart in-class essay test. You’ll be given a choice of 2-3 prompts. Answer the prompt in a 5-part essay (introduction, narration, confirmation, refutation, conclustion).  Be sure that your thesis statement is specific, with a debatable view, that directly answers the essay question. Then support your thesis with ample evidence from the text. While you will not be required to quote the text, you will need to include at least three well-developed examples in the confirmation section of your essay.

To help you, you may use one of the following during the test:

  • All of your typed homeworks (must be printed out, not on your device). If needed, you may annotate your homeworks.
  • An original “cheat sheet.” This sheet can be up to 8.5 x 11 in size, and you may use the front and back. You may include any notes on this cheat sheet but your content must be original. In other words, you are not allowed to copy/paste information found from Spark Notes or other similar sources. Instead, review all the notes you have taken during this unit (and there are a lot!) and draw from this information to create your cheat sheet.

John Green + Things Fall Apart = Crash Course!

To review, you may also want to watch this Annenberg World Literature Video Series: Things Fall Apart. It reviews all the major themes in the novel.

Things Fall Apart Assignment

UPDATE: FRI, 2/19 | The reading schedule has been adjusted. Note changes below.

M: 2/22 T, 2/23 Chapters 17 – 19
T: 2/23 TH, 2/24 Chapters 20 – 22
W: 2/24 F, 2/25 Chapters 23 – 25

Don’t forget that you should submitting one question from your homework every night. That means that by Tuesday, you should have submitted six questions online. We will be using these questions next week and after we finish the book for review.

NOTE: Because of the ADL presentations on Monday, the vocab quiz is postponed until Tuesday.


UPDATE: WED, 2/10 | Because of my absence today, Chapters 5-7 are due Friday, 2/12 (not Thursday, 2/10, as originally planned). The rest of the schedule remains intact unless otherwise noted later.


As we read Things Fall Apart, consult your reading schedule and assignment guide (distributed in class). A sample assignment is included; follow the format indicated.

Each night, read 3-4 chapters; then respond to the reading in two ways.

First, you’ll identify and type three significant quotations from the reading. Don’t forget to include the appropriate context and intro clause.

Second, you’ll construct three questions about your reading—a literal question, an inferential question, and a critical question—and then answer the questions in complete sentences.

Third, when you’re finished, submit one of your questions online here. We will use these questions as the basis for discussion during class (questions must be submitted before class begins to receive credit).

Remember QQS: Find three quotations, ask/answer three questionssubmit one question.

LITERAL (text-based question)

  • Answers can be found in the text; verifiable
  • Questions answer who, where, what, how, and when
  • Takes the reader into the text
  • Tip: Don’t ask about any fact; be sure it’s a significant fact.
  • Example: Whom does Romeo kill? Where does George tell Lenny to go if he gets in trouble again?

INFERENTIAL (text-based question)

  • Answers found in the text, based on details and examples from multiple places throughout the text
  • Questions answer why, how, and so what
  • Takes the reader through the text, to evaluate and draw conclusions based on the text and read in between the lines
  • Tip: While the answer to a factual question can be found in one place in the text, the answer to an inductive question can be found by looking at multiple places in the text.
  • Example: Why does George continue to care for Lenny after all the trouble he causes? Why does Jack care so much about hunting? What does Don John mean when he says that he is “plain dealing villain”?

CRITICAL (Text, Text-Reader, Text-World, Reader-Text-World questions)

  • Answers found in the text but also makes connections to the reader and world
  • Questions answer how are these similar, different, or related?
  • Can take the reader beyond the text, to analyze the text against other ideas, events, situations, literature
  • Tip: The answers to these questions require you to bring in your own knowledge or experience to the text; think about how the novel reflects “bigger” issues or universal concerns.
  • Example: Evaluate the actions that lead to Ralph’s near downfall on island. – Notice that this is only a text-question but it goes deeper than inferential because you are required to bring additional judgement. How does Lord of the Flies reflect the horrors experienced during WWII?  What does Beatrice and Benedick’s relationship tell us about relationships during Shakespeare’s time? How is Jack’s leadership style reflected in history and today’s society?

And don’t forget: SUBMIT ONE OF YOUR QUESTIONS ONLINE HERE. You do NOT need to post the answer to the question online.