Lesson Plan for The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Lesson plan provided by http://www.vazzanaclassroom.com/Lesson%20Plan%20A%20-%20Perks.doc

A Book with a Soundtrack: Analyzing Charlie’s Mix-Tape

This lesson is designed for two 50 minute class periods, with time left over during the second period for working on their projects and conferencing with the teacher.

This lesson is designed to take place in a senior AP English classroom with 22 students. Several students have Attention Deficit Disorder, one student has a visual impairment leaving him nearly blind in one eye and with about 65% visibility in the other, and one student has difficulty with auditory memory. The class has 11 Caucasian students, 5 African American students, 4 Asian American and 2 Latino students.

Theory into Practice
This lesson sort of combines Burke’s ideas “Poetry Connection” and “Sing me a Song”. The students are not writing a song but they still have to explain the lyrics and connect it to the novel. The teacher is not bringing in related poetry but songs (which are a form of poetry). In this case the songs are provided by the novel itself.

Students will demonstrate that they have read the book and can apply what they have read to draw conclusions and inferences from the material. They will also demonstrate analytical skills in relating song lyrics to events in the book.

The lesson assumes that the students have read The Perks of Being a Wallflower through the end of part 2 (pg. 96).

- The book The Perks of Being a Wallflower
- Lyric sheets for the songs on the mix-tape that Charlie gave to Patrick outlined on pages 61-62 of the book
- A burned CD of the songs on the mix-tape
- A CD player
- Paper and writing instrument
- Chalk and chalkboard

The teacher will have:
- Read The Perks of Being a Wallflower
- Found and printed out lyrics to the songs on the mix-tape found on pages 61-62
- Burned a CD of the songs on the mix-tape
- Developed discussion questions

Day 1: When the students have come in and housekeeping things taken care of (5-7 mins), students will split themselves into pairs. The teacher will pass out the lyrics to a different song from the mix-tape to each pair, except for “Asleep” by the Smiths (2 mins). The students will spend 20-25 minutes discussing their lyrics and how it relates to the book. They will find textual examples and quotes to support their thoughts. The teacher will walk around and monitor conversation and keep students on track. After about 25 minutes the teacher will call the class back together and play the first song (after “Asleep”). After the song is over the pair of students who were assigned that song will give their reasoning and rationale behind how they think the song relates to the book. The class will then discuss if they agree or disagree with their classmates. This will continue, song by song, for the rest of the period.

Day 2: After a quick recap of the previous day the teacher will continue to play the songs and follow with the student rationale and then class discussion until all songs have been played and discussed. When this is done the teacher will pass out lyrics to “Asleep” by the Smiths (which Charlie states several times throughout the book as being his all-time favorite song) to all students. Give students a minute to read the lyrics and then play the song. After the song is over have a class discussion on the song and how it relates to the book. If there is time after the discussion allow time for students to work on their time capsule projects and conference with the teacher if they choose.

Discussion Ideas
1) How does having a soundtrack make the book more meaningful?
2) Do you have a new understanding of the book now that you know the lyrics to the songs and what they sound like?
3) How will this influence the songs you pick for your own soundtrack in your time capsule project?

Bilingual/ESL and Dialect Accommodations
The song lyrics can easily be translated into other languages as well as giving ELL students extra time to read the lyrics if they need it. I would expect the other students in the class to help when possible or needed.

Special Education Accommodations
For the students with ADD I would have the schedule written on the board in order to help them stay on task, as well as acknowledging that they will stray off task during the discussion because they will not have constant supervision. This should help them concentrate at other points. For the student with visual impairments I would print the lyrics larger and have the student’s partner read the lyrics out loud in order to help the student understand the lyrics. The student who has trouble with auditory learning will have the lyrics to look at as well as be given a copy of the CD to listen to as many times as they want/need to.

For this lesson the students will receive informal assessments based on their participation in the discussions as well as the examples they come up with for their song rationale.

Extension Ideas
To extend this lesson the students could watch the movies Charlie was assigned to watch, read the books Bill asked Charlie to read, or research more sings by the artists of these songs.
Source of Activity
This activity was created by me, Mallory Houghton, with input from my sister, Melissa Houghton, and a friend, Ian Watts, both of which previously read the book and are big fans. It was created to fit into a 9-week unit plan created by myself, Emily Nixon, Ashley Cookson, Jennifer Hatton, Wendy Rodney, and Jeff Vazzana for a class taught by Professor Renee Clift.

Resources and References
Resources include the websites that offer the lyrics to the songs and the whole lesson references The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Illinois State English Language Arts Goals and Learning Standards
1.A.5b Analyze the meaning of abstract concepts and the effects of particular word and phrase choices.
1.B.5a Relate reading to prior knowledge and experience and make connections to related information.
1.C.5b Analyze and defend an interpretation of text.
2.B.5a Analyze and express an interpretation of a literary work.
4.A.5b Use techniques for analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of oral messages.

This lesson was hard to create because I loved all of the book and it hard to pick one part. I decided on something that would bring it all together. This would be a good lesson to revisit at the end of the book as well because after finding out many things about the characters the students will have new insights on the songs. Teaching this whole book would be a lot of fun. I think that this lesson in particular would be enjoyable because the students must really think about their answers. It would be easy for the discussion to get off track, however, so the teacher must be very conscious of keeping students on task.

Links to:

•• The Perks of Being a Wallflower Noted Themes ••

•• The Perks of Being a Wallflower Reflection ••

•• The Perks of Being a Wallflower Student reaction••

••The Perks of Being a Wallflower Summary••