Grade: Advanced
Subject: Literature

#324. Persona

Literature, level: Advanced
Posted by Jan O'Brien (
South Lyon High School, South Lyon, Michigan
Materials Required: writing; copies of Hardy's poem and Swift's essay if deired
Activity Time: Minimum 1 class period; cna be expanded
Concepts Taught: literary persona

With no introduction, assign ss to write 3 (fictitious) letters, each on the same topic: What I did over the weekend(--ss must write a if they attend a boarding or other out-of-town school). Letter one is to be written to mom and dad; letter two is to be written to my best friend, letter three to my ex-best friend. Allow half the period available for students to compose the three brief, fictitious letters. Then, ask volunteers to read their letters aloud. Asa ss read, the clas will come to discover that we adapt our writing to its audience: What we say, How we say it, and Why we say it, all depend upon our audience. The concept of literary persona can be furthered via a study of Hardy's poem, "The Man He Killed" and J. Swift's "A Modet Proposal," as well as other appropriate pieces of literature.