Darius the Great is Not Okay novel study unit, CLICK HERE on TpT.
Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram is a coming-of-age story about a half-Persian, half-American teenager who struggles with his identity. The novel has been praised for its honest and accurate portrayal of what it’s like to be a teenager today.
If you’re looking for a way to teach this novel in the classroom, look no further! Here are some tips on how to get started. Start by having students read the book individually or in small groups. As they’re reading, encourage them to take notes on anything they find interesting, confusing, or challenging. Once everyone has finished reading, come together as a class and discuss the book. Ask students to share their thoughts and reactions and be sure to ask them about anything they found particularly confusing or challenging. Next, you might want to have students do some research on Persian culture and history. This will help them understand the context of the book and provide some background information that will enrich their reading of it.
Finally, wrap up your unit with a writing assignment or project. Students could write an essay about their own experiences with identity, or they could create a multimedia project inspired by Darius’s story. Whatever you choose, make sure it allows students to express themselves creatively and engage with the material on a personal level.
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- Start by having students brainstorm what they already know about Persia/Iran. This will help you gauge their prior knowledge and give you a starting point for your lesson.
- Next, give students a brief overview of Persia/Iran’s history and culture. You could show them pictures, play music, or read poetry from Iran. There are also many great videos on YouTube that you could use (just be sure to preview them first to make sure they are appropriate for your students).
- As you introduce students to Persia/Iran, make sure to point out similarities and differences between Iranian culture and their own culture. This will help students see that there is more than one way to live and that everyone has their own unique customs and traditions.
- After students have had a chance to learn about Persia/Iran, assign them to read Darius the Great Is Not Okay. As they read, encourage them to pay attention to the things that Darius is learning about his heritage and how he is finding his place in the world.
- Once students have finished reading the book, hold a class discussion where they can share their thoughts and reflections. Some discussion questions you could ask include: What did you think of Darius? What did you learn about Persian culture? How do you think Darius’s experience compares to your own experience of learning about your heritage?
- Finally, wrap up your lesson by having students write an essay or create a presentation in which they compare and contrast Darius’s experience with their own experience of learning about their cultural heritage. Alternatively, you could have them write an essay or create a presentation in which they explore how Darius’s experience has changed their perspective on Iranian culture.
- Start by discussing the book’s themes with your students. Some possible themes include mental illness, family, friendship, and identity. Ask your students if they can think of any others. Then, have them choose one or two of these themes to focus on for the rest of the unit.
- Next, have your students read the book and take notes on their chosen themes. As they’re reading, they should be looking for examples of these themes in the text. They can write down quotes or passages that they think are significant, and they should also make note of any questions they have about the book.
- Once your students have finished reading, lead a class discussion where they share their thoughts on the book. Ask them to discuss their favorite parts, what they found challenging, and what they think the book is trying to say about their chosen themes. This is also a good time to answer any questions they may have about the text.
- Finally, wrap up the unit by having your students write an essay or create a project based on their chosen theme. For example, if they’re interested in exploring mental illness further, they could write an essay about how Darius’s experience compares to their own or create a art project that represents how depression feels to them.
Teaching Darius the Great is Not Okay in the Classroom doesn’t have to be difficult—with a little planning and preparation, you can lead your students through this complex and moving story in a way that is both educational and enjoyable. And who knows? They might just come away from the experience with a greater understanding of themselves and the world around them.