Lesson ECP-6

Welcome! Please consider how your attitude affects your and other students' experiences of the lesson. 

Be respectful, come prepared, and show interest to have the best possible educational experience. 

Lesson goals

Learn about the central themes: violence, gender roles and sexuality by reading exerpts from The Color Purple, discussing as a group and develop your writing by using advanced linking words.

Lesson activities

Basic: Quizlet and reading excerpts

Intermediate: group discussion

Advanced: writing exercise

Basic: read excerpts

Exerpt reading and Quizlet test

Time for the exercises: ~15-20 minutes

  1. Take the Quizlet mini-test. Have fun showing that you learned the linking words

  2. Read the excerpts:

    • Sofia's encounter with the mayor and the mayor's wife (pages 84-100)

    • The Olinka tribe meets the road (pages 167-172)

Intermediate: group discussion

Group discussion

Time for the activity: ~20 minutes

  • During this exercise you will learn how to read, watch and understand The Color Purple in order to retell the narrative

Together with your classmates, you will assume either the role of summariser, questioner, clarifier or predictor.

  • Summariser: What happened? What and who were the most important events and characters?

  • Questioner: What was unclear while reading this part of the book? What do you wonder about?

  • Clarifier: Explain confusing events or difficult words that you or others might not understand.

  • Predictor: What do you think will happen next? Why did you come to that conclusion?

You are encouraged to be active to make the text more comprehensible.

You will have have a template to use where you fill out the boxes as you discuss. This helps in practicing your writing skills.

Advanced: writing exercise

Compare the novel and the movie by using quotes and concrete examples

Time for the activity: ~20-30 minutes

  • This exercise develops your skills at comparing the story from The Color Purple by using linking words.

  • Word count: 100-150 words

The linking words categories:

  • Elaboration A ➜ A. Synonym to “and”; more information. Examples: such as, for instance, as well, in addition, furthermore, moreover

  • Cause and effect. A ➜ B. Synonym to “because”; tells us why. Examples: due to, since, therefore, on the condition that, consequently, in order to

  • Compare and contrast. A ≠ B. Synonym to “but”; compare similarities. Examples: in comparison, in contrast to, however, despite, in spite of, whereas

  1. Create three paraphraphs (external structure) with sequencing linking words in each. For example:

    • Firstly ..., secondly ..., finally ... or To begin with ..., then ..., in conclusion ...

  2. Secondly, create internal structure by following the two points below:

    • Select at least one of the quotes and use elaboration linking words to give the reader more information.

    • Compare the book and the movie and use cause and effect as well as compare and contrast linking words to tell us why.

  3. Once done, submit your text to Unikum for feedback.

Quotes from The Color Purple

Theme: violence

“Girl, you oughta bash mister’s head open and think about heaven later.” - Sofia.

“Celie: [to Shug] He beat me when you ain’t here.

Shug: Who do? Albert?

Celie: Mister.

Shug: Why he do that?

Celie: He beat me for not being you.”

"Sofia thinks too much of herself; needs to be taken down a peg or two." - Mr._______

Theme: colonialism

“It must have been a pathetic exchange. Our chief never learned English beyond an occasional odd phrase he picked up from Joseph, who pronounces “English” “Yanglush.” - Nettie.

"I meant to write you in time for Easter, but it was not a good time for me and I did not want to burden you with any distressing news. So a whole year has gone by. The first thing I should tell you about is the road. The road finally reached the cassava fields about nine months ago and the Olinka, who love nothing better than a celebration, outdid themselves preparing a feast for the roadbuilders who talked and laughed and cut their eyes at the Olinka women the whole day. In the evening many were invited into the village itself and there was merrymaking far into the night. I think Africans are very much like white people back home, in that they think they are the center of the universe and that everything that is done is done for them. The Olinka definitely hold this view. And so they naturally thought the road being built was for them. And, in fact, the roadbuilders talked much of how quickly the Olinka will now be able to get to the coast. With a tarmac road it is only a three-day journey. By bicycle it will be even less. Of course no one in Olinka owns a bicycle, but one of the roadbuilders has one, and all the Olinka men covet it and talk of someday soon purchasing their own." - Nettie

Theme: racism

"I'm pore, I'm black, I may even be ugly, but dear God, I'm here! I'm here!" - Celie

"It was the funniest thing to stop over in Monrovia after my first glimpse of Africa, which was Senegal. The capital of Senegal is Dakar and the people speak their own language, Senegalese I guess they would call it, and French. They are the blackest people I have ever seen, Celie. They are black like the people we are talking about when we say, “So and so is blacker than black, he’s blueblack.” They are so black, Celie, they shine. Which is something else folks down home like to say about real black folks." - Nettie

Theme: gender roles

“Mr._______ marry me to take care of his children. I marry him cause my daddy made me. I don’t love Mr.________ and he don’t love me.” - Celie.

“All my life I had to fight. I had to fight my daddy. I had to fight my uncles. I had to fight my brothers. A girl child ain’t safe in a family of men. But I ain’t never thought I’d have to fight in my own house! I loves Harpo, God knows I do. But I’ll kill him dead ‘fo I let him beat me!” - Sofia.

“The Olinka girls do not believe girls should be educated. When I asked a mother why she thought this, she said: A girl is nothing to herself; only to her husband can she become something. What can she become? I asked. Why, she said, the mother of his children. But I am not the mother of anybody's children, I said, and I am something.”

Theme: sexuality:

“Hard not to love Shug, I say. She know how to love somebody back.” - Celie.

“I don’t like to go to bed with him no more, she [Sofia] say. Used to be when he touch me I’d go all out my head. Now when he touch me I just don’t want to be bothered.” - Sofia.

WAGOLL (What a good one looks like)

Example 1

Alice Walker's epistolary novel The Color Purple is a controversial work about Celie, an abused and uneducated African American woman, and her struggle for empowerment in the early 20th century. In letters, firstly to God, but eventually to her sister, Celie shares her experiences in a world filled with violence.

To begin with, Celie is forced to marry a man whom she refers to as Mr.___. Their relationship lacks love, and Mr.___ rarely hesitates to abuse Celie whenever she does something wrong in his eyes. In order for life to be bearable, Celie constantly must suppress herself, and consequently, she has low self-worth.

Example 2

The Color Purple is a novel written by Alice Walker. The story follows Celie, an African American woman, through her letters to God. Celie suffers a lot at the hands of the man she believes to be her father, who rapes and hits her. She continues to suffer when she is forced to marry a similar man. Her husband does, however, introduce her to Shug Avery, an empowered and independent woman, who is a role model for Celie and eventually becomes her lover. The novel is brutally honest, raw, and emotional. Furthermore, it deals with many important themes such as sexism, racism, religion, and abuse.

One of the most important themes in the book is sexism. Because she is a woman, her husband, Mr. Albert, regards Celie as someone who should take care of his children and household as well as someone he has to control and beat in order to make her do what he wants. This is how most men in the book think of their wives and women in general.

WAPOLL (What a poor one looks like)

Example 1

The author of book "The Color Purple" Alice Walker did a fantastic job writing the book that´s so powerful as well as emotional, not many writers can do that. Walker writes about a young woman that together with her sister go through a traumatic upbringing that includes abuse of all sorts such as sexual, emotional, physical as well as verbal. She also wirtes about how colonialism in all it´s forms have changed the sisters life in addition to the rest of the colored peoples life.

To being with I´m going to summerize the book, so in the begining of the book we get to read how Celie the main character handels the obsticlas that are trown on her from childhood. As a child Celie was both raped, physicaly asulted by her adopted father.

Example 2

The book Color Purple, writtwn by Alice Walker, introduces the reader to the young African American woman Celie and her Life in the first half of 1900. Troughout the book Walker brings upp important topics like racism, discrimination and abuse.

The author describes Celie as a girl who needed to grow up quick. She lives with her sister Nettie and her Pa, who is raping her. Celie ending up having two kids with her Pa. She gets told that the kids died but that wasn't the truth. The truth was that her Pa gave them up for adoption. After her preganicies she wasn't allowed to got to school anymore. Instead her father forced her to marry a man named Mr_____. Mr_____ is not a good husband, he beats Cellie and he is constantly mean.


No homework.

Exit ticket

The reading made me think about ...