I Invite My Parents to a Dinner Party
by Chen Chen
Photo by Paula Champagne
Workshop Title: Parents
Have your students respond to the question: “In what ways do your parents ‘just not get it’? Explain.” Give them time to discuss.
Read “I Invite My Parents to a Dinner Party” by Chen Chen. When they’re done reading, discuss how his parents “simply don’t get it.” Or, instead, discuss the ways that they simply refuse to pay attention.
Tell your students to outline a specific instance (that is part of a larger pattern) in which their parents simply did not understand them. Give them 5-10 minutes to write down everything they remember about this memory.
Have your students write a poem in which they were at odds with their parents, a specific instance of a larger pattern of behaviors that reflect their parents’ inability to “get it.”
When the students are done, have them share their responses with one another.
Area of Focus: Various
This lesson allows students to analyze various concepts and skills, so it is recommended that you have covered several of the “standalone” lessons before assigning this one. The prominent literary devices & techniques that this particular poem includes are: tone, selection of detail, structure, and structure (syntax).
Read “I Invite My Parents to a Dinner Party” by Chen Chen with your students. Then ask them about the discomfort they felt when reading and why they felt that way.
Have your students open the document in which they’ll be working. Go over the introduction with them. Then go over the directions. In short, the students will have to go through the poem, identify three “natural divisions,” and analyze each block of text.
Have your students work on the assignment. Give them ample time to complete it, as it may take them a little while.
When the students are done, have them share their responses. Then show them the exemplar essay.
- Selection of Detail
- Structure (Syntax)