Thank You Ma'am Lesson Plan

By Matt Baker email   Updated 27 Nov 2012 | Go to index of all free lesson plans

Curriculum goal: Students will increase their vocabulary and reading skills.

Lesson objective: Students will be able to tell some details about the author, use the new vocabulary words, and analyze the story.

Materials: copies of the story

Length: 2 class periods (50 minutes each)

Introduction: Imagine that you are walking down the street. Suddenly a young boy passes by and steals your wallet or purse. How would you feel? What would you do?

Langston Hughes (1902-1967) is one of the most famous African American writers. In addition to short stories, he also wrote poetry, newspaper columns, plays and novels. His parents were divorced when he was very young and he was mostly raised by his grandmother, who taught him to be proud of being African American. As a writer, he wrote mostly about what life was like for black people in America.


Read the story to the class.


  1. Story elements:
    • What kind of narrator does the story have?
    • What is the setting?
    • Who are the main characters?
    • What is the central conflict and how is it resolved?
    • What is the main theme of the story?
  2. How were the two characters different? How were they the same?
  3. Can people change? Is change easy? When do people usually feel the need to change?
  4. A famous African proverb says, "It takes an entire village to raise a child." How does this idea relate to this story? Do you agree or disagree with this idea?
  5. What lesson can we learn from this story when it comes to dealing with problems and conflicts?

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