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Americanah and Purple Hibiscus Free Materials

Updated: Nov 26, 2023

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Hello! Below are a few free materials that I created for Americanah and Purple Hibiscus, both by Chimamanda Adichie. We used Americanah as one of our IB Lang & Lit SL texts, and I used Purple Hibiscus as a choice book in one of my 10 Intensified classes. I worked with another teacher on Americanah, so I have only posted the materials that I created on my own. Because of that there are not a ton of materials to share , but I hope they are helpful to your nonetheless.


I enjoy using texts by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in the classroom because there is always a lot to talk about but the stories themselves are just good reads that pull you towards the endings. Enjoy!




Americanah


Early in the unit, I had students do a close reading of the first page of Americanah. This was always a worthwhile activity because the characterization insights gleaned from the reading carried throughout the book. The sensory imagery of the places (especially smell) could always be compared to descriptions of new places later in the book.

Another passage that I like to study at the beginning of the unit is when Ifemelu's mom is going through one of her religious conversions. This gives us good insight into Ifemelu and sets the kids up to look for a religion motif throughout the book.

Ifemelu & Obinze meet early in the book, and whenever I read this part, I feel whispers of Romeo and Juliet. Does anyone else? So at this point, after the kids read how Ifemelu & Obinze met, I have them watch Act 2 of Romeo and Juliet from the 1968 Zeffirelli version and do a compare/contrast.




Once students got through the second part of the book, I would have them do some discussion in small groups.

Adichie also played with weather symbolism throughout the book, so doing a lesson focused on weather symbolism was also a good investment in time . I always did a big lesson around Adichie's use of snow and then it would carry throughout the book and pop up in other places for students to explore.


To do this lesson well, you will need to have kids read designated chapters from's Thomas C. Foster's book How to Read Literature Like a Professor.




Foster also has a chapter about food symbolism, so I have students read that chapter and then complete a partner essay on dinner/food symbolism in Americanah.



Immigration is a huge focus of the book. One activity I did was had student's create found poems about Obinze's immigration experience, and another activity we did was have students find nonliterary texts related to different aspects of the immigrant experience as it was described in Americanah.


That's it for the materials that I created on my own for Americanah. I hope some of these free materials are helpful to you.





Purple Hibiscus

Things Fall Apart used to be a core text at my school and when we studied it, I would also ask my students to read Purple Hibiscus. As well as bringing the Ibo from Things Fall Apart into modern day, it is just a darn good story that I enjoy reading every time.


Other IB Stuff That I Don't Know Where to Post




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