The Breadwinner and the struggle for Social Justice

Sarah Anne Korenyik, Language Arts, Northwest School of Arts

Final Unit(pdf)   Implementing Teaching Standards(pdf)


For this unit, students will close read the novel The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis along with other non-fiction articles to understand the nation that is Afghanistan and the struggles the people face in time of change and uncertainty under the Taliban’s rule.  The main character’s role for her family changes dramatically and the entire family struggles to adapt.  Students will use the main characters’ struggles to explore different ways of navigating this new life under the Taliban control and explore ways situations could be different for all the members of society.  Throughout the novel students will ask be asked to explore their beliefs about violence and if these beliefs would change if the students were in the main character’s place. Students will conduct a research project on Afghanistan to familiarize themselves with the culture, history, and traditions of life. Students will also create a diorama to accurately depict their favorite scene from the novel.  Furthermore, Honors students will be asked to create a travel brochure that portrays Afghanistan in a positive light and will make people want to visit the country.