Teaching The Road from Coorain
As you watch and read The Road from Coorain, the characters, themes, conflicts, and relationships will undoubtedly remind you and your students of other stories you have studied. Although it is set in a time and place that may be unfamiliar to you, Ker Conway's memoir is a classic coming-of-age story that explores the same emotions and rites of passage that are at the heart of any story about growing up. Some of the most frequently taught works in literature classes today, such as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Catcher in the Rye, Black Boy, and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, belong to this same tradition.
In addition to activities and questions about The Road from Coorain, this teacher's guide contains a section called "The Coming-of-Age Story" that will guide students in making connections among stories in that genre. The section also contains questions and activities designed to help students write about their own coming-of-age experiences. As Jill Ker Conway says about the process of memoir writing, "we are storytelling creatures" who experience life without really understanding it "until we sit down and try to tell the story."
Use this guide to study The Road from Coorain, to connect it to other works in your curriculum, and to help your students connect their own lives to what is universal about growing up.
Note: The film contains some sexually explicit scenes. You may want to preview the film before showing it in class. You may also want to inform parents about the unit.
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