Literature Lessons for High School – 1

These Literature Lessons for High School are intended to be a series of multiple learning and teaching guides for high school Literature students and teachers. I will do my best to share with you as many Literature lessons for high school as possible.

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Rather than pack all the Literature lesson plans for high schools inside a single post, I will publish each in a separate post.

My objective is to make each high school level Literature lesson very easy to digest.

What to expect

You will find brief and simplified Literature lessons on how to answer specific Literature essay questions based on popular novels, plays and poems.

These are practical and innovative ways to creatively teach high school Literature to students preparing for a crucial examination.

And, for that matter, do not expect to see any traditional lesson plan in my posts.

Secondly, there are lessons on some key topics in your school’s Literature syllabus. These include how to appreciate a literary text, how to identify the themes and how to write about literary techniques.

All the Literature lessons for high school learners and teachers are completely FREE. If I am able, I will give out, for FREE, the PDF version of this high school Literature learning and teaching resource.

Introduction to Second Class Citizen – African Prose Lesson

How to Answer Literature Questions

2020 WASSCE English Questions and Answers

Chapter 8 Summary of Second Class Citizen

Debate Speech: Unemployment is Responsible for Crime in Society

Inside this Literature Lesson for Senior High Schools

Here is the topic for this Literature lesson.


The above topic for our high school Literature lesson is about the main character in Second Class Citizen, a novel by Buchi Emecheta.

I will show you the steps to take to come up with a compelling answer if ever you need to write an essay on the difficulties Adah goes through as she tries to achieve her childhood dreams.

Are you working with a different Literature book? Well, you might still find the structure I have provided here an eye-opener.

Because it is possible to make this Literature essay writing approach serve as a general guideline for dealing with a similar topic based on a different text.

How to Answer This Question

Teachers can use this simple lesson presentation format to help their senior high school Literature students learn how to answer a question related to the topic.

For the Literature learner currently studying Secon Class Citizen, all you need is to follow the essay strategy outlined below to write a convincing essay.

Shall we begin now?

Best SHS Literature PDFs & More – Free

types of narrative techniques in literature

First points to note:

  • The question is about obstacles in Adah’s way. For that matter, you need to know at least three different kinds of obstacles that face Adah in the novel.
  • You must also be sure about the kind of personal development the question is referring to.

In this case, note that it is about Adah’s personal development only.

  • Finally, note the word, ‘overcome’. It suggests that Adah has been able to overcome at least some of these obstacles. Try to identify the obstacles that have proven most difficult for Adah to overcome.

With the above in mind, we can now draw a general plan for the essay. All you will need to do after going through this plan is to implement the plan with your own style of writing. And that’s it. You’ve got a complete essay ready to be submitted.

Suggested Plan for the Essay

Take each point in the plan and develop it into a full paragraph.

Paragraph One: Introduction

  • Adah is the central character in Second Class Citizen
  • The narrative is about her struggles for personal development. She desires to achieve a number of dreams.
  • Adah’s dreams for personal development include, but are not limited to, the following.

To travel to the United Kingdom in order to further her education and also get an English education for her children.

She also dreams of becoming a successful professional librarian

To become a published writer.

What are Adah’s motivations for personal development?

Some probable motives here are

  • She wants to prove that the female gender in Igbo society is not as brainless and insignificant as her society thinks. Females can do what the males are doing. Maybe even more.
  • To give her children a head start in life.
  • For personal fulfilment.

Note that each of the above dreams requires the achievement of some smaller and preliminary dreams.

For example, to be able to travel to the UK, Adah needs to i. get an education ii. Get married iii. Get a well-paying job

Main Body of the Essay

Now is the time to identify the obstacles. Consider the following and feel free to add others you can think of. But avoid repeating points or stating too many. Three to five obstacles should be enough for a typical high school level Literature essay.

Make sure to state and describe how these obstacles threaten her desire to improve herself. Do so one by one in separate paragraphs.

So let’s take a look at the obstacles Adah must overcome in order to achieve her goals for personal development.

Paragraph Two

Discrimination against the female gender in her society.

Paragraph Three

The effects of the death of Pa, her father. Examples are

Lower quality basic education as compared to Ladi-Lak Institute

Financial exploitation by her in-laws

Reluctance on the part of her in-laws to allow her to join her husband in England

Lack of money to register for the Common Entrance Examination

Here come the other major obstacles Adah must overcome.

Paragraph Four

An abusive and irresponsible husband

Paragraph Five

Cultural shock and an unfriendly climate on her arrival in England

Paragraph Six

Racial discrimination in England

Paragraph Seven

Too frequent pregnancies and childbirths

Remember that much as you may have, in your possession, a large number of obstacles, some are minor ones that you can place under a major one. Use them to explain the major ones.

You can let me know if you need help doing this.

Paragraph Eight: Conclusion

It is now time to bring your essay to a close. But there is one more thing left. Write a compelling concluding paragraph.

How to do it?

Let me show you how to write a good concluding paragraph to attract a high mark.

State the following in your conclusion.

  • Right from childhood, Adah has dedicated her life to the fulfilment of her personal development goals.
  • Unfortunately, many of these goals conflict with the status quo in her native Igbo culture.
  • So she naturally must overcome obstacles in order to better her condition and that of her young children.

Summarize at least three of the obstacles.

Then summarize the extent to which Adah has achieved her dreams for personal development.

Here is an example:

By the end of the novel, Adah has been able to get an education up to the sixth form level, get a man to marry, find a high paying job and arrive in the UK, and place her children in the English educational system, She has also finished writing the manuscript of her first novel. It is a huge achievement, also, that in spite of the obstacles, Adah is able to earn enough to support her in-laws, her babies and Francis’s study in faraway England. Thus, Adah has broken the glass ceiling with regard to societal expectations of her gender.

This should be enough to give you the mark you need for this essay.

Wrapping it up

Like I said earlier, this is just one of the many Literature lessons for high school learners and teachers. For more Literature lessons for high school education, I encourage you to keep coming back if you can.

Why don’t you write this essay and submit it for a quick review? Where necessary, I will give you suggestions to improve the essay and similar ones.

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