Analyzing Theme in Dead Man’s Path Lesson Plans

Dead Man's Path Lesson Plans with Analysis and Summary

If you’re starting to feel like the hall leading to your classroom is a Dead Man’s Path, check out the “Dead Man’s Path” Unit Plan.

Mr Obi’s hopes were fulfilled much earlier than he had expected. He was appointed principal of Pink Slip Central School last week. It had always been an unprogressive school, so the school board decided to send a critical and mean-spirited man to run it. Obi accepted this responsibility with enthusiasm. He had many wonderful ideas on how to write a bad review and a visit to your classroom is an opportunity to put them into practice.

Luckily, you have this analyzing theme in “Dead Man’s Path” lesson plan.

Let’s save you a little trouble and put a link to the Analyzing Theme in Dead Man’s Path lesson plan here.

Dead Man’s Path Summary

Obi’s excited about his new job as headmaster of Ndume Central School. The Mission authorities consider Obi a pivotal teacher in turning unprogressive schools into an innovative school with modern practices.

Obi puts an end to superstitious, uneducated practices, and his wife creates beautiful gardens. Things are going well, with one exception. The villagers still make use of a footpath that cuts through the school compound. This upsets Obi who questions why his teachers allow it.

Despite its importance to the villagers, Obi closes the path. When the town priest arrives to explain the significance of the path, Obi refuses to remove the fence. Two days later a young villager dies. The priest orders heavy sacrifices to appease dead ancestors insulted by the fence. The next morning, Obi discovers the torn-up fence and ruined hedges about the school. Obi’s white supervisor writes a “nasty” review on the poor state of the school grounds and for Obi’s inciting a tribal war in the village.

Dead Man’s Path Analysis 

An analysis of “Dead Man’s Path” produces the following discussion topics and observations:

  • Cause and Effect. Obi’s attempts to modernize education in the village lead to an array of conflicts.
  • Setting. Obi fails to comprehend his setting. Those reading the story should not do the same.
  • Conflict. The primary conflicted is between Obi and the villagers. It represents the conflict between tradition and innovation.
  • Irony. Obi’s desire to make his school the best has more to do with satisfying his ego than it does about bettering the communities he serves.
  • Characterization. Recognition of others motivates Obi more than anything.
  • Point of View. The third person narrator focuses on Obi, but it’s implied that those affected by Obi’s plans for his school are not happy with his plans/

Dead Man’s Path Analysis Lesson Plan Standards

Here’s the downloadable lesson plan: Analyzing Theme in Dead Man’s Path lesson plan.

  1. 9-10.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
  2. 9-10.2 Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.
  3. 9-10.3Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme.
  4. 9-10.6 Acquire and use accurately general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.
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