Reading A Thousand Splendid Suns


Preparing to read and reading A Thousand Splendid Suns took the entire first semester of the academic year. Students read the novel a few chapters at a time and keep a Critical Reading Journal with one column for textual evidence and one column for several sentences explaining the significance of the evidence. (See example below.)


Keeping the critical reading journal will allow students to keep a record of textual evidence in order to construct and support interpretive claims. In addition, students can examine particular passages as a whole class to discuss their significance to the themes and overall messages of the novel. These types of activities as well as regular whole class and small group discussions can help students develop their own interpretations of the text and strategies for supporting those interpretations.

As a culminating project, students may write an essay examining the gender and power relations between any two of the characters in the novel. Their writing should be done in drafts with plenty of opportunity for feedback from peers and revisions.