Match Fishtank is now Fishtank Learning!

Learn More

Surviving Repression: Persepolis

Students explore human nature through the story of a young girl coming of age during the Iranian Revolution, and the challenges she faced during this violent, turbulent time.

Unit Summary

We continue our year-long study of the relationship between power and human behavior with Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi’s graphic memoir about coming of age during the Iranian Revolution of 1979. Satrapi’s simple black-and-white drawings belie the complexities of this award-winning text, which has been translated into many languages and read by millions of adults and teens. In this memoir, the reader gains insight into this significant historical event through young Marji’s eyes, learning about the human impact of political upheaval and the ways that people resist repression in large and small ways.

In addition to reading Persepolis, students will learn about the genre of graphic novels and the ways that cartoons use words and illustrations in tandem to make meaning. Students will complete the unit by reading several essays and articles that address the contentious issue of Muslim women’s headscarves, learning about different ways that this article of clothing has become highly politicized.

In this unit, students will continue to develop their ability to conduct research and create presentations. In the first writing task, students will work on identifying reputable sources, pulling relevant information from those sources, and presenting that information in a way that is clear and compelling to their audience. These presentations will address different aspects of Iranian history, culture, and current events, and are paired with relevant sections of Persepolis. Students will conclude this unit by reflecting and writing on transformative experiences from their own life.

Subscribe to Fishtank Plus to unlock access to additional resources for this unit, including:

  • Enhanced Lesson Plans
  • Student Handout Editor
  • Google Classroom Integration
  • Vocabulary Package
  • Fluency Package
  • Data Analysis Package
 

Texts and Materials

Some of the links below are Amazon affiliate links. This means that if you click and make a purchase, we receive a small portion of the proceeds, which supports our non-profit mission.

Core Materials

Supporting Materials

Assessment

This assessment accompanies Unit 4 and should be given on the suggested assessment day or after completing the unit.

Unit Prep

Essential Questions

?

  • What tools do governments use to control and oppress people, and what tools do people use to resist oppression?
  • In what ways is the experience of growing up universal, and in what ways is it shaped by a person’s setting and circumstances?

Enduring Understandings

  • A country’s government does not necessarily reflect the beliefs and desires of all of its people.
  • The risks of resisting an oppressive government can be severe, and yet some people are willing to lay down their lives in the service of their beliefs.
  • The experiences of growing up during a time of political upheaval are both unique and universal.

Vocabulary

?

Text-based

belligerent circumspect clandestine defeatist defiance diabolical martyr solidarity tumultuous wrath

Root/Affix

circ- circum-

Academic

figurative language graphic novel gutter mood panel perspective purpose

Related Teacher Tools:

Notes for Teachers

?

Lesson Map

1

  • “Rick Steves' Iran” — 00:00–17:30

    RI.8.2

Identify and summarize aspects of Iranian history and culture, drawing evidence from a video.

2

Writing

    W.8.2

Formulate research questions about a topic.

3

Writing

    W.8.2

Conduct research on an assigned topic, identifying and collecting information from reliable sources.

4

Writing

    W.8.2

Compare new ideas to prior knowledge and reflect on new understandings.

5

Writing

    W.8.2

Create a digital presentation to express their learning and appropriately cite sources.

6

Writing

    W.8.2

Logically organize the information in their presentations and include all required components.

7

  • What is...

  • “How to...” — up to header “What Ody-C Does So Well”

    RI.8.2

    RI.8.5

Explain the basic features of a graphic novel, approaches to reading a graphic novel, and how structure contributes to meaning.

8

  • Persepolis pp. 3 – 17

    RL.8.3

    RI.8.5

Explain how Satrapi uses words and images together to develop the reader’s understanding of significant characters and events.

9

  • Persepolis pp. 18 – 32

    RL.8.3

    RI.8.5

Explain how specific incidents impact and reveal aspects of characters and setting, and describe how Satrapi communicates this through text and images.

10

  • Persepolis pp. 33 – 46

    RL.8.3

    RI.8.5

Explain how specific incidents impact and reveal aspects of characters, and describe how Satrapi communicates this through text and images.

11

  • Persepolis pp. 47 – 71

    RL.8.3

    RI.8.5

Explain how specific incidents impact and reveal aspects of characters, and describe how Satrapi communicates this through text and images.

12

  • Persepolis pp. 72 – 79

  • “The Stolen Revolution”

    RI.8.2

    RI.8.3

Drawing evidence from two texts, explain the impact of the Iranian Revolution on women’s rights, and how women resisted these changes.

13

  • Persepolis pp. 80 – 93

    RL.8.3

    RI.8.5

Explain how specific incidents impact and reveal aspects of characters and setting, and describe how Satrapi communicates this through text and images.

14

  • Persepolis pp. 94 – 110

    RL.8.3

    RL.8.5

Explain how some Iranians responded to and resisted their new government, and describe how Satrapi uses text and images to develop this.

15

  • Persepolis pp. 111 – 125

    RL.8.4

    L.8.4.a

Explain how Satrapi uses words and illustrations to develop mood, and determine the meaning of unknown words and figurative language through context clues.

16

  • Persepolis pp. 126 – 142

    RL.8.3

    RI.8.5

Explain how specific incidents impact and reveal aspects of characters and setting, and describe how Satrapi communicates this through text and images.

17

  • Persepolis

    RL.8.2

Determine themes in Persepolis and explain how Satrapi develops them in the text.

18

  • “Majede Najar”

  • “Why do...”

    RI.8.2

Determine the central idea of both a text article and a video and explain how the author/speaker develops each.

19

  • “I was...”

    RI.8.6

Determine an author’s point of view and explain where and how she responds to conflicting viewpoints.

20

Socratic Seminar

  • Persepolis

  • “I was...”

  • “Why do...”

  • “Majede Najar”

  • “The Stolen Revolution”

    SL.8.1.c

    SL.8.1.d

Engage in a Socratic Seminar with classmates, posing questions that draw connections between own ideas and classmates’ ideas.

21

Writing

    W.8.3

Identify the features of a strong personal narrative and begin to craft their own.

22

Writing

    W.8.3

Add compelling dialogue to their narratives and craft a strong conclusion.

23

2 days

Assessment

  • “Slide 3”

  • “Slide 4”

  • “Slide 5”

  • “Excerpt from "Maus"”

Common Core Standards

Language Standards
  • L.8.4.a — Use context (e.g., the overall meaning of a sentence or paragraph; a word's position or function in a sentence) as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.

Reading Standards for Informational Text
  • RI.8.2 — Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to supporting ideas; provide an objective summary of the text.

  • RI.8.3 — Analyze how a text makes connections among and distinctions between individuals, ideas, or events (e.g., through comparisons, analogies, or categories).

  • RI.8.4 — Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies or allusions to other texts.

  • RI.8.5 — Analyze in detail the structure of a specific paragraph in a text, including the role of particular sentences in developing and refining a key concept.

  • RI.8.6 — Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how the author acknowledges and responds to conflicting evidence or viewpoints.

Reading Standards for Literature
  • RL.8.2 — Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to the characters, setting, and plot; provide an objective summary of the text.

  • RL.8.3 — Analyze how particular lines of dialogue or incidents in a story or drama propel the action, reveal aspects of a character, or provoke a decision.

  • RL.8.3 — Analyze how particular lines of dialogue or incidents in a story or drama propel the action, reveal aspects of a character, or provoke a decision.

  • RL.8.4 — Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies or allusions to other texts.

  • RL.8.5 — Compare and contrast the structure of two or more texts and analyze how the differing structure of each text contributes to its meaning and style.

Speaking and Listening Standards
  • SL.8.1.c — Pose questions that connect the ideas of several speakers and respond to others' questions and comments with relevant evidence, observations, and ideas.

  • SL.8.1.d — Acknowledge new information expressed by others, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own views in light of the evidence presented.

Writing Standards
  • W.8.2 — Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content

  • W.8.3 — Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.

Spiral Standards

?

L.8.6

RI.8.1

RI.8.10

SL.8.1

SL.8.4

SL.8.5

W.8.1

W.8.1.a

W.8.1.b

W.8.10

W.8.2.a

W.8.2.b

W.8.2.c

W.8.2.d

W.8.2.e

W.8.2.f

W.8.3.a

W.8.3.b

W.8.3.c

W.8.3.e

W.8.4

W.8.6

W.8.7

W.8.9

W.8.9.b