Lesson plans for The Scarlet Letter and other works
Biography and Background
First Encounters: Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne
A short article about how the two men met.
Criticism from John Erskine.
Hawthorne: Author and Narrator from EdSitement
Students recognize the difference between a narrator and an author and explore the impact of an author's personal history on his or her creative life, particularly in the context of American society.
Hawthorne in Salem
A good source of biographical and background information. Don't miss the Scholar's Forum.
Classroom issues and strategies; major themes, historical perspectives, and personal issues; significant form, style, or artistic conventions; suggestions about understanding the original audience of his work; and links to related authors.
Critical essay by Carl Van Doren.
Brief biography and links to several e-texts.
"Dr. Heidegger's Experiment"
"Dr. Heidegger's Experiment": vocabulary
42 words presented in context and with definitions. Click on a word for pronunciation, examples of recent use, more.
Dr. Heidegger's Lab Report
What if "that very singular man, old Dr. Heidegger," had written a lab report of his findings? A writing assignment.
"The Minister's Black Veil"
Explicating a symbol: the case of Hawthorne's "The Minister's Black Veil"Lecture notes and a diagram.
Reading Guide for Hawthorne's "The Minister's Black Veil"Vocabulary words and a dozen comprehension questions.
"The Minister's Black Veil"
The text of the story with interactive vocabulary support and questions for discussion.
The Scarlet Letter
Click here: Hester, Pearl, and Arthur have moved to a separate page.
"Young Goodman Brown"
Click here: these lesson plans are on a separate page.
Other short stories
"The Ambitious Guest"
Text of the story in HTML, PDF, and Google docs formats. Includes a link to a nonfiction/informational text about the historical background to the story.
Aylmer's Motivation in Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Birthmark"
Summary/introduction, close reading questions, and vocabulary.
Science and Technology -- Monsters we have Created
Designed to go with Shelley's Frankenstein and Hawthorne's "The Birthmark," could be used with either one alone.
"Chiefly About War Matters"
Text of an essay published in The Atlantic Monthly in 1862.
Cracking the Code of Hawthorne's Allegories
This site includes a slide presentation on symbol and allegory. It also has related discussion questions for "Rappacini's Daughter," "The Celestial Railroad," and "My Kinsman, Major Molineux."
"Ethan Brand" Discussion Questions
Students compare/contrast this story with "Young Goodman Brown."
"Feathertop: A Moralized Legend"
Introduction and text of the story, available in PDF and Google Docs formats.
"John Inglefield’s Thanksgiving"
Text of the story online, via Google Docs, or in PDF.
Text of the story with guided reading questions in the right margin and at the end. This 29-page document requires Adobe Reader or compatible application for access.