Death of a Salesman

I have been struggling with writing a UbD plan for Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. I think have have one sketched out, though I still need to create guiding questions for various pieces of the unit, including YouTube videos and a selection from Thomas L. Friedman’s The World is Flat.

In looking at the plot and themes of the play, and perhaps because it is so much in my thoughts lately because of my professional development courses, I made a connection between the play and the modernization/globalization or flattening of the world that our students will need to contend with in their work lives. One chapter of The World is Flat in particular came to mind — “The Untouchables” — as I began thinking about connections. I opened my book only to see Friedman himself referred to Willy Loman in that chapter. It must have been there in my subconscious because I had recently read it, but I was grateful to have my connection thus solidified.

I struggled to come up with a performance task that is relevant and addresses my essential questions, but would also be engaging. I think I have one. I am fairly happy with the unit as it stands because I think it is a unit that connects a past Miller was familiar with to a present and future he probably could not have imagined, and I think it will have interest and relevance for my students. You can check out the unit at the UbD Educators wiki.

2 thoughts on “Death of a Salesman”

  1. Dana:

    As always your units are exceptional! I have taught Death of a Salesman in the past and have found that students don't particularly like it. You have added an element of modernization with the UTube pieces! I loved those. I am anxious to see what the questions you will pose to go with them. Would students read the play first and then watch those video pieces? Would each one be a different day? UTube is blocked by screen door at our school. I wonder how I could have my students watch those pieces? I am re-thinking teaching Miller's tragedy again/

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