This lesson uses Deborah Ellis’s short story “Through the Woods” as a catalyst for conversation around questions that are useful in examining the impact of cannabis use and regulation on individuals and relationships.
“Through the Woods” is about a day in the life of Matthew, a 14-year-old boy who buys cannabis at school to take to his ailing grandmother who raised him until she became too sick to care for him. The story is ripe with easy-to-see themes that young people are sure to question naturally and/or identify with (e.g., stereotypes about cannabis dealers, users and non-users; risks and rewards of selling/buying/using cannabis; and reasons for using). As such, the story can be used to help students develop their skills in asking good questions as they interact with a story and its characters in more complex ways. This lesson aims to deepen students’ understanding of relationships between peers, family members and others as well as the complex nature of human drug use.
English Language Arts 8/9
Exploring stories and other texts helps us understand ourselves and make connections to others and to the world
Questioning what we hear, read, and view contributes to our ability to be educated and engaged citizens
Access information and ideas for diverse purposes and from a variety of sources and evaluate their relevance, accuracy, and reliability
Apply appropriate strategies to comprehend written, oral, and visual texts, guide inquiry, and extend thinking
Think critically, creatively, and reflectively to explore ideas within, between, and beyond texts
Recognize and identify the role of personal, social, and cultural contexts, values, and perspectives in texts
Recognize how language constructs personal, social, and cultural identity
Construct meaningful personal connections between self, text, and world
Respond to text in personal, creative, and critical ways
Recognize how literary elements, techniques, and devices enhance and shape meaning
Exchange ideas and viewpoints to build shared understanding and extend thinking
Use writing and design processes to plan, develop, and create engaging and meaningful literary and informational texts for a variety of purposes and audiences
Assess and refine texts to improve their clarity, effectiveness, and impact according to purpose, audience, and message
Transform ideas and information to create original texts
This license allows you to download and share this resource (copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format)
and adapt this resource (remix, transform, and build upon the work) for non-commercial purposes.
You must credit the creator of the resource and and license your new creations under the same license as the original.