Document Type

Lesson Plan

Publication Date

Fall 2018


Developed by a Swarthmore College student, Sierra Sweeney, with feedback from Professor Peter Schmidt, as a final assignment in English 71D, "The Short Story in the U.S.," fall 2018.

Fiction as a genre is well known for its ability to discuss a wide range of topics in a way that is both entertaining and empathetic. But while fictional pieces, especially the short story, are famous for creating narratives that help readers understand experiences unlike their own and characters unlike themselves, I would argue that fiction can also serve as a medium of self- reflection. As someone who identifies as multi-ethnic and multi-racial, understanding my identity through literature has been both eye-opening and difficult. Multi authors and works of fiction do exist. But they are rarely discussed as widely or taught in a way that focuses purely on their multi and mixed themes. This lesson plan exists to suggest strategies that teachers and professors may use to help comprehensively teach multi and non-multi students about the complexities and tensions surrounding mixed identities.Target audience: high school and college and university teachers and their students.


American literature, critical pedagogy, teaching and learning, critical race theory, pedagogy, twentieth century literature, science fiction and fantasy, multiracial identity, short story, fiction, multiethnic literature

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License


This lesson plan covers the following stories: "Third Class Superhero," by Charles Yu; "St. Lucy's Home For Girls Raised By Wolves," by Karen Russell; "The Americans," by Viet Nguyen; and "Who's Irish?," by Gish Jen.