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The Piano Lesson

The Piano Lesson


by August Wilson

Challenges & Opportunities

Available to teachers only as part of the The Piano Lesson Teacher Pass

The Piano Lesson Teacher Pass includes:

  • Assignments & Activities
  • Reading Quizzes
  • Current Events & Pop Culture articles
  • Discussion & Essay Questions
  • Challenges & Opportunities
  • Related Readings in Literature & History

Sample of Challenges & Opportunities

It's your lucky day: this one is chock full of opportunities and lacking in the challenges department. Of course the issue of race can be a touchy subject, but it's nothing we haven't faced before. Plus, it's a great way to encourage cultural sensitivity and awareness in students. Win-win.

Playing a Universal Tune

Colloquial dialogue, relatable characters… sounds kind of like Shmoop—or at least we'd like to think so. That's the thing about this play: it's accessible. And to top it off, the sibling rivalry at the play's center is something every teenager can understand. Even the only children of the bunch know what it's like to have a blood-boiling rivalry with someone you love deep down. Being able to relate to the conflicts of a story is incredibly valuable to students learning literature, and with The Piano Lesson, you've hit the jackpot.

Lovely Language

The dialogue of The Piano Lesson is quite poetic. Though the language has the feel of everyday speech, it's filled with symbolism, imagery, and major metaphor. So once you've reeled students in with a story they'll love, you'll be able to explore these important concepts.

It's so easy to gloss over style—especially in a longer novel—so here's your chance to avoid that fate. Since we're already working with a play, whose structure is so dramatically (pun intended!) different from a novel, why not take it one step further and look even more into the more stylistic aspects of the work?