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73 pages 2 hours read

Leslie Marmon Silko

Ceremony

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1977

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Activities

Use this activity to engage all types of learners, while requiring that they refer to and incorporate details from the text over the course of the activity.

“Understanding The Symbols and Motifs of Ceremony Through Classroom Community”

In this activity, students select and analyze a symbol or motif that occurs throughout Ceremony, such as the color yellow, the cattle, or the jungle; they then present their thoughts to the class.

Symbols and motifs play an important role in Ceremony, often echoing the significance of similar iconography to Pueblo culture broadly.

  • Choose a symbol or motif that features prominently in the novel and select several quotes related to it from the text. Mark down page numbers and jot down ideas about how each quote illustrates the relevance of the symbol/motif.
  • Research the symbol/motif, noting any particular resonance in Pueblo cultures and/or the American Southwest. Be sure to keep track of your sources.
  • Organize your quotes and research findings for a 5-minute presentation, choosing 3 particular passages to focus on. What instance of the symbol/motif do you lead with to explain its importance? Which one do you close your presentation with? How can you incorporate your research findings to shed further light on your interpretation of the passages?

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