Title: Exploring Birth in A.J. Cronin's 'The Citadel': A Literature-Based Lesson Plan

Objective: Students will analyze the portrayal of childbirth in A.J. Cronin's novel 'The Citadel', exploring its significance in character development and thematic exploration.

Duration: 3 class periods (60 minutes each)

Materials Needed:

  • Copies of 'The Citadel' by A.J. Cronin
  • Whiteboard and markers
  • Handouts with discussion questions
  • Art supplies for creative activities (optional)

Lesson Plan:

Day 1: Introduction to 'The Citadel' and Context (60 minutes)

  1. Warm-up (10 minutes):

    • Begin the lesson by asking students to brainstorm what they know about the setting and themes of 'The Citadel'.
    • Discuss any prior knowledge of A.J. Cronin and his style of writing.
  2. Introduction to the Novel (15 minutes):

    • Provide background information about the author, A.J. Cronin, and the socio-political context of the novel, focusing on the early 20th-century British healthcare system.
  3. Reading Assignment (35 minutes):

    • Assign the first few chapters of 'The Citadel' for homework.
    • Encourage students to pay particular attention to any mentions of childbirth or medical practices related to maternity care.

Day 2: Analysis of Childbirth Scenes (60 minutes)

  1. Recap and Discussion (10 minutes):

    • Start the lesson by briefly recapping the assigned reading from the previous day.
    • Facilitate a discussion about any childbirth scenes encountered in the text and their initial impressions.
  2. Close Reading and Annotation (25 minutes):

    • Select key passages depicting childbirth scenes from the assigned reading.
    • Have students read these passages individually, annotating the text for literary devices, character emotions, and thematic significance.
  3. Group Analysis (20 minutes):

    • Divide the class into small groups and assign each group a childbirth scene to analyze in depth.
    • Provide guiding questions to facilitate discussion, focusing on the portrayal of emotions, character development, and the author's message regarding childbirth and healthcare.
  4. Whole Class Discussion (5 minutes):

    • Reconvene as a class and allow each group to share their analysis of the childbirth scene they examined.
    • Encourage students to compare and contrast the different scenes and interpretations.

Day 3: Creative Response and Reflection (60 minutes)(optional)

  1. Creative Activity (30 minutes):

    • Invite students to choose one of the childbirth scenes from 'The Citadel' and reimagine it through a different medium, such as a short story, poem, or visual artwork.
    • Provide art supplies and writing materials as needed, allowing students to express their interpretation creatively.
  2. Presentation and Gallery Walk (20 minutes):

    • After completing their creative responses, allow students to share their work with the class.
    • Arrange a gallery walk where students can view each other's creations and provide feedback.
  3. Reflection and Discussion (10 minutes):

    • Facilitate a final class discussion reflecting on the significance of childbirth in 'The Citadel' and its relevance to contemporary healthcare issues.
    • Encourage students to share their
    • Understand how the character's personal life and professional life is depicted in the chapter.
    • The basic point of never giving up on the patient's life how has the writer exhibited it?


  • Evaluate student participation in class discussions, close reading activities, and group analyses.
  • Assess the depth of understanding demonstrated in creative responses and reflections.
  • Consider conducting a written assignment or essay examining the role of childbirth in character development and thematic exploration in 'The Citadel'.

Extension Activities:

  • Research and compare historical childbirth practices and healthcare systems depicted in 'The Citadel' with modern practices.
  • Explore other works by A.J. Cronin or literature from the same time period that address similar themes of healthcare and social justice.
  • Invite a healthcare professional or historian to speak to the class about the evolution of maternity care and its portrayal in literature.

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