Teacher Guide

The Water Dancer Lesson Plan

Introduction to The Water Dancer

The Water Dancer was published 2019 and written by Ta-Nehisi Coates, who is a famous essayist and advocate for reparations for African Americans. The novel tells the story of Hiram, a young man who is enslaved in Virginia by the man who fathered him. Hiram desperately wants to be free of β€œthe Task,” which is what slavery is called in the world Coates creates. He decides to leave everything he knows and run away with Sophia, the woman he loves. He is caught, punished, and then rescued by members of the Underground, a group of white and Black people who help transport people from the South to the North. Hiram joins their group and works at the Virginia and Philadelphia stations until he...

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