This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie take readers to a significant time period during the main character’s, Kambili’s life. Readers will watch her manage a very difficult family dynamic while learning more about herself and her family. There will be times this book will make you mad, make you laugh, or perhaps even cry. Adichie is an excellent story teller and I highly recommend this book for your students.
In order to peak your students’ interest in the novel, ask them these questions before reading Purple Hibiscus. Allow them to share their answers in small discussion groups or as a class.
- Who can you communicate with without using words? In what situations do you all do this?
- Have you experienced major changes in your life? Can you pinpoint a time when everything changed?
- Have you ever struggled to find your voice? How were you able to find it?
- Have you ever gone on trip or had an experience that changed your outlook on life?
Ask your students these questions before and after reading Purple Hibiscus. These questions focus on some of the important ideas or themes in the novel. It may be helpful for students to write their answers to these questions to see if their answers have changed after reading the book.
- Should love ever hurt?
- What would you call a privileged life?
- Is wealth a solution to most problems?
- Is laughter a necessary part of life?
- When should one be silent? When should one speak up?
You can find other resources for Purple Hibiscus here. It includes the following along with chapter by chapter discussion and comprehension questions.
There’s no doubt that your students will form strong opinions about the events in this book. Giving them writing prompts allows them to dig deep into their thoughts about the text and find ways to support their ideas.
Purple Hibiscus addresses many topics that are great for classroom discussions. You can use the writing prompts to allow the students to discuss the book and analyze the text. There are themes, symbols, and motifs throughout the book can have different interpretations amongst students. Have your students pay close attention to a new idea or interpretation they have not thought of. Ask them to identify thoughts they agree and disagree with. Give them opportunities to build on others thoughts. While discussing the book, try to allow the conversation to bounce from student to student instead of student to teacher.
Purple Hibiscus has some very interesting characters. It takes some time to truly understand them in depth. As the story is revealed, we learn their motivations, their inspirations, their internal and external conflicts, and more. Take some time to dig deep into the characters and allow your students to express their understandings of each person.
Symbols and Motifs
There are so many symbols and motifs throughout this book. Give your students time to track them while reading. As they begin to notice them, allow them to analyze the meaning.