The Joy Luck Club: Lesson Five

Contributor: Melissa Kowalski. Lesson ID: 12730

We have opinions about everything and we love to share them, don't we? We want people to either enjoy what we like or stay away from something we don't. Write a convincing review of The Joy Luck Club!


Literary Studies

learning style
personality style
Grade Level
High School (9-12)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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Exploring one's heritage, or roots, has become big business.

  • What would it be like to return to a foreign culture and meet people you didn't know existed?
  • What connections do you think Jing-Mei both fears and hopes to find on her trip to China?

In the first lesson on this book, found under Related Lessons in the right-hand sidebar, the three remaining Joy Luck Club women gave Jing-Mei money for a ticket to China to visit her long-lost half-sisters.

Jing-Mei will now have an opportunity to bring her Americanized way of life into direct contrast with her mother and father's Chinese lives.

  • How do you think life in China will be both similar and different for Jing-Mei?

Write down your predictions in your notebook or journal that you have been keeping for this series.

When The Joy Luck Club was published in 1989, it was well-received by critics. To learn more about how critics viewed the novel, read the following book reviews.

After you have read all three reviews, answer the following questions in your journal or notebook:

  • What characteristics of the book do critics praise?
  • How do the critics interpret the structure of the book (novel, collection of short stories, etc.)?
  • What themes do the critics identify in the book?
  • Is there anything that one critic highlights and the other two do not that you find interesting or surprising?

Read each of these reviews:

After you've finished reading the reviews and answering the questions, read the final four stories or chapters in the book: "Magpies: An-mei Hsu," "Waiting Between the Trees: Ying-Ying St. Clair," "Double Face3: Lindo Jong," and "A Pair of Tickets: Jing-Mei Woo."

Use the copy of the book that you've been using for the series. As you read, take notes on the events that the women reveal in their stories.

  • What events and teachings have shaped their lives?

When you've finished reading and taking notes, move on to the Got It? section to reflect on the final section of the book.

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