National Endowment of the Arts - The Big Read
Love Medicine

Love Medicine

by Louise Erdrich

To be mixed blood is great for a writer. I have one foot on tribal lands and one foot in ordinary middle-class life.


Louise Erdrich (Photo by Persia Erdrich, courtesy of HarperCollins Publishers)

Welcome to The Big Read, a program from the National Endowment for the Arts designed to revitalize the role of literary reading in American culture. The Big Read hopes to unite communities through great literature, as well as inspire students to become lifelong readers.

This Big Read Teacher’s Guide contains ten lessons to lead you through Louise Erdrich’s novel, Love Medicine. Each lesson has four sections: a focus topic, discussion activities, writing exercises, and homework assignments. In addition, we have provided capstone projects and suggested essay topics, as well as handouts with more background information about the novel, the historical period, and the author. All lessons dovetail with the state language arts standards required in the fiction genre.

The Big Read teaching materials also include an Audio Guide. Packed with interviews, commentaries, and excerpts from the book, The Big Read Audio Guide presents firsthand accounts of why Love Medicine remains so compelling more than twenty-five years after its initial publication. Some of America’s most celebrated writers, scholars, and actors have volunteered their time to make The Big Read Audio Guides exciting additions to the classroom.

Finally, The Big Read Reader’s Guide deepens your exploration with interviews, booklists, timelines, and historical information. We hope this guide and syllabus allow you to have fun with your students while introducing them to the work of a great American author.

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