Through close readings of Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God, students will analyze how Hurston creates a unique literary voice by combining folklore, folk language, and traditional literary techniques. Students will examine the role that folk groups play in both their own lives and in the novel.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman's story "The Yellow Wall-paper" was written during a time of change. This lesson plan, the first part of a two-part lesson, helps to set the historical, social, cultural, and economic context of Gilman's story.
In F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, "class struggle" is portrayed as an intensely personal affair, as much a tension within the mind of a single character as a conflict between characters. This lesson activities asks students to consider Gatsby's experiences as not only those of an individual, but as those of a society and culture. Students will closely study the text and exam some of Fitzgerald's letters and other statements.
Known as both a Southern and a Catholic writer, Flannery O'Connor wrote stories that explore the complexities of these two identities . In this lesson, students will challenge these dichotomies while closely reading and analyzing "A Good Man is Hard to Find."
As some of the foundational texts for beginning readers, fairy tales are a staple of many classrooms. This lesson allows students to engage with fairy tales from different regions around the world and compare important cultural elements of these stories.
In this lesson, students explore the historical context of Walt Whitman's concept of "democratic poetry" by reading his poetry and prose and by examining daguerreotypes taken circa 1850. Next, students will compare the poetic concepts and techniques behind Whitman's "I Hear America Singing" and Langston Hughes' "Let America Be America Again," and have an opportunity to apply similar concepts and techniques in creating a poem from their own experience.
Clues to Walt Whitman's effort to create a new and distinctly American form of verse may be found in his Notebooks, now available online from the American Memory Collection. In an entry to be examined in this lesson, Whitman indicated that he wanted his poetry to explore important ideas of a universal scope (as in the European tradition), but in authentic American situations and settings using specific details with direct appeal to the senses.
Through Kate Chopin's classic novel "The Awakening," students will discover the cross sectional relationship between realism and regionalism. As students explore both the literary movements and the aspects of "common" life that Chopin liked to highlight, they will critically analyze specific passages from the text and the novel as a whole.
This lesson allow students to explore the forces that prompted the literary modernism movement, specifically focusing on modernist poetry. By allowing students to explore the movement independently, they will also be able to develop research and inquiry skills.