By studying Mark Twain's novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and its critics with a focus on cultural context, students will develop essential analytical tools for navigating this text and for exploring controversies that surround this quintessential American novel.
The following lesson introduces children to folk tales through a literary approach that emphasizes genre categories and definitions. In this unit, students will become familiar with fables and trickster tales from different cultural traditions and will see how stories change when transferred orally between generations and cultures.
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.
Learn how writer Zora Neale Hurston incorporated and transformed black folklife in her novel Their Eyes Were Watching God. By exploring Hurston’s own life history and collection methods, listening to her WPA recordings of folksongs and folktales, and comparing transcribed folk narrative texts with the plot and themes of the novel, students will learn about the crucial role of oral folklore in Hurston’s written work.
This lesson plan is the fifth in the “Incredible Bridges: Poets Creating Community” series. It provides an audio recording of the poet, Minnie Bruce Pratt, reading the poem “The Great Migration.” The companion lesson contains a sequence of activities for use with secondary students before, during, and after reading to help them enter and experience the poem.
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."
This lesson concentrates on Anne Frank as a writer. After a look at Anne Frank the adolescent, and a consideration of how the experiences of growing up shaped her composition of the Diary, students explore some of the writing techniques Anne invented for herself and practice those techniques with material drawn from their own lives.