This section is dedicated to authors, poets, playwrights, and other literary icons. Lesson plans, resources, videos of readings and performances, and other materials are included.
Folklore in Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God: In tribute to Hurston's fusion of social science and authorial craft, this lesson plan focuses on the way Hurston incorporates, adapts, transforms, and comments on black folklife in Their Eyes Were Watching God.
Maya Angelou: Phenomenal Woman: Our Teacher's Guide provides some of Dr. Angelou's works, along with commentary and other classroom ready materials to study this great American poet, orator, actress, activist, professor, writer, and singer.
The Letters and Poems of Emily Dickinson: In this curriculum unit, students will explore Dickinson's poetry as well as her letters to Higginson and her sister-in-law Susan Huntington Gilbert Dickinson.
Sor Juana the Nun and Writer: Las Redondillas and The Reply: This lesson (also available in Spanish) looks at the life and literary contributions of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, the first great Latin American poet, who is considered to be one of the most important literary figures of the American Hemisphere, and one of the first feminist writers.
Introducing Jane Eyre: An Unlikely Victorian Heroine: Contemplating Brontë's position and desire for literary achievement in that context, students will compare Jane Eyre to other literary heroines and discuss her social class in relation to other characters.
Toni Morrison's Beloved: For Sixty Million and More: The close reading and reflective activities included in this lesson are intended to guide thoughtful inquiry into the novel and its major themes, while also providing teachers and students with creative outlets for making connections with one of the great novels of the twentieth century.
"Remember" by Joy Harjo: In her poem “Remember,” Poet Laureate Joy Harjo, a member of the Muscogee Creek Nation, reminds us to pay attention to who we are and how we’re connected to the world around us.
"A Raisin in the Sun": Whose American Dream?: This interdisciplinary lesson includes a critical reading and analysis of Lorraine Hansberry's play, along with close examination of biographical and historical documents produced at different times during the long civil rights movement.
Women and the Revolution: In the Time of the Butterflies: In this lesson, students undertake a careful analysis of the main characters to see how each individually demonstrates courage in the course of her family’s turbulent life events.
Esperanza Rising: Learning Not to Be Afraid to Start Over: In this lesson (also available in Spanish), students will look behind the story at the historical, social, and cultural circumstances that shape the narrative throughout Esperanza Rising.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wall-paper” & the “New Woman”: With this lesson plan, the first part of a two-part lesson, students will examine primary source documents to gain an understanding of the roles of American middle-class women in the mid- to late-1800s.
Kate Chopin's The Awakening: In this curriculum unit, students will explore how Chopin stages the possible roles for women in Edna's time and culture through the examples of other characters in the novella.