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Rigorous Resources

Kindred by Octavia Butler | Complete Teaching Unit

Kindred by Octavia Butler | Complete Teaching Unit

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This 60-page EDITABLE unit has everything you'll need for profoundly stimulating lessons on Octavia Butler's novel Kindred! Invite your class to engage in student-driven discussions without compromising on intellectual rigor. The daily quizzes, discussion prompts, and writing assignment will challenge your students to dig beneath the surface of the text and unlock profound interpretive insights!

Hold your students accountable for completing the nightly homework by beginning every class with a quick vocabulary and reading quiz. Challenge students to explicate textual details using a wide range of interpretive lenses: formalist, historicist, feminist, psychoanalytic, etc. Facilitate dynamic discussions that inspire students to arrive at a whole new depth of insight!!


Everything you’ll need to teach the novel is included in this bundle:

 Unit & Pacing Guide: Suggestions for how to pace the reading homework and organize the classwork for Octavia Butler's Kindred. (2 pages)

 Author Introduction: A brief summary of the life of Octavia Butler and the research that she conducted before writing Kindred. (1 page)

 Discussion Questions: Sixteen pages of higher-order discussion questions guaranteed to inspire profoundly thoughtful class discussions! This unit features double-sided handouts with 8-10 questions for each of the novel's 8 sections. The discussion questions are the beating heart of this curriculum. They challenge students to build interpretive arguments that require the support of carefully selected textual evidence — leading to keen interpretive insights! Guaranteed to build skills in close reading and critical reasoning! (16 pages)

 Quick Writes: A "quick write" can be used at any time in a class to get students to pause and reflect on the text in writing. Introduce a quick write before you begin a discussion to allow your more reticent students to collect their thoughts. Or roll one out toward the end of a discussion to let students capture and refine their best ideas. (8 pages)

 Vocabulary Lists: Lists of 10-12 vocabulary words to accompany every nightly reading assignment. Every vocabulary word comes with a definition and a sample sentence with the word as used in Kindred. A total of over 100 words. (8 pages)

 Vocabulary & Reading Quizzes: Build students’ vocabularies while holding them accountable for the nightly reading homework. Each quiz contains 7 questions on vocabulary words plus another 3 questions on reading comprehension. Grading these quizzes is simple and quick. They’re an easy way to log up to 8 grades in your gradebook. Answer key provided. (16 pages)

 Writing Assignment: Challenge students to take their interpretations one step further by writing an analytical paper on Butler’s wonderfully complex novel. Let students choose amongst 5 profoundly thought-provoking sample topics — or invite them to develop an original topic of their own. (2 pages)

 Poetry Pairings: Seven thematically relevant poems by two exceptionally talented black women poets, Lucille Clifton and Natasha Trethewey. (7 pages)


This unit is filled with dozens of visual images that shed light on important scenes from Octavia Butler's novel: documentary photographs of antebellum plantations, excerpts from Butler's handwritten drafts and journals, paintings of biblical figures referenced in the novel, etc. But what really distinguishes this curriculum is how the discussion starters and writing prompts deepen students' thinking and help them arrive at profound interpretive insights!

This resource packet will come to you in two separate formats: Word docs *and* PDFs. Because the Word docs are fully editable, you'll be able to customize the materials to suit your teaching style and/or the skill levels of your students — year after year! If you don't have Microsoft Word, you'll still be able to access the entire unit as PDFs, which are easy to navigate and quick to print!

If you have any questions about this unit, feel free to get in touch via the email address below. I love hearing from teachers who share a passion for great literature. Wishing you an amazing experience with teaching Octavia Butler's Kindred

Happy teaching!

Adam Jernigan, Ph.D.

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