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Their Eyes Were Watching God | Complete Teaching Unit

Their Eyes Were Watching God | Complete Teaching Unit

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This 200-page complete unit has everything you need for profoundly engaging lessons on Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God! The discussion questions, reading quizzes, literary device exercises, vocabulary lists, and analytical writing assignments will inspire your students to dig beneath the surface of the text and generate profound interpretive insights!!

Challenge students to interpret textual details using a wide range of interpretive lenses: historicist, psychoanalytic, feminist, etc. Inspire students to arrive at a whole new depth of insight!

Here are some highlights from the 200-page editable unit:

 Discussion Question Handouts: Thirty pages of deeply thought-provoking discussion questions! One 2-page handout featuring 8-10 questions for each of the novel's 9 sections. The discussion questions are the beating heart of these lesson plans. Every discussion question is grounded in concrete textual details and challenges students to arrive at lucid interpretive insights! The questions could be used to focus students’ thinking prior to beginning a discussion, to foster in-class writing such as stop-and-jots, or to assign written reflections for homework. Guaranteed to elicit student engagement and foster profound discussions! (30 pages)

 Discussion Question Answer Key: A sixty-page answer key featuring in-depth answers to almost every discussion question. The answer key has been informed by articles and books by Hurston scholars such as Henry Louis Gates Jr., Mary Helen Washington, Hazel Carby, Carla Kaplan, and others. Of course, there is rarely a single "correct" answer for any question. Rather, the discussions questions are designed to foster lively exchanges and interpretive debates among students. They challenge students to build interpretive arguments that require the support of carefully selected textual evidence. Your students are likely to come up with better answers than mine! (60 pages)

 Vocabulary Lists: Lists of 10 vocabulary words for every nightly reading assignment, complete with definitions and sample sentences with the words as used in Their Eyes Were Watching God. A total of 90 SAT-worthy words. (9 pages)

 Reading & Vocabulary Quizzes: Daily quizzes with 10 questions on the nightly reading homework plus another 10 questions on the vocabulary words. If you choose not to have your students study vocabulary, you can still use the portion of the quiz devoted to reading comprehension. Grading these quizzes is simple and quick. They’re an easy way to log 9 grades into your gradebook. Answer keys included. (36 pages)

 Literary Devices Quizzes (x3): These three quizzes challenges students to identify the literary devices used in sixty quotations from Their Eyes Were Watching God. For example, the quiz on figurative language features thirty quotations that contain the following figures of speech: metaphor, simile, personification, symbolism, apostrophe paradox, and more. The quiz on sound devices features fifteen quotations that contain alliteration, assonance, consonance, and onomatopoeia. This bundle also features a glossary with definitions of the literary devices as well as examples of how each device is used in Hurston's novel — so you can review the devices with students before they tackle the quiz. Answer key included. (8 pages)

 Quotation Race: Students work in pairs to identify the speakers of 25 key quotations from Their Eyes Were Watching God. Introduce this fun activity when you need to mix things up, or to refresh students' memories in preparation for the AP exam. Answer key included. (4 pages)

 Poetry Pairing: Deepen your engagement with the themes in Their Eyes Were Watching God by reading and discussing several poems written by friends of Hurston who were involved in the Harlem Renaissance: Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, and Countee Cullen. This poetry mini-unit Includes two homework packets with a total of 10 poems, discussion questions, answer keys, and poetic device quizzes. (30 pages)

 Q3 Practice Essay: Designed for AP Lit teachers, this in-class practice essay will allow students to rehearse the "Q3" essay from the AP Literature and Composition Exam. The assignment asks students to write a 40-minute in-class essay in response to one of three recent Q3 prompts that featured Their Eyes Were Watching God as one of the recommended works of literary merit. (5 pages)

 Analytical Writing Assignment: Challenge students to take their interpretations one step further by writing an analytical paper on Hurston's wonderfully complex novel. Let students choose from one of five thought-provoking sample topics — or invite them to develop a similar topic of their own. Rubric included. (4 pages)


This entire 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 every page to suit your teaching style and/or the needs of particular students — year after year! If you don't have Microsoft Word, you'll still be able to access the entire unit in PDF format, which is easy to navigate and quick to print!

In case you'd prefer to purchase this product via the TPT website, here is a link that will take you to the product page on TPT.

I'm eager to do everything I can to help ensure that you have an amazing experience with teaching Their Eyes Were Watching God. If you have any questions along the way, please don't hesitate to get in touch via the email address below. I'm always excited to hear from fellow teachers who share a passion for great literature!

Happy teaching,

Adam Jernigan

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