Each lesson provided with this unit is designed to target specific skills. Adapt the lessons as you see fit to meet your needs in terms of class period length, student learning level, and your interest.

Lesson 1 - Keeping Track of a Journey of Self-Discovery

Description: Students are guided to set up a dialogue journal and a map of the state of Florida that shows where Janie travels in the course of the novel.

When to use this lesson: The dialogue journal and map of Florida are both documents that require student attention over the course of the unit. This lesson outlines the way in which they should be set up, preferably at the beginning of reading the novel. This is a good lesson to use on the first or second day of instruction of the novel.


Lesson 2 - Powerful Symbols in Their Eyes Were Watching God

Description: Students learn the concept of symbolism in literature, focus on the specific symbols in the novel using a worksheet, and select one symbol to focus on and analyze in writing.

When to use this lesson: Most of the symbols in this lesson appear early in the novel. All of them appear by the end of Chapter 6. Teach this lesson early on in reading the novel or wait until students have read Chapter through Chapter 6. They may wait to complete their written essay at the completion of reading the novel.


Lesson 3 - Artistic Representations of Janie's "Great Tree"

Description: Students use the metaphor of the great tree that appears in Chapter 2 and create an artistic representation of how it embodies Janie's life and the aspects of her life that worked out as well as those that didn't.

When to use this lesson: Students may either begin this project when they read Chapter 2 and continue to work on it throughout the time they are reading the novel OR they may wait until they are finished reading the novel and then complete the assignment, going back to Chapter 2 to reflect on the originating metaphor.


Lesson 4 - Personification and Their Eyes Were Watching God

Description: Students learn the concept of personification in literature, focus on specific examples of personification in the novel (and, optionally, an example from a poem), and write their own personification sketches using prompts.

When to use this lesson: This may be taught at any time while reading the novel but the examples of personification from the book extend into Chapter 19. Teach the lesson at any time while reading the novel, though understand that you may be interrupting student concentration on the plot and events if you read them passages from later in the novel before they have read that far.

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