Instructional Purpose:

These questions help students to think and write about themes, questions, and events in the novel. In order to respond to them, students should be able to make inferences, understand concepts, draw connections, and analyze abstract elements of the text.

Suggested Uses:

You may use or adapt these questions in a variety of different ways, including:

  • Journal writing: If students are keeping a reading journal, assign these questions after students have finished reading each chapter. Emphasize the importance of including specific quotations and examples from the reading in written responses to help support ideas, opinions, and reactions.
  • In-class warm-up writing: If you provide time for students to write in class before beginning discussion, small group analysis, or other activity, use these questions to help students springboard their thinking about the previous night’s reading assignment. Allow students to use their novels when writing their responses. Many of these questions are suited to small group or whole class discussion.
  • In-class discussion: Write the question on the board in order to give students a visual connection to the discussion question. Structure the discussion so that students draw on their own personal experience, their knowledge of other literature, and their comprehension of Their Eyes Were Watching God.
  • Small group analysis or discussion: Divide students into groups of 3-5 members. Assign the same question to all groups. Or, assign different questions to different groups (after students have read several chapters of the novel). After groups have had in-class time to work on their questions, have them present their analysis to the whole class.

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