Four lesson plans including:
  1. The Journey of Self-Discovery
2. Powerful Symbols of the Novel 3. Artistic Representations of Janie's "Great Tree" 4. Personification in the Language of Zora Neale Hurston

Collection Contents


Students are guided to keep a journal of language in the novel that shows Janie’s thinking, feelings, instincts, and insights, which all go into revealing the journey she makes a person. They are also guided to show illustrations of her geographical world in Florida using a map of the state as well as student drawings that include quotes from the novel describing each place.
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Students will use a list of the prominent symbols in the novel, analyzing what they represent and how the characters are affected, and then select one symbol to focus on, writing a short analysis (or longer essay) on the symbol and/or creating an illustration of it.
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A graphic organizer that gives students a format for responding to symbols in the novel. The worksheet gives space to identify what each symbol represents, where it appears in the novel, which characters are affected by the symbol and how.
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Students will analyze how "the great tree" that appears in Chapter 2 of the novel becomes a symbol for Janie's life. They will create an artistic representation of the tree and each branch showing the things that flowered in Janie's life and the things that did not.
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Lesson 4 Johnson Poem

by Martha Sutro

James Weldon Johnson "Go Down Death"
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Students reinforce their understanding of personification by listening to examples of the literary technique in the novel, reading a poem by James Weldon Johnson, and then creating a living character out of abstractions they generate.
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