In order to prepare students for more challenging and complex texts, more accessible texts can be used to develop skills before reading.


Before reading Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, students posited themselves as anthropologists, as Hurston completed anthropological fieldwork prior to writing this novel. After introducing the idea of anthropology through a Hurston documentary, students applied this anthropological lens to their own cultures. They discussed folklore and made posters with their selected story. Then, they read the novel, analyzing in particular language, gender, and symbolism, having deepened their understanding of each earlier. 

student-made poster wherein students trace plot arc

Further Reading:

Smekens – Find Lower-Level Texts for Upper-Level Readers

Maley & Duff – Literature (2007)

Created by Sunisa Nuonsy
Reviewed by Louis Olander


Categorised in: , , , , , ,