Alice Walker Lesson Plan

Instructor: Christopher Sailus

Chris has an M.A. in history and taught university and high school history.

In this lesson plan, students get acquainted with the life and work of Alice Walker before recognizing the themes of her work in poetry. Students then translate the ideas and themes they've discovered using a different medium.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Explain the life and work of Alice Walker
  • Identify themes important within Walker's work


50 minutes


  • copies of 2-5 Walker poems (number depends on length of those chosen; these can be pulled from any of the volumes mentioned in the lesson or pulled from online sources)
  • crayons, markers, colored pencils, or the like
    • Note: 'Each one, Pull one' is an excellent example to choose and presents many themes of Walker's work.

Key Vocabulary

At the conclusion of this lesson, students should be able to identify and define the following vocabulary terms:

  • Alice Walker
  • womanist

Curriculum Standards


Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11-12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.


Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.


  • Have students read the lesson Alice Walker: Biography, Books & Poetry
  • Stop the class when they reach the 'Reading References' heading.
  • Hold a short discussion on the material thus far. Some example discussion questions include:
    • What type of background did Walker have?
    • How would you expect it to affect her poetry and literature?
  • Have students finish reading the lesson.

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