About This Chapter
Below is a sample breakdown of the African American Writers chapter into a 5-day school week. Based on the pace of your course, you may need to adapt the lesson plan to fit your needs.
|Day||Topics||Key Terms and Concepts Covered|
|Monday||Writers during the slavery era||Discuss the works and style of Frederick Douglass|
|Tuesday||The Harlem Renaissance||Literary styles during the Jazz age, Countee Cullen, and Claude McKay|
|Wednesday||Political themes in novels||Examine Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man and Richard Wright's Black Boy|
|Thursday||Poetry comparisons||Identify the styles and themes in the works of Maya Angelou and Langston Hughes|
|Friday||Contemporary writers||Review the structures and styles of works by Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, and James Baldwin|
1. The Harlem Renaissance: Novels and Poetry from the Jazz Age
The Harlem Renaissance was a movement in the 1920s and 1930s during which there was an explosion of African-American art and literature. This lesson looks at the themes, causes, and important figures of the Harlem Renaissance.
2. Frederick Douglass: Narrative and Style
In this lesson, we will learn about Frederick Douglass, an escaped slave who became one of the most powerful voices in the abolitionist movement in the United States. In addition, we will examine his written work, most notably his first autobiography - ''Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave.''
3. Countee Cullen's Role in the Harlem Renaissance: An Analysis of Heritage
The Harlem Renaissance exposed the world to everyone from W.E.B. DuBois to Ella Fitzgerald. In this lesson, we'll explore one of the movement's most iconic and resonant poems, Countee Cullen's 'Heritage.'
4. Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God: Summary & Analysis
Zora Neale Hurston's novel 'Their Eyes Were Watching God' is a famous Harlem Renaissance novel that examines race and gender issues through the eyes of its main character, Janie Crawford. This lesson gives a synopsis of the novel and examines how it approaches race and gender.
5. Langston Hughes & the Harlem Renaissance: Poems of the Jazz Age
Langston Hughes was a popular poet from the Harlem Renaissance. His Jazz Age poems, including 'Harlem' and 'I, Too, Sing America,' discussed the racism facing African Americans in the 1920s and '30s.
6. Claude McKay: Role in Harlem Renaissance & 'America' Analysis
Claude McKay was an influential Harlem Renaissance poet. His poems 'America' and 'If We Must Die' explored the complicated relationship African Americans had with the world around them.
7. Ralph Ellison: Invisible Man Summary and Analysis
If people only see you as a part of a race, and not as an individual, are you still a person? In this lesson, we'll analyze Ralph Ellison's important and critically acclaimed novel, 'Invisible Man.'
8. Richard Wright's Black Boy: Summary and Analysis
After his fiction masterpiece 'Native Son,' Richard Wright wrote a deeply personal and moving autobiography, covering his childhood in the South and his life as an adult in Chicago. In this lesson, we'll explore 'Black Boy.'
9. Maya Angelou: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and Poetry
'I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings' is the autobiography of American poet Maya Angelou. While the story is often difficult to read, it shows how a strong person can overcome difficult obstacles and achieve great things. Learn more about the inspiring life story of one of the country's greatest writers.
10. Contemporary African American Writers: Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, James Baldwin
In this lesson, we will look at the role of contemporary African American writing. The focus will be on authors Toni Morrison, Alice Walker and James Baldwin.
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