National Endowment for the Arts - The Big Read
Their Eyes Were Watching God

Their Eyes Were Watching God

by Zora Neale Hurston

The wind came back with triple fury, and put out the light for the last timeā€¦ They seemed to be staring at the dark, but their eyes were watching God.

Zora Neale Hurston, 1934 (Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library)

Schedule/Lesson Plans

This is a suggested teaching schedule for a 10 day class study of Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God. Lesson plans and handouts can be downloaded individually by clicking on the name of the file in the schedule below. Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view these files.

Audio Guide CDs are available only for the communities participating in The Big Read. If your community is participating, contact the lead community organization to receive a free Audio Guide CD. Non-participating communities can listen to the full audio online.

Day One
Focus: Biography
Day One Lesson Plan [PDF]

Day Two
Focus: Culture and History
Day Two Lesson Plan [PDF]

Day Three
Focus: Narrative and Point of View
Day Three Lesson Plan [PDF]

Day Four
Focus: Characters
Day Four Lesson Plan [PDF]

Day Five
Focus: Figurative Language
Day Five Lesson Plan [PDF]

Day Six
Focus: Symbols
Day Six Lesson Plan [PDF]

Day Seven
Focus: Character Development
Day Seven Lesson Plan [PDF]

Day Eight
Focus: The Plot Unfolds
Day Eight Lesson Plan [PDF]

Day Nine
Focus: Themes of the Novel
Day Nine Lesson Plan [PDF]

Day Ten
Focus: A Great Novel
Day Ten Lesson Plan [PDF]


Handout 1: Zora Neale Hurston: A Brief Biography [PDF]
Handout 2: The Harlem Renaissance [PDF]
Handout 3: Jim Crow [PDF]

Download all ten lesson plans and handouts [.zip]

Page numbers refer to the Harper Collins 1990 edition of Their Eyes Were Watching God.

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