Using Zora’s Example: Writing About Our Lives

Paula S. Williams, Literacy, Social Studies, Winding Springs Elementary School

Final Unit (PDF)

Implementing Common Core Standards

200 Word Synopsis

Zora Neale Hurston’s novels and short stories are an example of writing motivated by true life experiences.  This unit will focus on the study of Ms. Hurston’s life and how her personal experiences influenced the development of one of her most prized novels, Their Eyes Were Watching God.  The goal of the unit will be to use brain based strategies, within an inclusive philosophy to increase the student’s knowledge of Ms. Hurston’s life and how elements of it emerge in her novel.  The student’s will be able to use this information to better understand, in Ms. Hurston’s case, the link between personal experience and creative expression.  As a culminating project, students will develop a literary work based on their own or a family member’s life experiences.