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Teaching Guide

Teaching The Awakening

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Shmoop's here to make sure The Awakening keeps your students awake.

In this guide you will find

  • discussion questions about feminism, love, and marriage.
  • modern pop culture resources, like a comic adaptation and even a musical.
  • activities analyzing various book covers and movie adaptations for the novel.

And much more.

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Inside each guide you'll find quizzes, activity ideas, discussion questions, and more—all written by experts and designed to save you time. Here are the deets on what you get with your teaching guide:

  • 13-18 Common Core-aligned activities to complete in class with your students, including detailed instructions for you and your students. 
  • Discussion and essay questions for all levels of students.
  • Reading quizzes for every chapter, act, or part of the text.
  • Resources to help make the book feel more relevant to your 21st-century students.
  • A note from Shmoop's teachers to you, telling you what to expect from teaching the text and how you can overcome the hurdles.

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Instructions for You

Objective: Students will analyze three different covers of the book and their significance to The Awakening, in order to write a comparative literary response.

Length of Lesson: 1 class period

Materials Needed:

  • Handout with images of three different covers of the book
  • Projector or SMART Board (optional)
  • Sticky notes

Step 1: Introduce the objective and the lesson plan of the day: to analyze three different book covers and their significance to the novel.

Recommended book covers:

Step 2: Pass out the handout with images of three Awakening book covers as well as sticky notes. The images should also be projected or posted onto a board at the front of the room.

Step 3: Ask the students to jot down immediate reactions to the cover images on separate sticky notes.

Step 4: Use the sticky notes to lead a class discussion on how the three cover images differ from each other and what the cover art alone might tell us about the novel. To structure the discussion, draw a large Venn diagram at the front of the class and ask students to volunteer their sticky-note observations. Once a student has given his/her observation or idea, the student can stick the note on the large Venn diagram at the front of class. Encourage the class to create their own Venn diagrams in order to write down their classmates' ideas.

Some suggested focal points for discussion:

  • The figures of two women on one cover as opposed to the figure of one woman on the two others, and the absence of men;
  • The different artistic styles of the covers;
  • The differences in setting (indoors versus outdoors);
  • The different historical and social contexts surrounding the production of the covers;
  • Which cover works better for the novel.

Step 5: Leave the last 25-30 minutes of class for a short in-class essay on a comparative analysis of the three covers. Allow the students to use their Venn diagrams and books to help them craft their literary responses.

Step 6 (Optional): For homework, ask the students to draw their own cover art for the novel and attach a brief, one-page response that explains how the novel inspired their artwork and how the artwork gives significance to the novel.

(California English Language Arts Standards Met: 9th and 10th grade Reading 3.3, 3.4, 3.7, 3.8, 3.11, 3.12; Writing 1.1, 1.2,1.4, 1.6, 2.2; Written and Oral English Language Conventions 1.2, 1.3, 1.4. 11th and 12th grade Reading 3.2, 3.3, 3.5b, 3.5c, 3.8; Writing Strategies 1.3, 1.5, 2.2; Written and Oral English Language Conventions 1.1.)

Instructions for Your Students

We all do it: we judge a book by its cover. What did you assume about The Awakening based on the cover of the book used in class? Were your suspicion correct, or way off the mark? In this activity you'll be looking at three more covers for The Awakening and analyzing them in relationship to the novel.

Step 1: Use your critic's eye, and observe how the following three covers are similar and different:

Step 2: In class, jot each observation down on a separate sticky note. You'll be using these sticky notes as a part of a class discussion, filling out a Venn diagram highlighting the similarities and differences between the three book covers.

Step 3: Now it's time to show what you know. During the last 30 minutes of class, write an essay that compares the three book covers and their significance to the novel. Use your notes from class and your book to help your analysis.

Step 4 (Optional): For homework, explore your inner artist and draw your own cover for the novel. Attach a brief, one-page essay that explains how the novel inspired your artwork and how your cover art signifies or adds meaning to the novel.

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Intro    Summary    Themes    Quotes    Characters    Analysis    Questions    Quizzes    Flashcards    Best of the Web    Write Essay    
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