Language Arts Lesson 51 Searching For Stories by Zora Neale Hurston

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What is a personal essay?
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•Nonfiction…possibly with revisions! •Subset of autobiography -about an event in life -reflective
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Reflecting on life
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What the author says….and how s/he says it •tone: author’s attitude toward the subject mood: the general feeling or predominant emotion in the piece created through word choice, descriptions, and events *In a personal essay, the author reflects on a certain event in life. Pay attention to what emotions s/he associates with this event in his/her life, and how s/he reacts to it now, years distanced.
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Getting to Know the Subject: Zora Neale Hurston
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Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960) •Eatonville, FL; first incorporated African-American town in the U.S. •father mayor, mother schoolteacher •mother died when she was 13 •part of Harlem Renaissance •collected folktales from her home area •lost popularity later in life •died in poverty in Florida
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Anthropology:
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Study of humans through time and in different aspects of culture. Focus on detailed analysis of cultural content and cross-cultural comparisons.
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As you read: Zora Neale Hurston as Anthropologist
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•How is Hurston an anthropologist? •How is an anthropologist helped by studying their own culture? In what ways might they be limited or biased?
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Casey Jones
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a famous train engineer and folk hero
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John Henry
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a hero of African American folk tales, known for his incredible strength
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chemise
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a type of women’s slip or dress
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negroism
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here, African American society and culture
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Reading \”Searching for Stories\”
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•\”Searching for Stories\” part of a longer work -snapshot of a moment in Hurston’s life -invited to collect African-American folklore -chose to go to Florida (home) •Can you read this like fiction? •Who are the characters? What is their motivation? Conflict? Plot?
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Reading \”Searching for Stories\” How is it distinct from fiction?
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•Is there a climax? A resolution? Why might that be?
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Getting to the Heart What the author says….and how s/he says it
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•tone: author’s attitude toward the subject •mood: the general feeling or predominant emotion in the piece created through word choice, descriptions, and events
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Getting to the Heart
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In a personal essay, the author reflects on a certain event on life. What emotions does Zora Neale Hurston associate with this event in his/her life? How did she look back on this opportunity?
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Drawing Conclusions
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How does Hurston, as an anthropologist, have an advantage in studying her own culture? In what ways might she be limited or biased?
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Reading \”Searching for Stories\” How do the remarks in the last paragraph show Hurston’s sense of humor?
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*****Make sure you interpret!!!*** example: Hurston talks about speeding down the stretch as if she can’t wait to get to Eatonville and then lists details that make it sound like a quiet and sleepy town.
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\”Searching for Stories\” If you could ask Hurston three questions what would you ask and why?
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Why did you decide to write a book about your life? Because I really want to know why she did. Why did you decide to go home? I really want to know why she went if she hadn’t seen them in awhile. Lastly, I would ask her who is her favorite hero because then if I met her again I could dress as as her favorite superhero.
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\”Searching for Stories\” What does the title \”Searching for Stories\” mean?
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\”Searching for Stories\” describes Hurston’s return to Eatonville to collect the stories she heard as a child.
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\”Searching for Stories\” What does Hurston mean by \”I kept on probing to know\”?
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Hurston means she was not satisfied with what she knew; she wanted to learn about things that were beyond what she could see.
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\”Searching for Stories\” Why does Hurston go to her hometown of Eatonville?
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****Be sure to interpret!!!!***** example: She knows she will find material there.
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\”Searching for Stories\” What does Hurston mean when she says she couldn’t see herself until she got away from home?
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****Make sure you infer***** example: She means that only until she was able to get a distance between herself and her upbringing was she able to see the importance and uniqueness of her early surroundings and culture.
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\”Searching for Stories\” According to Hurston, why is Florida a good place to study anthropology?
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***Be sure to paraphrase**** example: Florida draws a wide mix of African Americans and white Americans. It is also a place that she is familiar with.
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\”Searching for Stories\” What university did Zora Neale Hurston attend? a. Yale b. Texas Tech University c. Columbia University d. University of Florida
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c. Columbia University
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\”Searching for Stories\” In her essay, \”Searching for Stories,\” where did Zora Neale Hurston go to first in search of her stories? a. Tallahassee b. Dayton c. Orlando d. Eatonville
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d. Eatonville
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\”Searching for Stories\” In the essay, \”Searching for Stories,\” what was the name of Hurston’s professor? a. Joe Clark b. Dr. Boas c. John Henry
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b. Dr Boas
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\”Searching for Stories\” What is the study of anthropology? a. the science of bugs b. science of the human mind c. science of human beings d. the science of literature
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c. the science of human beings
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\”Searching for Stories\” The negroism can be defined as African American society and culture. True or False
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True
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In her essay, \”Searching for Stories,\” what did Hurston mean when she said she couldn’t see herself until she got away from home? a. Once she had distance from her native surroundings she was able to see the importance of her culture. b. She did not have enough education to see any differently. c. She had to leave her home and travel west to understand who she really was.
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a. Once she had distance from her native surroundings she was able to see the importance of her culture.
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\”Searching for Stories\” In the beginning of the essay \”Searching for Stories,\” Hurston was unhappy about being sent to collect Negro folklore. True or False
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False
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Too Close to Nature? Which sentence should be added to explain the experience’s importance? a. After seeing Stephen’s sketch, I decided that I want to try to draw. b. This trip helped me to be more open to new experiences. c. I learned a lot on this trip, but I would still rather stay in a hotel. d. Next time I won’t be so worried about a spider in my sleeping bag.
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b. This trip helped me to be more open to new experiences.
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Older Run by Gary Paulsen What is Paulsen’s biggest concern when taking his dogs out? a. The freezing temperatures b. Getting lost c. Controlling the dogs d. Having enough supplies
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c. Controlling the dogs
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Searching For Stories Which of the following is not a reason that Hurston gives for going to Florida in her essay \”Searching for Stories\”? a. It was sensible to choose familiar ground. b. She knew she could get a good mix of the Negro South. c. It draws people from all over the world. d. That is where she went to college.
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d. That is where she went to college.
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Based on your reading of \”Searching for Stories,\” why did Hurston drag out leaving the store? a. She wanted to hear more stories. b. She enjoyed sitting with everyone. c. She wanted to stay outside. d. non of these
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a. She wanted to hear more stories.
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Summer of Fire by Patricia Lauber What type of essay is this? a. Informative b. Persuasive c. Personal d. Moral
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a. Informative
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Older Run by Gary Paulsen How does Paulsen attempt to control the dogs? a. He adds more weight to the sled. b. He uses more mature dogs. c. he uses easily trainable pups. d. He plans his route carefully.
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a. He adds more weight to the sled.

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