Toni Morrison
Lesson plans and teaching ideas

|Biography & Background| |Beloved| |The Bluest Eye| |A Mercy| |Paradise| |Song of Solomon| |Sula, Paradise, and other works|

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  • Beloved Teaching Unit
    Summary, analysis, criticism, guide to writing critical essays, historical context, quizzes, ideas for group discussions, more.
  • The Bluest Eye Teaching Unit
    Summary, analysis, criticism, guide to writing critical essays, historical context, quizzes, ideas for group discussions, more.

Biography & Background

10 Questions for Toni Morrison
Text of a 2008 interview. Follow links for audio, video.

Toni Morrison
Morrison's site at the Nobel Prize archives. A variety of informational links; be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom.

Toni Morrison Nobel Lecture 1993
This page includes the text of Morrison's speech.

World Book Club
Scroll down to a 2009 BBC interview with Morrison, who discusses Beloved.

Beloved

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The Bluest Eye

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A Mercy

Vocabulary from A Mercy
20 words presented with defintions. Click on each word to find synonyms, audio pronunciation, examples of current usage, and word families.

Figurative Language in Toni Morrison's A Mercy
This lesson introduces a study of the figurative language in A Mercy by first reviewing different modes of figurative language and then by having students interpret examples of figurative language as they read. This lesson focuses on A Mercy, but its basic structure could be easily altered to examine figurative language in another work of literature.

Paradise

Toni Morrison on Paradise
In this 1998 video interview, Toni Morrison discusses the novel and her writing process.

Song of Solomon

Song of Solomon
A variety of reading strategies to support study of the novel, including an anticipation guide and a guided imagery activity.

Vocabulary from Song of Solomon
Words are presented in context and with definitions. Click on a word for pronunciation, examples of recent use, more.

Other works by Morrison

The Big Box (with Slade Morrison)
Summary and 3 sets of discussion questions based on different aspects of the story.

Reading Guide for The Bluest Eye and Paradise
This page contains material related to several of Morrison's novels, including Paradise, Sula, Tar Baby, Jazz and others. Scroll down to find 11 discussion questions related to Paradise.

"Recitatif"
This lesson helps students learn about point of view, character development (direct and indirect), theme, and setting. After reading the story on their own, students will use critical thinking skills to explore the themes of race, power, and social class. Students will also consider the meaning of friendship, the nature of memory, and their own process of making assumptions about others. This 11-page document requires Adobe Reader for access.

Remember: The Journey to School Integration
Activities to support the study of this book.

Sula vocabulary
Words are presented in context and with definitions. Follow links at the top to words from different sections of the novel. Click on a word for pronunciation, examples of other use, synonyms, more.