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That may be the measure of our lives. Toni Morrison, one of our favorite authors to teach, passed away on August 5, She was High school and college syllabi often feature her work.

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Despite that, her work is frequently challenged. Indeed, Morrison is essential reading. Your students—and you—will be better for it.

Teaching The Bluest Eye? Not all students require them with any given book, but all students can benefit from them at one point or another.

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They take time to compose, but once written, such prereading guides help students get through challenging texts on their own. AP Central.

What Toni Morrison Meant to Readers

Rather than have the students cold read it at home and then rely on me to point out everything that is important in the chapter the next day, they grapple with some of the important ideas from the novel before they ever read the chapter. I preview their reading and come up with questions based on important points I think they should notice and think about. Students answer the questions on their own in class; then we go over them and share our responses as a class.

The Bluest Eye

I ask students to keep our questions and discussion in mind as they read the assigned chapter at home that night. Our discussion of the reading the following day is shaped by these discussion questions. Morrison names them in the opening of this chapter.

Why might Morrison list names of cities? Why do women straighten their hair? What do you think the following clause might mean? Why do some people like to clean and organize when they have problems in their lives?

  1. Staff Picks.
  2. The Author’s Life and Work.
  3. Bluest Eye;
  4. The Bluest Eye.
  5. Secondary Navigation.
  6. Teaching With Toni Morrison.
  7. Conclusion.

Follow links for audio, video. Toni Morrison Morrison's site at the Nobel Prize archives.

Thirteen Ed Online - Celebrating Women: Toni Morrison

A variety of informational links; be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom. The Bluest Eye Commentary and discussion questions, with emphasis on the character Cholly. This resource is designed for use with male students.

The Bluest Eye Summary, prereading and postreading discussion questions. The Bluest Eye Study Guide Insights into the play, including issues related to adapting the novel for the stage. This page document includes several illustrations. Adobe Reader required.