1.) In the previous class period, students should have been given brown, paper grocery bags. Your local grocery store will most likely donate these. The students will decorate the front of the bag in regards to what their peers see them as on the outside. They cannot put pictures or their name on the front of the bag. Inside the bag, the students will bring five to seven items that will serve as metaphors for who they truly are on the inside. An example of this would be a graduation cap to serve as a metaphor for education. These items will be brought to class in the brown bag, and the students will participate in a secret show and tell. The items will be returned to them; they will not be held in the classroom. Teachers might want to set guidelines for what can and cannot be in the students' bags. Car keys, wallets, pictures, and cell phones are usually not good ideas.
2.) Students will receive the Hurston timeline handout on their way into the classroom, and will place their bag in a line at the front of the classroom. Independently, students will take about fifteen minutes to read over the timeline. While reading, students will highlight facts they believe to be interesting or significant.
3.) After the students finish reading the timeline, students will conduct a turn and talk with a student nearest to them. These pairs or small groups should discuss their findings from their reading of the timeline. Which events highlighted were similar? Which events were different? Why did you find these events significant or interesting?
4.) Students will then participate in a whole class discussion about the timeline. This will lead into the teacher presenting the attached PowerPoint on the life of Zora Neale Hurston. This PowerPoint will be serve as an introduction to Hurston. While the teacher lectures, students should be taking notes about Hurston.
5.) After the students have been introduced to Hurston, they receive the "How it Feels to be Colored Me" essay. This essay is Hurston's response to her life. She uses multiple metaphors to describe various aspects of her life. The teacher will read the essay aloud for the first read. Then, the students will read the essay to themselves paying attention to and highlighting metaphors that are used. Students should receive about ten to fifteen minutes for this.
6.) Students will then go to the front of the classroom and grab a bag that is not their own. They will take the contents out of the bag, and place them in front of them on the floor or table.
6.) After students have taken out the contents, the teacher will present the example "Me in Metaphors" poem. This can be the one attached or one the teacher has written to provide as an example. The students will then write their own "Me in Metaphors" poem. The teacher should explain to the students that the first line in each stanza is the metaphor, while the second line is an explanation. The students will write their own poem using the items in the bag they brought. After the students have been given time to accomplish this, one person will share. Then, the class will guess who has their bag. The person that has their bag will then share their bag, and the class will guess again. This will continue on until everyone has shared.
7.) The students will type their poems and will submit them to the class Edmodo site. After submission, the poems will be printed to be attached to the front of the brown, paper bag. The bags and poems will be displayed in the classroom.