GEAR UP Teachers



YAL - Young Adult Literature Presenter Unit 2004/2005



Units for Books


YAL Conference Books

  The Bluest Eye

by Toni Morrison


YAL Presenter Unit 2004/2005

Subjects: Language Arts
Grade Level: middle
Posted: March 2007 (Pre CCSS)

Unit Created by: Polly Mills and Germania Solórzano

What makes this a YAL choice...

The Bluest Eye is a good YAL book because it is a literary masterpiece written by a woman of color. It explores themes of identity and adolescence against a backdrop of racial prejudice and poverty during the great depression. It presents a vibrant model of the ways individuals within an oppressed culture thrive as resistance to oppression while others are subsumed. Classrooms can explore ways in which art and story, and in particular a storyteller’s integrity to the truth of individual characters, to time and place, and to human potential, can directly address and make accessible even the most difficult themes. Students and teachers can connect the text to an inquiry into the history of the great depression and stories that may not be told by or to the mainstream as alternate paths to the truth of an historical moment. Classrooms exploring the novel as a model for creative writing can look at the ways Morrison uses scene, dialogue, point of view, and seeing in the mind to unpack a complex theme. - Polly Mills