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For many high school readers, realistic fiction is a genre that maximizes relatability and engagement with literature. “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker is a story about self-image, generational clashes, cultural conflicts, and more. With this challenging worksheet composed of high-order questions, English teachers will help students extend beyond basic reading comprehension, support the development of close reading analysis skills, and save valuable time at home without sacrificing quality and rigor in the classroom. A detailed answer key is included. Materials are delivered in printable Word Document and PDF formats. By completing this close reading activity, students will:

  • Identify what the text states explicitly and implicitly
  • Analyze the narrator’s sense of self-image
  • Explore the author’s use of language to convey a sense of realism
  • Apply knowledge of various literary devices including but not limited to dialect, syncope, and malapropism
  • Contrast how two characters perceive the concept of heritage
  • Analyze why the narrator takes offense to another character’s actions and evaluate whether her reaction is justified
  • Examine how point of view shapes the readers’ understanding of Dee’s character
  • Apply objectivity in order to infer a character’s true motivations
  • Articulate the greater significance of a given detail (Maggie’s smile)
  • Support claims and ideas with reasoned thinking and relevant textual evidence
  • Write ideas with clarity, accuracy, and precision