The Best Strategies for Teaching Literature
It can be tough to understand Shakespeare to children who are only used to communicating through short texts that quickly disappear. Start by thinking about what you want to say. Teachers often ask students to find the theme of a story, but this can be difficult for young readers. Instead, start with what the story is about.
In “Romeo and Juliet,” what is the story about? It’s about young love, sure, but it’s also about much more. It’s about the feud between two families, and how that affects the young lovers. It’s about the choices we make and the consequences that follow. It’s about fate and destiny. And it’s about death.
This is one of the best ways to engage students with any topic. Moreover, media has numerous ways of use and can help you with literally any topic. For example, for more complicated topics, you can use audio/video lessons that will make your life much easier. Or you can make a list of various terms and notions that the students will need during the lesson. For instance, you can use the irony definition from storyboardthat.com to not waste time explaining it. A clear description with a couple of examples will make it clear for students and you can continue with the main topic of the lesson.
There are countless ways to approach the teaching of literature, but one of the most important things to remember is that students need to be able to see the relevance of what they’re reading. It’s not enough to simply assign a book and move on; you need to find ways to connect the material to your students’ lives.
One way to do this is to focus on the themes of the story. Asking students to think about how the characters in the story are dealing with issues like love, loss, family, friends, and betrayal can help them to see the connections to their own lives.
Another approach is to focus on the author’s style. This can be a great way to get students thinking about how writers use language to create meaning. For example, you could ask students to look at the ways in which Shakespeare uses words to create a specific mood or atmosphere.
No matter what approach you take, remember that literature is meant to be enjoyed. Asking students to see it simply as a tool for learning can create a lifelong love of reading.
Surely, there are numerous different strategies to engage children in your lesson. There is no need to use all of them but, at the same time, it is quite a good idea to try several and see how they work in your class. Moreover, you can combine them depending on the topic and the age of the students. Let’s have a look at some of them.
- Use combinations of media – If you want to teach a novel, why not watch the film version as well? This will give children a break from reading, but they will still be able to engage with the story. You could also use other forms of media, such as comics or audiobooks.
- Create opportunities for discussion – Often, the best way to get children thinking about a story is to encourage them to talk about it. This can be done through class discussion, but you could also create small groups or pairs and ask them to discuss specific topics.
- Make connections to the real world – It can be helpful to find ways to connect the material to the real world. This can be done by discussing current events or by looking at the historical context.
- Assign projects – Projects can be a great way to get children thinking about what they’ve read.
- Use drama and role-play – Drama can be a great way to get children engaged with a story. It allows them to explore the characters and their motivations in a safe and fun environment.
Finally, remember that there is no one perfect way to teach literature. The best approach is the one that works for you and your students. Experiment with different strategies and find the ones that work best for you.