How to teach literature

In Israel, all teachers who teach 10th -12th grades are required to teach literature and assess their students. What I love about this program is that it gives a framework for teachers to work with. The following are the components that every teacher must work through:

  1. Pre reading activity to encourage involvement in the topic: use pictures, music, Youtube and brainstorm the theme.
  2. Lower Order Thinking Skills which includes teaching vocabulary and asking basic understanding questions: use puzzles, sentence completions and quizzes.
  3. Higher Order Thinking Skills which includes analysis questions and literary terms.
  4. Bridging Text and Context which exposes the students to the historical, social and cultural context: use pictures, videos and articles.                   
  5. Post-Reading Activity which requires the students to make connect the text with their personal experience through writing a song, drawing a cartoon, or making a powerpoint presentation.
  6. Reflection in which the students reflect on their own learning process of the literary piece and the higher order thinking skills.
  7. Summative Assessment is an exam in which the students demonstrate their understanding of the text.

This is a sample of a whole unit: http://tlc.cet.ac.il/ShowItem.aspx?ItemID=ff33c199-9f79-41d2-b66a-7e1770e92d76&lang=EN I think that this gives teachers an opportunity to be creative while exposing students to the world of literature. Do you have a solid structure to work with when you teach literature?

Average: 3.8 (6 votes)


gildanie94's picture

Thanks Nahla for bringing up another interesting post I think teaching literature is an important part of English. However the LOTS and the HOTs make me feel uncomfortable it's too specific and sort of spoils the "fun" in literature. I should write a post how to I think one should teach literature but we're sort of out of time. Maybe next year ...

Victoria Kamchatka's picture
Victoria Kamchatka

Dear Nahla, I agree with the bottom-up and top-down processing while reading literature but interaction with the text is very crucial too.

nahla_shaw's picture

Dear Gil,   Lots are very important in my opinion because they are the basis for teaching every text. When it comes to HOTS, I tend to like them because they are taught explicitly and after experience with my students, it makes learning the text and analyzing much easier for them. I would love to hear your ideas. Thanks for commenting. 

nahla_shaw's picture

Dear Victoria,Of course you are right and we do that, we read the text together and then continue to answer the questions. So reading the text would come after the pre-reading stage. Thanks for commenting.