Approaches to Teaching High School Literature

Error message

Notice: Undefined index: db43380 in include_once() (line 1 of /home/studygui/public_html/sites/default/settings.php).

Approaches to Teaching High School Literature

Approach

Examples

Advantages

Ways to Maximize Advantages

Disadvantages

Ways to Minimize Disadvantages

Chronology

In American Literature---

Puritan Literary Period: 1620-1720

Harlem Renaissance: 1919-1930s

Realism Period: 1855-1899

Broad background, especially for students who may not be college-bound. Traditional.

Assumes every age in history/culture has its own characteristic special features which are reflected in its literature and arts.

Tie in with history of period. Work with US history teacher to combine lit of period with historical events for same timeframe

Great works of art do indeed seem clearer and more interesting in proportion to the reader’s possession of certain broad kinds of information about the age in which they were produced

Lots of boring authors that are not relevant to today’s students

Authors of color did not come into their own for much of this time frame. May be harder to get students interested, especially. depending on ethnic makeup, demographics of class

Hit the high spots and have the kids write a research paper tying the socioeconomic events of the time to the works appearing in a particular narrow time-window.

Example: literature of/about the 1930s Depression paired with (Steinbeck, Grapes, and others

Provide opportunities for students to study genres or themes within the chronological approach.

Author

In-depth study of Twain, Fitzgerald, or

Steinbeck (for 11th-grade), Shakespeare, Dickens, Conrad (for Brit lit), for example

Chance to compare/contrast author’s various works...to analyze and understand author’s style and strategies.

For the students, this approach would build experts.

Provides students with enough information to actually analyze and write about a writer’s work.

If teacher is willing to incorporate literature circles or author research projects, students can individually or, in small groups, participate in a broad and deep study of an author of their own choosing.

Use of this approach could easily be integrated into a course focused on any of the other approaches to teaching literature.

.

Is high school the place for students to specialize? Philosophically, don’t they need exposure to a variety of authors?

May be difficult to teach unless students schedule themselves into this class. Heavy knowledge of this author needed by teacher in order to sustain interest and give true in-depth coverage.

Provide opportunities for students to study authors as a mini-unit while using a general literature approach that is genre- or thematic-based.

An in-depth author study would also easily fit within the chronological approach.

Theme

American literature: "literature of protest," "American Dream," "Self-Reliance," "Justice," "Success," and many more

Provides a way to integrate character/values education into public school, now mandated in numerous states.

Thematic units often contain 8-12 literary pieces, allowing teachers a great deal of flexibility.

Most 6-12 textbook anthologies now offer teachers a thematic plan to present the literature each year.

Ask students to write their own beliefs on the theme

Students make judgments about the characters’ actions in texts they read

Students will hopefully decide on a set of positive character values that will help provide an ethical code they can live by.

 

College-bound students may miss the chronological literary period timeline exposure that helps prepare them for college literature study.

For example, this approach can cause a student to minimalize Kate Chopin’s feminist stand in her 1890s short stories since the student might not realize the societal pressures Chopin faced to write her stories.

 

Provide simple literary timelines for student reference. Have students keep the timelines in their class notebooks for easy reference.

Teachers need to expose students to a variety of genres within the thematic approach.

Genre

fantasy, legend, magical realism picaresque, young adult, memoir, captivity narratives, short stories, allegories, and many more

All of art consists of genres (symphonies, still lifes, musicals)

Works with middle school and high school classes

Allows students to classify and compare/contrast different types of literature.

Students can study genres across cultures for similarities and dissimilarities

College-bound students may miss the chronological literary period timeline exposure that helps prepare them for college literature study.

Provide simple literary timelines for student reference. Have students keep the timelines in their class notebooks for easy reference

 

Need more help? Read questions and answers from fellow students below. If you're question hasn't already been asked, ask it now.

Report This
+1
-1
-1
0
answers
Report This
+1
-2
-1
0
answers
Report This
+1
-3
-1
2
answers
Report This
+1
-1
-1
0
answers
Report This
+1
0
-1
1
answers