April 29, 2015

Page Turners: Teaching Literature & Fiction Skills

Greetings and welcome to Page Turners, a weekly Wednesday linky, where I will feature great blog posts I have read (and sometimes that I have written). Hopefully you will find ideas that inspire you in your classroom and your teaching and maybe even a new blog to follow. Read down to the end of the post for directions if you are interested in linking up a post of your own.

And now on to this week's topic: teaching literature & fiction skills. If you are anything like me, you are always reinventing your lessons. Why use what you used last year when you know you can come up with something even better? You are always looking for new ways to teach old skills, new ways to teach new skills, or new ways to apply a skill to a piece of literature. These posts should definitely give you some new ideas about fiction skills and literature.

Lauralee of The Language Arts Classroom shares The Hungry Games, a parody of The Hunger Games, which could be used to teach parody or just for fun if you are reading The Hunger Games. It would also be a great "mentor text" for students to create their own parody of any text read in class.

Kristen of Secondary Solutions shares a lesson on symbolism and The Great Gatsby (but really could be used with any novel heavy on color symbolism). Assign a group of students a chapter and have them list any colors and connections to that color in the chapter. Then have groups record their findings on chart paper by color so that each group is adding to each color's chart. Once all groups have shared, see if students can determine the symbolic meaning of that color in the novel.

Perspective and point of view are two words we use interchangeably outside of the ELA classroom, so it is no wonder students confuse them or have difficulty distinguishing the two when we discuss them in connection with literature. Mandy of Caffeine and Lesson Plans posts about a lesson she did to help students differentiate the two ideas.

Check out Sara of Secondary Sara's seven ideas for teaching allusion, an integral part of Common Core literature standard #9 and a toughie to incorporate. My favorite idea is #7 where you ask students if an author "plagiarized" another author's ideas.

Somewhat similar to Mandy's lesson on perspective and point of view is my lesson on Point of View Retellings. I love to use children's books, specifically fractured fairy tales, to teach my high school students about unreliable narrator. Exploring how a story could be told from another character's perspective is also a great way to work on characterization. 

Be sure to check out the posts linked up below and come back next week for some great posts about classroom management.

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