Teaching Literature

american literature

british literature

multicultural/women's/world literature

lesson plans/course syllabi

drama/speech

shakespeare

young adult literature

literary genres/mythology

nonfiction

poetry

critical lenses

story response/writing

assessment

censorship

professional development

media/technology

 

How to use this site

CHAPTERS

1

Goals for teaching literature: What does it mean to teach literature?

2

Understanding students’ individual differences: Who are our kids?

3

Planning and Organizing Literature Instruction: How Do I Decide What to Teach?

4

Using Drama to Foster Interpretation: How Can I Help Students Read Better?

5

Leading Classroom Discussions of Literature: How Do I Get Them to Talk about Literature?

6

Writing about literature: How do I get them to write about literature?

7

Using narratives in the classroom: What’s the use of story?

8

Teaching text and task-specific strategies: How does the shape of a text change the shape of my teaching?

9

Teaching the Classics: Do I Have To Teach the Canon, And If So, How Do I Do It?

10

Multiple Perspectives to Engage Students with Literature: What are Different Ways of Seeing?

11

Teaching Media Literacy: What else is a text and how do I teach it?

12

Assessing and Evaluating Students’ Learning: How do I know what they’ve learned?

13

Text Selection, Censorship, Creating an Ethical Classroom Environment. and Teacher Professionalism: How do I Stay in Control, Out of Trouble, and Continue to Develop as A Teacher?

home

 

Lesson plans/Course Syllabi

VirtualLit: tutorials on close reading
Bedford/St. Martin’s Press

critical approaches

literary critics/theorists

literary movements
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Literary Theory and English Teaching

Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism

Media Theory

 

Study Guides/Lessons

IRA/NCTE ReadWriteThink lesson plans

New York Times Lesson Plans

Bilbiomania [study guides]

High School Hub [study guides]

Novel Guide [study guides]

Lesson Plans: Literature adaptations on A&E Channel

Linda’s Links [12,000 books organized by title]

Sparknotes [summaries organized by title]

Freebooknotes [study guides (free registration)]

Bookrags [study guides]

Booknotes [study guides]

Collaborative Lesson Archive

Doucette Index [useful teaching suggestions related to books for children and young adult]

Study guides for teaching novels

Study guides for novels, especially world literature

Sparknotes [study guides for novels]

Pinkmonkey [summaries/study guides]

RandomHouse [study guides]

Litplans study guides/lesson plans

Chico High School [guildes/lesson plans]

English Online [teaching units/resources]

Discovery Channel [lesson plans]

Cyberguides [grades 9-12]

Lessons for teaching young adult literature

Web English Teacher [activities for texts organized by author]

Links to literature [activities for texts organized by author]

Web English teacher [lessons organized by author]

Teacher’s Net

Outta Ray’s Head [literature lessons]

Marco-Polo resource site

Mr. Dietrich’s study guides

Paul Brian’s study guides

 

Inquiry/problem-based Unit Design

For examples of high students’ work based on literature inquiry-based projects:
ed.psu.edu

For video-modules on project-based learning produced by the George Lucas Educational Foundation (GLEF):
glef.org

For examples of hypermedia inquiry project work by high school students cited in Beach and Myers (2001):
ed.psu.edu/k-12/socialworlds/
ed.psu.edu/k-12/teenissues/ (focus on issues of love, relationships, family)

Inquiry web site at the University of Illinois

YouthLearn: Inquiry-Based Learning

Institute for Inquiry [hands-on activities]

How to Develop an Inquiry-Based Project

George Lucas Foundation: Project-based Learning

inquiry-based teaching

National Science Foundation monograph about inquiry-based learning

Annenberg Foundation [frequently asked questions about inquiry-based learning]

28 questions to promote the inquiry process

Use of technology such as Inspiration mapping to foster inquiry

Problem-based learning [Maastricht University]

The Learning Tree [Problem-based learning]

Center for Educational Technologies

 

Copyright/ “fair use” Information sites:

The Copyright Website

The University of Texas Intellectual Property Office

PBS: Fair Use Guidelines for Off-Air Recording of Broadcast Programming for Educational Purposes

Information about Extended Taping Rights of PBS programs

Information about teachers’ or students’ multimedia projects employing copyrighted material

 

Developing literature Webquests

Bernie Dodge Webquest taskonomy for designing webquests

Berhane Teclehaimanot and Annette Lamb, “Reading, Technology, and Inquiry-based Learning Through Literature-Rich WebQuests,” Readingonline

Webquest design
webquest.sdsu.edu
ozline.com [WebQuests and More]
ozline.com [WebQuest Design Flow]

Filamentality webquest design site

Webquest collections (mostly English)
sesd.sk.ca
webquest.sdsu.edu
james.rtsq.qc.ca
teach-nology.com

Webquests [literature]
Poetry, Amanda Bekkum and Michelle Schneekloth

Beth O’Hara, To Kill a Mockingbird

The Great Gatsby

The Crucible

Of Mice and Men

The Scarlet Letter

Julius Caesar

Romeo and Juliet

The Bluest Eye

The House on Mango Street

Holes

Call of the Wild

Webquest: The American Dream

Webquest: Victims of Mass Hysteria

Webquest: Does Social Rank Matter?

Webquests: teaching literature

 

Video Resources

Film for the Humanities: On-line catalogue organized by topics:
films.com

Videos/training sites from Annenberg: The Learner Channel

 

Literature units/course syllabi

english.unitecnology.ac.nz
richmond.k12.va.us
teachtheteachers.org
colorado.edu/English/amlit/
colorado.edu/English/mispag/
linkstoliterature.com
vms.cc.wmich.edu/~careywebb/
wvaworldschool.org
www.sdcoe.k12.ca.us/score/cyberguide.html
educ.ucalgary.ca
lionselect.chadwyck.com
andromeda.rutgers.edu
tnellen.com
sdcoe.k12.ca.us/score/cy912.html
teachervision.com
edsitement.neh.gov/subject_categories_all.asp
edsitement.neh.gov/lesson_index.asp
teachers.net
members.aol.com/DonnAnCiv/Literature.html
sdcoe.k12.ca.us/score
school.discovery.com
teach-nology.com/teachers/lesson_plans/literature/high/
teacherslounge.editme.com
members.aol.com/MrDonnLessons/2LessonPlans.html#Literature
monmouth.com
members.aol.com/DonnAnCiv/Literature.html

Syllabus finder

Teaching literature courses

MIT undergraduate Literature courses

Introduction to Literature Online

College literature

Literature courses offered at Virtual High

First World War Poetry

Richard Regan: Shakespeare
faculty.fairfield.edu/rjregan/rr255f04w.htm
faculty.fairfield.edu/rjregan/rr355f03.htm
faculty.fairfield.edu/rjregan/rr12s04.htm
faculty.fairfield.edu/rjregan/rr356s04.htm
faculty.fairfield.edu/rjregan/rr372s04.htm

James Hunter: Shakespeare
James Hunter: Science Fiction
James Hunter: The Quest in Literature

Charlotte Meyer: Literature of the American Minorities

Tim Green: Dimensions of Literature [thematic aspects]

Ann Warren: English Literature

Ann Warren: Contemporary Literature

John Corbally: World Literature

Nete Schmidt: Introduction to the Short Story

Greg Ulmer, Hypermedia

Jeanne Po: Asian-American Literature

John Lye: Modern Fiction

Al Filreis: Contemporary American Poetry

Ann Woodlief: American Nature Writing

Patricia Ferguson: Literature/Humanities, Columbia University
columbia.edu/itc/lithum/ferguson/c1002/
columbia.edu/itc/lithum/ferguson/c1002/

Paul Brians: Science Fiction

Kathleen Dinneen and Maryanne O’Connor: Elements of the Short Story

Maria Pennacchio: Short Stories Reflections of Two Worlds

Jane K. Marshall: The Short Story: A Slice of Life

Introduction to Poetry
facstaff.bucknell.edu
onlinepoetryclassroom.org

British literature

American literature, 1820-1890

19th Century British Poetry

 

Thematic literature instruction/units

Planning a Themed Literature Unit

Cyberguides: Teaching American literature

Thematic units
lessonplanz.com
edhelper.com
edsitement.neh.gov
query.nytimes.com
eduref.org
teach-nology.com

PBS Teacher Resource: Teaching literature

Designing thematic literature units: Kathleen Noe: Teacher Education 521 [Seattle University]

America Dreams [theme of the American dream]

ASLE; Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment

Inner Space/Outer Space, Cyberspace: A Unit

American Dream Songs

King Lear

The Literature of War

Humor as a Device for Criticism

The Sonnet

Women in Poetry

The Crucible in the McCarthy period

Catch-22

To Kill a Mockingbird [historical perspectives]

Unit: Male/female relationships

Webquest: True Love

Webquest: Good and Evil in Lord of the Flies

Webquest: Tragic Heroes in Literature and Life

 

Genre Resources

Google [literary genre sites]

Fantasy/science fiction literature
uri.edu/artsci/english/clf/index.html
sfwa.org
sff.net
hycyber.com
FantasyReaders.com
scholar.lib.vt.edu/ejournals/ALAN/v28n2/bucher.html
web.ics.purdue.edu/~felluga/sf/pop/sf.html
wsu.edu:8080/~brians/science_fiction
dmoz.org/Arts/Literature/Genres/Science_Fiction/Authors/
books.ratatosk.org/
dmoz.org/Arts/Literature/Genres/Fantasy/Authors/
fantasylibrary.net
locusmag.com
springlea.com
locusmag.com

Historical fiction
uts.cc.utexas.edu/~soon/histfiction/
home.midsouth.rr.com/ochsner/
geocities.com/hifiguide/
home.midsouth.rr.com/ochsner/
angelfire.com/il/ofagespast/index.html
dmoz.org/Arts/Literature/Genres/Historical_Fiction/Authors/
uts.cc.utexas.edu/%7esoon/histfiction/list/listmain.html
histfiction.net
dorset-lea.org.uk
scholar.lib.vt.edu/ejournals/ALAN/fall98/brown.html

Historical fiction authors

Tarry Lindquist: How and Why I Teach with Historical Fiction

Historical Fiction for adolescents

Romance
directory.google.com/Top/Arts/Literature/Genres/Romance
dmoz.org/Arts/Literature/Genres/Romance/Authors/
rwanational.org
rna-uk.org/site.html
likesbooks.com
rwanational.org/

Young Adult Romance

Mystery
MysteryNet.com
sldirectory.com/mystery.html
mysteryinkonline.com
stopyourekillingme.com
mysterywriters.org
themysteryreader.com
umich.edu/~umfandsf/symbolismproject
dmoz.org/Arts/Literature/Genres/Mystery/Authors/
members.aol.com/MG4273/classics.htm
classiccrimefiction.com
mysterywriters.org
magicdragon.com
thrillingdetective.com

Crime and Mystery Fiction Journal

Mystery authors
mysteryauthors.com
dmoz.org/Arts/Literature/Genres/Mystery/Authors/

Nancy Drew

Horror
dmoz.org/Arts/Literature/Authors/Horror/
classichorrorstories.com
darkecho.com
users.globalnet.co.uk/~pardos/GS.html
horrorworld.org
members.aol.com/eyesonweb/
fright.com

Ghost stories on film: British Film Institute

 

Young Adult Literature Lesson Plans/Units

The New York Times Daily Lesson Plans

Lynch Multimedia Adaptations of Shakespeare's Plays

Lesson: Studying Holes

Lesson: Evaluating a book by its cover

Lessons for teaching young adult literature

Unit: The Giver

Unit: The Chocolate War

Unit: Fallen Angels

Unit: Johnny Tremain

 

 

General Literature Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans: Literature adaptations on A&E Channel

Litplans study guides/lesson plans

Chico High School [guildes/lesson plans]

English Online [teaching units/resources]

Discovery Channel [lesson plans]

Web English teacher [lessons organized by author]

Teacher’s Net

Outta Ray’s Head [literature lessons]

 

Thematic Units

American Dream Songs

King Lear

The Literature of War

Humor as a Device for Criticism

The Sonnet

Women in Poetry

The Crucible in the McCarthy period

Catch-22

To Kill a Mockingbird [historical perspectives]

Unit: Male/female relationships

Unit: Studying themes across different texts

Unit: Theme of growing up

ReadWriteThink lesson: Building Vietnam War Scavenger Hunts through Web-Based Inquiry

ReadWriteThink lesson: Using graphics to respond to literature

Lesson: thematic unit: Human Nature: Good or Evil?

Lesson: History and literature: A Walk through the 20 th Century

 

American Literature

Unit: Ethan Frome

Unit: Fahrenheit 451

Unit: Cannery Row

Unit: My Antonio

Unit: The Awakening

Unit: Huck Finn
http://www.nashville.k12.tn.us
http://www.sdcoe.k12.ca.us
pbs.org

Units: The Crucible
classzone.com
sdcoe.k12.ca.us
aresearchguide.com
edsitement.neh.gov

Unit: The Bean Trees

Unit: Catch-22

Unit: Catcher in the Rye

Unit: The Things They Carried

ReadWriteThink lesson: Connotation, Character, and Color Imagery in The Great Gatsby

Lesson: The Red Badge of Courage as a New Form of Realism

Lesson: Edgar Allan Poe, Ambrose Bierce, and the Unreliable Biographers

Lesson: Faulkner's As I Lay Dying : Form of a Funeral

Lesson: Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury : Benjy's Sense of Time

Lesson: Flannery O'Connor's "A Good Man is Hard to Find": Who's the Real Misfit?

Lesson: Folklore in Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God

Lesson: Pioneer Values in Willa Cather's My Antonia

Lesson: Profiles in Courage: Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird

 

British Literature

Units: Animal Farm
classzone.com
sdcoe.k12.ca.us
teachervision.fen.com

Units: 1984
teachervision.fen.com
school.discovery.com
classzone.com
sdcoe.k12.ca.us

Lesson: "You Kiss by the Book": Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

Lesson: Hamlet Meets Chushingura: Traditions of the Revenge Tragedy

Lessons: MacBeth

Lessons: MacBeth

Lesson: Othello

Yale University Library: English Literature bibliography

Lesson: Beowolf

Lesson: Sir Gawain and The Green Knight

Henry James

Lesson: George Orwell's "Shooting an Elephant"

 

World Literature

Lesson: Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart : Teaching Through the Novel

Lesson: Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart : Oral and Literary Strategies

Lesson: Arabic Poetry: Guzzle a Ghazal!

Lesson: Japanese Noh plays

Lessons: Indian epics
edsitement.neh.gov/view_lesson_plan.asp?id=589

edsitement.neh.gov/view_lesson_plan.asp?id=591

edsitement.neh.gov/view_lesson_plan.asp?id=599

 

 

Shakespeare

The Folger Shakespeare Library [lesson plans/resources]
folger.edu [teaching]
folger.edu [archive]
worldshakesbib.org

Units/resources: Hamlet
lausd.k12.ca.us
sdcoe.k12.ca.us
viterbo.edu
pathguy.com
netcomuk.co.uk [Course Contents]
allshakespeare.com
clicknotes.com
netcomuk.co.uk [A Short Course on Shakespeare's Hamlet]
sparknotes.com

Units/resources: King Lear
allshakespeare.com
gradesaver.com
pathguy.com
netexplosure.com
home.pacific.net.au

Units/resources: Julius Caesar
virgil.org
allshakespeare.com
gradesaver.com
juliuscaesar.future.easyspace.com
members.tripod.com/~lklivingston/caesar/

Resources/Units: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
ulen.com
quarles.unbc.ca/midsummer
allshakespeare.com
gradesaver.com
pathguy.com

Resources/Units: Othello
allshakespeare.com
gradesaver.com
clicknotes.com

Resources/Units: Henry V
ulen.com
gradesaver.com
sparknotes.com

Units/resources: Romeo and Juliet
cln.org
lausd.k12.ca.us
teachers.net
teachersfirst.com
allshakespeare.com
bellmore-merrick.k12.ny.us
wsu.edu:8000/~brians/love-in-the-arts/

Units/resources: Macbeth
pathguy.com
allshakespeare.com
geocities.com/Athens/Styx/5025/
gradesaver.com
angelfire.com/tx3/
sparknotes.com

Units/resources: The Tempest
allshakespeare.com
gradesaver.com
geocities.com/tempestnet/

Units/resources: Richard III
thinkquest.org
allshakespeare.com
gradesaver.com
r3.org/mckellen/

Unit: Performing Julius Caesar

Unit: Hamlet

Unit: The Crucible

Lesson: Creating programs for Shakespeare plays

 

Literature Discussions/Circles

ReadWriteThink lesson: The Pros and Cons of Discussion

Unit: discussion of survival of the fittest

 

Reading Strategies

Unit: A high-interest novel helps struggling readers confront bullying in schools

Unit: Word maps: Developing critical and analytic thinking about literary characters

Unit: Reading response in hypertext: Making personal connections to literature

Unit: Teaching plot structures through short stories

Unit: Reading response in hypertext: Making personal connections to literature

Unit: Teaching plot structures through short stories

 

Poetry

Poetry unit: Conflict and War

Unit: Poetry writing

Unit: Reading poetry for pleasure

Poets.org: Poetry lessons

Poets.org: Essays on teaching poetry

Poetry lessons for 12 familiar poems

Figurative language [Lots of links]

Webquest: Ars Poetica

Unit: Discovering Robert Frost

Understanding the Basics of Poetry

Unit: Teaching found poems

Virtual Poetry Workshop [lots of activities]

Outta Ray's Head [Lots of poetry lessons]

Poetry lessons for middle school students

WhyPoetryWhat: Internet poetry for middle school students

Lesson: Listening to Poetry: Sounds of the Sonnet

Lesson: Poetry of World War I

Lesson: Andrew Marvell's "To His Coy Mistress"

Lesson: Robert Browning: "My Last Duchess"

Lesson: Walt Whitman to Langston Hughes: Poems for a Democracy

Lesson: Walt Whitman's Notebooks and Poetry: the Sweep of the Universe

ReadWriteThink lesson: Studying the Harlem Renaissance

ReadWriteThink lesson: Behind the Masks: Exploring Culture through Art and Poetry

ReadWriteThink lesson: Discovering a Passion for Poetry with Langston Hughes

ReadWriteThink lesson: Discovering Poetic Form and Structure using Concrete Poems

ReadWriteThink lesson: Discovering Traditional Sonnet Forms

ReadWriteThink lesson: Poetry: Sound and Sense

ReadWriteThink lesson: Different perspectives on America in poetry

Lesson: Introducing Metaphors through Poetry

Lesson: Introduction to Modernist Poetry

Lesson: Emily Dickenson poems

Lesson: Analyzing Emily Dickenson's letters

Lesson: The Poet's Voice: Langston Hughes and You

Lesson: Using visual poetry

Lesson: Pictures in Words: Poems of Tennyson and Noyes

Lesson: A Story of Epic Proportions: What makes a Poem an Epic?

Lesson: Japanese Poetry

Lesson: The World of Haiku

 

Theater

Theater Lesson Plan Exchange

Edsitement: Drama lesson plans

Drama lesson plans

Drama lesson plans

Drama units

Barbies, Baseball, and Shakespeare: Beginning drama unit

Unit: The Crucible

Witchcraft unit: The Crucible

ReadWriteThink lesson: Character, Conflict, and Plot in Dramatic Tragedy

ReadWriteThink lesson: Exploring the Role of Perspective in Narrative: To Kill a Mockingbird

ReadWriteThink lesson: The Peace Journey: Using Process Drama in the Classroom

ReadWriteThink lesson: Become a Character: Adjectives, Character Traits, and Perspective

ReadWriteThink lesson: Characters for Hire: Studying Characters in Drama

ReadWriteThink lesson: Analyzing theme and symbolism in drama

ReadWriteThink lesson: using before/during/after reading strategies

ReadWriteThink lesson: using prediction strategies

Lesson: Using drama to teach Of Mice and Men

Lesson: Using drama to teach The Canterbury Tales

Lesson: Colonial Broadsides: A Student-Created Play

 

Writing

ReadWriteThink lesson: Exploring Literature through Letter Writing Groups

ReadWriteThink lesson: Writing literary parodies

Units: teaching formal writing

 

Narratives

ReadWriteThink lesson: Two Stories, Two Authors, Same Plot?

ReadWriteThink lesson: Responding to stories through multimedia

ReadWriteThink lesson: Teaching Plot Structure through Short Stories

ReadWriteThink lesson: Creating word maps in responding to stories

Lesson: Studying a Poe short story

Lesson: Creating story totems

Lesson: Story maps

Lesson: Tales of the Supernatural

Lesson: Hawthorne: Author and Narrator

Lesson: Stephen Crane's "The Open Boat"

Lesson: Jack London: "To Build a Fire"

Lesson: Metaphorical Gold: Mining the Gold Rush for Stories

Lesson: Poems that Tell a Story: Narrative and Persona in the Poetry of Robert Frost

Lesson: Perspective on the Slave Narrative

Unit: fugitive slave narratives

Unit: From Courage to Freedom: Frederick Douglass's 1845 Autobiography

 

High School Literature Lesson Plans

Teach-Nology: High School literature lesson plans

Kathy Schrock: High School literature lesson plans

Lots of resources/lesson plans

 

Censorship

Unit: The Shawshank Redemption

Unit: Multimedia Poetry

Unit: filming To Kill a Mockingbird

ReadWriteThink lesson: adopt scenes from a text and create a film adaptation

ReadWriteThink lesson: Literacy Scapebooks Online: An Electronic Reader-response Project

ReadWriteThink lesson: Book Report Alternatives: Comic Strips and Cartoon Squares

ReadWriteThink lesson: Critiquing Films using Sight and Sound

ReadWriteThink lesson: Analyzing political cartoons

ReadWriteThink lesson: Comic Makeovers: Examining Race, Class, Ethnicity, and Gender in the Media

ReadWriteThink lesson: Copyright Infringement or Not? The Debate Over Downloading Music

ReadWriteThink lesson: Exploring Literacy in Cyberspace

ReadWriteThink lesson: Exploring Satire through The Simpsons

ReadWriteThink lesson: Using blues music to study "Gift of the Magi"

ReadWriteThink lesson: Analyzing fallacies in advertising

ReadWriteThink lesson: Naming in the Digital World: Creating a Safe Persona on the Internet

ReadWriteThink lesson: Creating a news broadcast about a character

ReadWriteThink lesson: Analyzing portrayals of technology in fiction

ReadWriteThink lesson: Writing a review of technology

ReadWriteThink lesson: Writing technology autobiographies

ReadWriteThink lesson: Star-Crossed Lovers Online: Romeo and Juliet for a Digital Age

ReadWriteThink lesson: Creating a hyperlinked multigenre response to literature

Lesson: Hamlet and the Elizabethan Revenge Ethic in Text and Film

Free samples of literature/media units from the English and Media Centre

 

Studying Places/Spaces

Sacred Space: Learning About and Creating Meaningful Public Spaces

Perception of Place

The Evolution of Cultural Landscape

Explore the Spatial Patterns of Your Hometown

Cultural Symbols and the Characteristics of Place

School Space: An Analysis of Map Perceptions

There's No Place Like Home: Examining Tourism and Cultural Opportunities in Your State

Places in the West

Spaces and Places (younger students)

 
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