Teaching Writing About Literature

In: English and Literature

Submitted By wicket1881
Words 1270
Pages 6
Writing about literature can be scary, especially when students are not equipped to fully understand the text and then write about it. Before any writing can be do, students first have to understand the text. That does not mean writing cannot take place prior to reading, and in fact, writing about elements in the text prior to reading may facilitate a better understanding. To prepare students to do such writing, teachers need to structure their classes in such a way that is conducive to maximizing learning. The first step is to understand writing meaningfully about literature can be difficult for young students because what is meant by meaningful is not always abundantly clear to them. One possibility that causes such confusion is that students may think what is deemed meaningful changes with the type of writing. But, for all types of writing, meaningful writing retains similar elements. Students need to know that writing meaningfully about literature includes their personal reactions and thoughts, but that it has to be supported by evidence, through their own analyses of the text or using scholarly analyses. Developing students to understand that writing meaningfully does include their own thoughts is difficult because students are hesitant to trust their own opinions as many teachers want students to arrive at the same conclusions about text they have. When students arrive at their own conclusions, teachers tell them they are wrong, leading students to distrust their own thoughts. To have students begin trusting themselves, teachers need to lead classes that are more students focused than teacher focused. Having whole class discussions can be useful because it can help clarify something in the text that might be confusing, but small group discussions has been found to be more effective. Johannessen, Kahn, and Walter cite “that a growing body…...

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