Ideas For Teaching Literature

Children are as diverse as different genres of literature and require a variety of teaching techniques.

Teaching literature can be difficult because students have different reading levels and diverse learning styles. Before beginning any piece of literature, it is important to be aware of the dynamics of the students in your class. Choose activities that cater to your specific students and also create an exciting reading environment.

Guided Reading

Group students based on their reading levels for best success with guided reading.

Guided Reading is designed to give students the skills they need to read with minimal teacher direction.Start by activating prior knowledge. This is important to get the reader’s attention and also make connections to things that students might already be familiar with. Ask students questions like: “How many of you remember a time when…” or “What does this picture tell you?”

Choose a reading selection and group the students according to reading levels. Choose sections of the text that are best suited for each group. Introduce the selection by setting the purpose for the reading and discussing the title and main idea of the text. Introduce any new vocabulary or skills that are important to the text that students might not be familiar with. This will give them the basis of what they need to read independently.

Have students read their selected passages with their groups, offering assistance if needed. Instruct students to answer comprehension questions as they are reading and discuss the questions when they are finished. Reread and discuss the selection as a class, letting each group take control of their assigned section.

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Idea Man

Instruct students to create an Idea Man graphic organizer to record character facts in one place.

Graphic organizers are user-friendly ways for students to record information when reading a piece of literature. Use an idea man as a quick, easy way to study characters in a story. Have students draw a man with a triangle-shaped head, a square body, and rectangular arms, legs and feet.

Write the name of the character you are studying in the head triangle. Have students fill in the body and arms with attributes and facts about the character. Have students complete their idea man by filling in the legs and feet with a summary or critique of the character.

Sweet Treat

Give students a sweet treat graphic organizer to keep track of important events.

Sweet Treat is another graphic organizer that you can use with your students to record important aspects of the literature they are reading.Start by having the students draw an ice cream cone with two or three scoops of ice cream on top. Instruct the students to fill in the cone with a part of the plot, such as exposition or climax.

Then have students fill in the ice cream scoops with facts or details of the part of the plot that they are describing. This makes a fun, cute way for students to record information. Remember that you are not limited to just using this organizer to discuss plot. You can have your students identify any aspect of the literature you are reading using their ice cream cones.

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