Teaching Literature Tipshow to teach it as an english teacher

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dswain001 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Literature has always been my favorite thing to teach. If taught correctly, a unit on any given novel can open students up intellectually and creatively. It forces them to examine the world around them. And most of all, they gain appreciation for a book that they may not have given a chance otherwise. It is best to build background before starting the novel. For example, if they are reading a story set during the Great Depression, you might want to show a short documentary about the era. Doing this allows students to make connections between the novel andthings that they already know or have learned during background building. If  you are totally clueless about how to approach the novel, get  yourself a good study guide. They break down each individual chapter and some offer lessons to teach with each chapter.You should also read the book before the students. Try to stay at least 2-3 chapters ahead of them. This makes planning a snap! At the close of the novel, many teachers like to tie in a project or paper.

Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When I started teaching, I was hesitant to do much literature wok because I didn't feel confident (which is ironic, because that's really all my college training was--literature study).  If you have a choice, select a work you love as your first venture.  Do your best to prepare using whatever tools you can find, but know that it's your passion for the work which will compensate for any flaws in your teaching.  After you do one, you'll have a better sense of where your strengths and weaknesses lie and can correct from there. 

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
Try to focus on the basics with each piece of literature. Review characters, settings, plot and theme each time. Then focus on one specific item each time. For example, focus on literary devices with one story and persuasive techniques with nonfiction.