"Deor" & Why do we read Literature?
This is the opening lesson for the year for the course. I am always struck by how often students reference what we do that day - not only later in the school year, but years and years later when they come to visit. Because this is also the first lesson to be published on this website, I'm hoping to make it a template for how the others will look. The lessons essentially asks three questions: 1) Why do we read Literature? 2) Why do we read Shakespeare in particular? 3) Can British Literature, and texts from over a hundred years ago really tell us anything about ourselves - can we relate to them (in this era of student anxiety and stree - this question becomes particularly important)?
The lesson begins by me asking the students to write down (see handout #1) "Why we read Literature". I may or may not define exactly what I mean by "Literature" with a capital "L". Shakespeare, Toni Morrison, Sandra Cisneros, etc as Literature. And/or I may tell them "Harry Potter, I believe is Literature; Twilight is not". This usually gets a laugh - but more importantly it brings understanding to the question. I caution them to tell me what they honestly believe, NOT what they think that I want to hear. If they believe that they only read Literature because they are forced to - then that is what they should say. I then give them time to write while I begin my first ever attendance for the class - I will stop and ask them how to pronounce their name, what they like to be called (nicknames) and if they have a preferred pronoun.
Most Recent Handouts & Quizzes
Handout #2 DOC PDF (Assignment for a short essay on students' educational experience [positive or negative] to be written BEFORE they do the next day's reading: "John and Barbara's Story" from Mary Poppins.
Older Versions of Handouts (a folder's worth - these will mostly be in the old doc format of Word)
Deor & Why Do We Read Literature - A PowerPoint Presentation -
This is a presentation designed to help the focus of the class during our video meet - it takes us from point to point - often with the text that is referenced and keeps the class organized and moving forward.