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High School — Reading
Literary Text

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Core Resources

    Literary Text

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      Activities: Help with Fundamentals

      These activities can help you address the fundamentals of Literary Text with your students.

      Point of View

      Photographs that show a lot of people can be especially useful in working with point of view. Ask students to pick out someone who interests them, and either assume his identity (first person), give him advice or ask him questions (second person), or describe him from outside (third person).

      Or, you might have students try writing from all three points of view, and then discuss the differences:

      • How did it feel to write from each perspective?
      • Which perspective allows the reader to get closest to the characters?
      Conflict and Plot

      Ask students to consider all of the interactions they have with others in a typical day. Encourage them to keep a journal entry of the conversations, conflicts and relationships that develop with people they know and strangers they encounter. Have them reflect on how these interactions affected the outcome of their day and connect their observations to the ideas you discuss about character, conflict and plot.

      Painting a Mood

      Use paintings to spark discussion about how certain settings and colors influence mood. Ask your students to look at several paintings that generate a mood, such as Edward Hopper's Automat. This American masterpiece features a girl, alone, drinking coffee in a relatively empty restaurant. Encourage your students to discuss how the color scheme might also contribute to the mood of loneliness in the painting.

      My Voice

      Ask students to choose a brief excerpt from favorite song lyrics. Have them choose a phrase or refrain that is important to them, then challenge them to think about why they like the lyrics or why the song is meaningful.

      Each student will write down the chosen lyric with an explanation of why the words are important. Ask each student to read her chosen lyric aloud to the class. How does each person's voice reflect her attitude about the spoken words? How can we tell when someone says something that is important to her?

      I am a...

      Ask your students to choose symbols to represent themselves. Your students may bring in a three-dimensional object or design the symbol using paints, markers, etc. Have each person explain why this symbol represents her. Encourage reflection by asking students to think about their interests, values, attitudes, and beliefs.

      Character Bookmarks

      Ask your students to create bookmarks for each major character in a literary work the class has read. Represent the character by using colors and symbols that best illustrate the character's personality, interests and traits. On one side, include colors, symbols, patterns and images, but no words. On the other side, use colors, symbols, patterns, images and a quotation that illustrates the character's philosophy.

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