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Does a 7th grader need lit. analysis?

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And if so, why?


(Perhaps a better question would be: When should a student begin literary analysis and why should he do so? Or: At what point (age/grade) is merely reading and discussing a book insufficient?)


DS is in 6th grade and using R&S Grammar. I really like it, but I can't see doing both Grammar and Lit. analysis next year. (There are currently too few hours in the day as it is.)


The only literature "programs" that I know of are Lightning Literature and BJU. LL doesn't appeal to me much (don't know why, exactly). I like the looks of BJU Lit.; there is a lot in there that we would not read on our own.


I know we couldn't get through an entire book of R&S Grammar while doing either of those programs, so I'd have to change my Grammar plan for next year.


Any thoughts?



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I really don't know. I have my 7th grader right now he reads literature and then he narrates and we talk about it. We talk about what he likes and dislikes. He sometimes likes to compare different books that he has read in the past. I have him share what aspects of the book does he like. I do this thing called the Charlotte Mason Jar. We do some activities still from that.


I know that there are others that probably will have some great curriculum out there, but I just have my children reading literature just to have the exposure to great books. I wasn't going to start actually analyzing until about high school.





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I have a 6th grader and I have introduced bits and pieces of literary analysis this year but I have done it informally through discussion. This is what I intend to do all through jr. high and probably sr. high as well. I am not interested in doing a formal program with my children. I use Teaching the Classics as a resource for me to lead our discussions. I think discussions help pave the way for essays on literary analysis. Now, this is from someone who has not BTDT so I may be eating my words in 4 years. :D

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First off, I don't think lit analysis needs to be an overwhelming addition to what you're already doing. In middle school, a student needs to be able to talk to you about more than just "what happened". The WTM latest edition has a nice list of questions you can ask that require your dc to think more analytically about the book he/she read. If you don't feel confident discussing books, I highly recommend purchasing Ready Readers from the Center for Lit http://www.centerforlit.com/reading-comprehension.htm. The download will walk you through the analysis of a story using 10 different children's picture books (plot diagram, conflict, alliteration, foreshadowing, etc.). I've been picking 1 picture book a week to read discuss with my 6th and 4th graders.

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Have you listened to SWB's Literary Discussion MP3? It's a good place to start.


:iagree: Literature does not need to involve the use of a structured program. I do think 7th grade is a good time to start. This year my son has increased his desire to talk about what we are reading. Our conversations are not intense lit analysis, but they have been really amazing at showing me what kind of connections he is making.


I simply picked a few books, some plucked from other lit programs, and we read together and discuss. We are using the book Figuratively Speaking to help discuss literary terms. I've also printed some free lit guides from the web to give me some guidance.

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Figuratively Speaking is fun and easily accessible. We are doing one lesson per week. Thank you Hive for recommending it! :)


:iagree: I love this! We are going through the book and reading the book suggestions with each term we read about. After dd does the lesson then she lists examples as she is reading the lit choice then we discuss afterwards. I will usually have he do a short writing assignment using the literary term she just learned about.

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I believe that lit analysis is as important as art analysis. In the past I thought neither was important. Now I think the arts are imperative for mental health and quality of life reasons.


I have never thought lit was an important scholastic necessity. Right now I'm learning lit terms with Susan Hall's books on using picture storybooks to teach literary devices to older students :-)


I think lit should be fun and enriching and not taken too seriously. And teachers should be careful not to let it overtake skills.

Edited by Hunter
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