Jump to content

Menu

Curriculum on literature deeper meaning for books


Recommended Posts

Hello,

I am looking for a program or an online class that discusses the deeper meaning that some books have.  Something like Deconstructing Penguins, but open and go or an online class. 

I know there are symbols or deeper meaning in the Chronicles of Narnia and there's plenty of that info around.  But what about other books like Animal Farm?  I realize not every book is going to have a deeper meaning.  Are there literature guides that does this?  I've seen a couple of lit guides and they don't seem to do this.  Or at least not for the book I picked, but then I guess the book may not have a deeper meaning.

I hope I am making sense.   I don't want comprehension questions. 

This is for a middle schooler. 

Thanks in advance for any help.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, some specific literature guides do help with "digging deeper" into a work by providing background info on the author and the cultural / social / political influences on the author, or other authors who influenced the author of the work.

In addition, a good lit. guide will provide you with information about literary devices and how they are at work in the literature being read. (Literary devices (or elements) are things like: foreshadowing, conflict, irony, theme, imagery, metaphor, symbolism, etc.).

Also a good guide will provide information on literature topics that help expand your understanding of the work, and to compare the work being read with other works. (Examples of literature topics: conventions of an epic; coming of age theme; the sci-fi genre; 

And, a good lit. guide will provide "discussion" questions, or "thinking" questions, rather than "comprehension" or fill-in-the-blank types of questions.

This is exactly the sort of thing I do with the classes I teach at our homeschool co-op. I create my own materials to help students with digging deeper at home as they are reading, and then to use that reading/thinking they did at home as a springboard into group discussion in class. If you can find a live online class with student discussion, that is super helpful, as the students really feed off the thoughts and ideas of one another and it really helps them "go deep."

If interested in perusing guides, I can give you a bigger list, but just to get you started, a few guides that we used and found helpful:

FREE guides:
Glencoe Literature Library guides -- middle school/high school level
Penguin Teacher Guides -- free; high school/college level

NOT free guide:
Garlic Press Discovering Literature guides -- regular = gr. 5-8; "challenger" level = gr. 8-12



My suggestion for middle school is to start with learning some of the common literary devices -- some of the "tools" that help you "dig deeper" into a work of literature. We used Figuratively Speaking. Here is a thread ("Figuratively Speaking paired with short stories") that also contains lots of ideas of poems and short stories for practicing looking for literary devices and then discussing/analyzing the work.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Lori.  I never thought of it that way.  The literary elements do provide a sense of digging deeper.  She already know most of the literary elements, so that's a plus.

Thanks for the suggestion on lit guides!  I will definitely get Figuratively Speaking. That's been on my list for the charter school to buy. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 minutes ago, Lori D. said:

Yes, some specific literature guides do help with "digging deeper" into a work by providing background info on the author and the cultural / social / political influences on the author, or other authors who influenced the author of the work.

In addition, a good lit. guide will provide you with information about literary devices and how they are at work in the literature being read. (Literary devices (or elements) are things like: foreshadowing, conflict, irony, theme, imagery, metaphor, symbolism, etc.).

Also a good guide will provide information on literature topics that help expand your understanding of the work, and to compare the work being read with other works. (Examples of literature topics: conventions of an epic; coming of age theme; the sci-fi genre; 

And, a good lit. guide will provide "discussion" questions, or "thinking" questions, rather than "comprehension" or fill-in-the-blank types of questions.

This is exactly the sort of thing I do with the classes I teach at our homeschool co-op. I create my own materials to help students with digging deeper at home as they are reading, and then to use that reading/thinking they did at home as a springboard into group discussion in class. If you can find a live online class with student discussion, that is super helpful, as the students really feed off the thoughts and ideas of one another and it really helps them "go deep."

If interested in perusing guides, I can give you a bigger list, but just to get you started, a few guides that we used and found helpful:

FREE guides:
Glencoe Literature Library guides -- middle school/high school level
Penguin Teacher Guides -- free; high school/college level

NOT free guide:
Garlic Press Discovering Literature guides -- regular = gr. 5-8; "challenger" level = gr. 8-12



My suggestion for middle school is to start with learning some of the common literary devices -- some of the "tools" that help you "dig deeper" into a work of literature. We used Figuratively Speaking. Here is a thread ("Figuratively Speaking paired with short stories") that also contains lots of ideas of poems and short stories for practicing looking for literary devices and then discussing/analyzing the work.

Wow! That's an exhaustive list on the other thread.  Thanks for linking the thread!  This may be what she is looking for. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Spark Notes 101 Literature covers 150 books with plot summaries and discussion of main themes and symbols.  I used it with my high level reader.  She used it to get more information on classics she had read as well as to find new ones she wanted to read.  It's a single volume and could at least get you started.  It's also good for non-readers to get some basic information on books that are alluded to in other books/movies.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 minutes ago, smfmommy said:

Spark Notes 101 Literature covers 150 books with plot summaries and discussion of main themes and symbols.  I used it with my high level reader.  She used it to get more information on classics she had read as well as to find new ones she wanted to read.  It's a single volume and could at least get you started.  It's also good for non-readers to get some basic information on books that are alluded to in other books/movies.

 

Thanks! That may be what I am looking for. I need answers too. 😄

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, 8filltheheart said:

You can. They are called annotated editions.

Viking press had a series of annotated books under the imprint of The Whole Story — they are excellent— illustrated, lots of historical and textual notes. I think they are out of print but you may be able to find them on abebooks. Some are abridged, so look for unabridged titles.  I only have Call of the Wild (unabridged)  and Heidi (only the first half of the book is included) and both are excellent.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, WTM said:

Viking press had a series of annotated books under the imprint of The Whole Story — they are excellent— illustrated, lots of historical and textual notes. I think they are out of print but you may be able to find them on abebooks. Some are abridged, so look for unabridged titles.  I only have Call of the Wild (unabridged)  and Heidi (only the first half of the book is included) and both are excellent.

I’ll have to check and see if my library has any of these

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...