Examining texts through the lens of CRITICAL READING (http://www.enotes.com/topics/how-read-literature-critically) will teach your students to become independent “thinkers” about text. Sustained practice with this approach will mold your students’ “metacognition with text” so that they will eventually become pragmatic sages in considering all aspects of specific pieces of literature.
I highly recommend that the teacher who decides to use this approach with his/her students actually read the article linked above, and perhaps have your students read it as well or use the following paraphrase of the article.
NOTE: The graphic organizer provided in this packet can be used or modified. The model is a comprehensive analysis of “The Black Cat”…other texts may have more or fewer points under each category. In order to make the most of the model provided, it is suggested that the class read “The Black Cat” and examine the components of the model one topic at a time, re-reading as necessary, before students attempt this type of an analysis independently on another text.
There is a rubric provided to use in evaluating student responses.