Activities that increase students' understanding of the elements of literature will empower them to create strong literary analysis homes.
The four lessons in this Middle School and High School packet, "Literary Analysis - Four Critical Thinking Activities" will encourage students' comprehension of any text that they are studying with activities that address four of the elements of literature.
Here are the activities and their directions:
Directions – Various situations (the Rising and Falling Action) arise during a story that affect the Plot. They are either Helps or Hurdles for the Protagonist and the Antagonist. For this activity
• choose two situations each that the protagonist and antagonist faced
• summarize each event
• discuss whether the situation’s result was a Help or a Hurdle to the Protagonist or Antagonist.
•defend your reasoning by using story details in your explanations.
"The Flavor of Personalities"
Directions –Characters’ personalities are as varied as the candy that fill store shelves. They may be sweet, sour, nutty, smooth, sticky, hard or soft, for example, or a mixture of many of these qualities. For this exercise, choose four characters and decide which candy most matches each one’s personality. Defend your choices with details and examples from the story. Conclude this activity by choosing the Character Candy you prefer, and explain your choice.
"Setting it Up"
Directions – Choose either the Protagonist or the Antagonist, and discuss how the Setting influences this person and his or her decisions. In addressing this topic, consider any of the following ideas to ignite your thinking: How does the Setting influence the character’s main goal? Is the Setting a help or a hindrance to this person’s objectives? What is the character’s effect on the Setting? What is the Setting’s effect of the character? Use this form for your thesis statement and your Pre-Writing notes. Include citations that support your thesis. Include this sheet with your rough draft(s) and Final Essay copy on the Due Date.
"And the Symbol is…."
Directions – Symbols represent a specific person, place, thing or idea. Sometimes this meaning is clear. In other cases, the symbol needs more analysis to determine its meaning. For this activity
1. Choose three everyday objects from contemporary life that also have symbolic meanings. Determine what each one represents.
2. Next, list three qualities that illustrate the symbol’s connotation.
3. Finally, decide if the story has a corresponding Symbol. If so, explain your conclusion, using details from the story for support. If the story does not reveal a parallel Symbol, then write, “No Matching Symbol” after you address the first two components required for this exercise.
As always, these activities utilizes Bloom's Taxonomy to promote students' thinking and writing skills, and are aligned with Common Core Anchor Standards that teachers may use as guidelines to fit their state-specific standards. This information is included on the detailed "Teacher Notes" page.
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