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Fresh Takes on Teaching Literary Elements: How to Teach What Really Matters About Character, Setting, Point of View, and Theme
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Fresh Takes on Teaching Literary Elements: How to Teach What Really Matters About Character, Setting, Point of View, and Theme

3.9  ·  Rating details ·  189 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
Bring new power and purpose to the study of literature with innovative tools and strategies that deepen students’ understanding of literary elements and help them apply that understanding to their reading as well as their writing. Rich, original passages illuminate the intricacies of character, setting, point of view, and theme, and deeply engaging activities framed by inq ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published January 1st 2010 by Scholastic Teaching Resources (Theory and Practice)
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Sep 23, 2016 rated it liked it
I was never taught how to teach.

I'm not saying that as a humblebrag masquerading as something profound. Oh trust me. What I mean is simply this: my education program, at a world-class university no less, never fucking taught me how to teach. I left school with a B.A, a B.Ed., a perfect GPA, and no real understanding of my province's curriculum, of what a school year would look like, of how to write a freaking lesson plan. GOOD JOB. SERIOUSLY. THANKS MAN.

Now: I may be exaggerating slightly. I did
Sep 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I missed most of the book club discussions on this book over at the EC Ning, unfortunately. Now that I have the time to read through, I've found this book to be extremely useful and well presented. Wilhelm and Smith provide a sound rationale for their methods AND they provide excellent tools that are ready to use in the classroom.

The past few weeks my students and I have been exploring the section on character and we are enjoying animated and purposeful discussions while students learn how to su
Vel Veeter
Jul 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cbr-9
This is another book I will reading and reading a few more times throughout the summer and school year. This provides a much more focused and improved focus on four key elements of literature: Character, Setting, Perspective/Point of View, and Theme. These four elements then get even more focused attention in their various chapters. This book reminded of a few key factors that I sometimes forget about as I plan for teaching. One, that basics are key. Two, that learning any single skill well will ...more
Jun 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
After reading a couple of duds, I was thrilled to get several great teaching ideas from this book. The chapters on characterization and theme were particularly good. This was definitely worth the money.
Sandy Sopko
Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Excellent, great resource.
Nick Hirka
Aug 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: education
I'm slightly disturbed at how many teachers docked this book stars based on the "theory" and "dull forewords".

The foreword anecdotes are a little tiresome, if only because they occur so often in this type of book, but the theory/background/research bits of the book are essential to the activities/"the usable stuff". It'd be understandable to dismiss these sections out of familiarity (I assume you do value transfer of knowledge and skill, is anyone teaching "character" for "character"'s sake? I
I have forgiven these authors for publishing a book about reading in that state of flow that happens when you lose track of time and place...I have. I was going to write a book of my own on the same subject... Now they've stolen another one of my ideas of really digging into the study of literary elements...I am in awe and in envy.

This provides both the theoretical underpinnings for the work, and the actual examples to use in the classroom. Concentrating on character and theme and setting will w
Nov 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was an interesting book - it dived into the norms of how to teach all of these literary elements but then also gave suggestions for new ways and their target objectives. What was most helpful of all though was the examples they gave - there were all sorts of graphic organizers, etc that could be used in the classsroom to help students understand these concepts. One other thing I thought was an positive of this book was that it didn't stick with just literature; they used pop culture, like m ...more
Jan 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: education
Focus, refine, and deepen your thinking about Literary Elements. Instead of teaching a definition, finding examples, and attempting analysis using the examples, this books looks at how we use an understanding of character, setting, point-of-view, and theme as we read, and how those ideas apply to what we know about life.

Reading this book will sharpen your thinking about literary elements, and help you think about how to create experiences which encourage students to do similar kinds of thinking
Aug 10, 2011 rated it liked it
Smith and Wilhelm have good ideas that I know my students will embrace. I'm looking forward to trying some of their suggestions in the fall.

However, at times I found this book to be incredibly tedious. I often found myself skimming along in the theory sections so I could get to the practical parts of the book. While explanations and rationales are important, they went a bit overboard.

Also, I understand that sometimes links included in books become outdated, but there is absolutely NO reason wh
Jan 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Good stuff. Excellent practical, road-ready ideas - to - theory ratio. If you struggle teaching literary analysis and teach anywhere from grades 6 to 12, Wilhelm's inquiry approach to teaching character, setting, point of view, and theme is just the ticket. I'm test driving the character unit even as I speak (uh, type -- or whatever) and it's scoring high marks from that tough audience I call my students.
Jul 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Great, practical ideas and lessons, along with the theory to support these ideas. Just my kind of professional development! I have already used the characterization unit ideas with my sixth graders, and I can tell you that they work. Wonderful scaffold into higher literary analysis and thinking about text.
Jennifer Brinkmeyer
Jul 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
Lots of suggestions for how to make these elements feel relevant for students. I especially appreciate their attention to transfer of skill. This book left me thinking about how I could use the activities here in ways that are meaningful and thorough.
Feb 05, 2013 rated it it was ok
Might be useful for older students, but the first read through of the info was way over my head. It's going to take some intense study to pick apart the authors' ideas into something understandable for my students.
Jul 17, 2011 rated it liked it
Some really good activities in this book that I want to try incorporating in my classroom; however, some of the explanations and processes used for preparing students were lengthy and a bit confusing.
Elizabeth Drake
Nothing earth shattering here. Very basic more like an introduction to these ideas.
Anna Lise
Feb 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
This text offers so many great ideas! My students have had a lot of fun using the ideas in this book to begin analyzing character. I look forward to utilizing more of the book in my classroom.
Jul 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Have only read the first chapter so far, and already have some good, practical ideas to use with students in fall!
Aug 07, 2011 rated it it was ok
Starts out pretty boring--I skipped a lot of the theory and went to the practical application chapters! Overall, it just wasn't as innovative or helpful as I thought it would be.
Jun 23, 2011 marked it as to-read
This book is worth the price just for chapter 1 -- so thankful for the authors' philosophies.
Jun 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: iteach
The more I go back and reread this to pull lessons, the more I love it.
Jan 25, 2016 added it
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Kerry Kiley
Oct 13, 2011 rated it it was ok
Dull. It may be good for a new teacher,and to keep old teachers like me, to remember what,s important. However, nothing shockingly new or ground breaking.
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Jan 08, 2016
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Nov 04, 2014
Lori Anderson
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Apr 30, 2016
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