WSU YA Lit discussion

Students & Cliffnotes

Comments Showing 1-5 of 5 (5 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Frieda (new)

Frieda (friedalou) | 2 comments Now, I know when I was a student that practically everyone used Cliffnotes, Sparknotes, or some other type of guide to prevent them from actually having to do any work for a particular book.

How as teachers, do we work with this? Is there a way we can incorporate those kinds of guides and use them to our advantage in the classroom? Just wanted to get a discussion going and see where it goes!

message 2: by Rae (new)

Rae | 2 comments Mod
In the past I have actually encouraged students to use these guides as a supplemental feature. I still do quizzing that would only cover topics that would have to be understood in depth (sparknotes and cliffnotes only cover the bare bones basics.)

I know I have used these websites (or books) to further my understanding on a topic.

message 3: by Frieda (new)

Frieda (friedalou) | 2 comments I know that even here in college I've looked up online guides to help me with a novel I don't understand. I know that most teachers frown upon such matters but the truth is our students will more than likely use them. I just want to find a way to utilize them in my classroom to my advantage.

message 4: by Kelley (new)

Kelley (kelleyr) I think a good strategy might be to have students read the sparknotes first, then read the actual book/play/etc. in class. Then maybe they could do a project on essential parts of the plot or character development that sparknotes missed out on. And to go a step further, the teacher could also have them mail in suggestions to the sparknotes site. I think it would get them interested and involved.

message 5: by Sally (new)

Sally | 1 comments I had a colleague once who read all the sparknotes and cliff notes in an effort to "catch" students. I think this is ridiculous. At some point, we have to trust that our own methods in the classroom yield to stronger readers and writers. We also have to have some element of trust in our students. If students are reading accessible, grade appropriate texts, and are engaged in the classroom on a variety of levels and with peers in literate discussions, there should be no need for spark notes. College is a different story. There is a huge difference between reader response and what goes on in a college classroom. As teachers, we certainly need to teach students how to navigate such literary contexts. Teaching them how to play the game is often highly beneficial.

back to top