How to Use This Course
SchoolhouseTeachers.com brings you Literature by Adam Andrews, Director of the Center for Literary Education. For more than 30 months, Adam Andrews has provided the questions (and answers) needed to discuss a different book each month so students can study setting, plot, theme, characters, literary techniques, motive, and more. The class is meant to be an interactive class between the teacher (parent) and the student. Each book can be studied independently, and the books can be done in any order to fit the needs of your student. Story charts are provided for each book, some filled in and some blank for the student to fill in. An assortment of books are provided for grades K-12. This course counts as a language arts credit. Students who complete 10 units may earn 1 full academic credit. Students who complete 5 units may earn 0.5 academic credit. As always, please check your own state’s academic requirements.
In this space, I am sharing some powerful techniques for reading comprehension and literary analysis that you can use with students of all ages, from kindergarten through high school. From month to month we are looking at a variety of great books—some written for adults, some for the smallest children—and showing how the same key questions can be asked of each one. Using these questions, you can lead a powerful discussion in your home or classroom almost automatically. You’ll be amazed at the results!
The lessons posted here are not designed to be used by the student as daily worksheets; rather, they are created to facilitate periodic (weekly or even daily) discussions between teacher and student. It’s this simple:
- First, the student reads the assigned title (listed below) over the course of several days or weeks.
- Then, teacher and student meet together to discuss the story, using the questions provided in this month’s lesson as a guide.
I’m also including story charts with these lessons, but I caution you that while the charts are helpful for organization and capturing the main elements, they are not to be used as assignments in a strict sense, or subjected to rigid grading. Instead, the idea is to plot the main elements, leading to open discussion on the work and a chance to interact with the story as a complete work of art.
If you’re looking for worksheets, beware: fill-in-the-blank exercises may actually hinder a student from understanding literature! The goal of literary analysis is to interact with a story as a complete work of art, to understand its themes and carry on a “conversation” with its author. At The Center for Literature, we have found that worksheets rarely contribute to such understanding. On the contrary, they often bore and frustrate even the most willing students. Happy Reading! Mr. A
In-depth discussion questions relating to scene, character, plot, and other key story elements.
Books do not need to be studied in order (See How to Use This Course). Grade levels marked are just a guide and can be adjusted as best fits your student’s needs. Even though the grade levels represent the average appropriate reading level for the book, discussions and extension activities can always make the book meet the demands of the grade level expectations. One of the goals of this type of discussion questions is to teach students how to critically analyze any story, including children’s books.
- A Tale of Two Cities (9th-12th)
- All the Places to Love (K-3rd)
- Apples to Oregon (K-3rd)
- At the Back of the North Wind (9th-12th)
- The Biggest Bear (K-2nd)
- The Book of Three (3rd-7th)
- Brave Irene (K-3rd)
- The Bronze Bow (8th-12th)
- Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (3rd-6th)
- Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (4th-8th)
- Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader (4th-8th)
- Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair (6th-8th)
- Chronicles of Narnia: The Magician’s Nephew (3rd-6th)
- Chronicles of Narnia: The Horse and His Boy (4th-7th)
- Chronicles of Narnia: Last Battle (6th-8th)
- The Clown of God (K-3rd)
- The Cricket in Times Square (3rd-4th)
- The Door in the Wall (4th-8th)
- “Eeyore Finds the Wolery and Owl Moves Into It” from The House at Pooh Corner (3rd-7th)
- Fishing in the Air (K-3rd)
- The Great Divorce (9th-12th)
- Harriet, You Drive Me Wild (K-3rd)
- The Hobbit (7th-12th)
- Julius Caesar (9th-12th)
- Letting Swift River Go (K-1st)
- Miracles on Maple Hill (2nd-5th)
- Misty of Chincoteague (3rd-7th)
- The Odyssey (9th-12th)
- The Relatives Came (K-3rd)
- Sam, Bangs, and Moonshine (2nd-7th)
- The Story of Ferdinand (K)
- Treasure Island (6th-10th)
- Two Eggs, Please! (K-1st)
- The Velveteen Rabbit (K-2nd)
- Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge (1st-3rd)
This course counts as a language arts credit. Students who complete 10 units may earn 1 full academic credit. Students who complete 5 units may earn 0.5 academic credit.