Besides being relaxing and enjoyable, reading good literature offers a number of benefits to learners. It also builds a common experience among the reader and listeners; it provides models of excellent grammar, fluency, and writing; it helps develop critical thinking skills; and it offers the opportunity to understand and discuss problems. Reading literature can benefit all ages, but some of the best practices in teaching literature vary by the age of the student. Here are some tips and ideas for teaching literature in the Learning to Reason stage of learning.
Tips for the Learning to Reason Stage
By the teen years your student will probably have very strong opinion about many things, including what—or if—they like to read. What your student reads can be important and influential as they approach adulthood and consider attending college.
Most high school students read a variety of classic literature as part of their language arts courses. These will likely be assigned as part of your curriculum if you have purchased one. If you create your own curriculum, be sure to choose a variety of literature and consider matching book themes and topics to other subjects your teen is studying.
Here are a few other suggestions:
- Discuss, discuss, discuss! Great books can be used to open up wonderful conversations with your teen about any number of subjects in a non-judgmental, non-threatening way.
- Use literature to explore character, worldview, and morality.
- Consider helping your teen start a literature club, where a number of students can discuss books they are reading.
- Continue to read aloud to your teen, even at the high school level.
- If you are going to have your child read Shakespeare or other older literature, try taking turns reading, or listen to an audio version while reading along.
- Watch film versions of classic literature, either before or after reading, to enhance your teen’s understanding of the book.