Comment 2: Engaging Students in the Active Learning of Language and Understanding of Literature as a Powerful Means of Expression

One thing I noticed when I was observing both 10th and 11th grade high school students was the following: When there were group discussions in the classroom, the students seemed to interact more freely in verbal discussion about an assigned text. They seemed more comfortable expressing their own ideas and opinions and comparing them to the other ideas and opinions of fellow students. Shared common ideas were embraced and opposing ideas were left to be thought about. Another great way of learning and interpreting an assigned text was to relate it to modern day experience through discussion or the acting out of a similar storyline or experience through theatrical means, such as a play or skit. To get the student actively involved in the interpreting of the literature seems the best goal in learning from a text. Written journal writing is invaluable for the student as it gives the student a way to express themselves in the most personal way possible, but the above mentioned classroom learning techniques are also great ways to get the student directly involved in the examination of literature meaning, plot structure and the author’s own personal expression. If students can do their own interpreting of literature it is one important step towards their own personal understanding and use of language as a powerful tool of expression and influence.

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One thought on “Comment 2: Engaging Students in the Active Learning of Language and Understanding of Literature as a Powerful Means of Expression

  1. Discussion is definitely a powerful engagement tool. Many times I find that students who draw a blank when starting a literature based essay-or any writing in general-tend to need to verbally discuss the content and clarify it before attempting to write. I usually ask them , “so tell me first…tell me what happened in the story.”
    This technique helps the student gain some much needed confidence in his/her understanding which catapults them to the next level. (SDR)

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