Could You Please Repeat That? Showing Students the Effect of Repetition in Writing

Remember that Family Guy bit where Stewie is begging to get Lois’s attention by doing that lovable and annoying and relentless thing children do? “Lois! Lois! Lois! Lois! Lois! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! Mama! Mama! Mama! Ma! Ma! Ma! Ma! Mum! Mum! Mum! Mum! Mummy! Mummy! Mumma! Mumma! Mumma!” Of course, Lois replies, […]

Teaching Shakespeare (and Literary Analysis!) with Prompt Books

    This April, English teachers, Anglophiles, all buddies of the Bard will commemorate the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death. Museums, libraries, schools, and theater companies are marking the occasion with special events like the homecoming of the Globe to Globe tour of Hamlet, which will have performed in around 200 countries by the […]

Summer Mentor Text Countdown Week 8: Mentor Texts for Literary Analysis

Before Allison and I each began using the writing workshop approach in our classrooms, one of our biggest concerns was the same concern we hear again and again from teachers around the country: we are high school teachers. We must teach literary analysis and the writing of literary analysis. How can writing workshop accommodate this? We […]

Literary Analysis Week Wrap-up: Observations, Conclusions, & Lingering Questions

You might remember that this burning desire to meaningfully bring literary analysis into a real, thriving writing workshop began because I was trying to find a solution for the mutual malaise experienced by my students and me in my IB English class. There had to be something more — something better — than the by-rote […]

A Different Way to Teach Literary Analysis: A Literature-Based Analysis Study

This week, I gave my ninth graders this definition: Analysis: breaking something into its parts and pieces so that we can closely examine it and, ultimately, come to a better understanding of the whole. Literary analysis: when we do this with a piece of literature. In the traditional high school English classroom, literary analysis has […]

Literary Analysis Blog Blast Day #3: Character Analysis Writing Workshop

On Wednesday, I shared the rationale for analysis workshops centered on different analytical techniques, and I shared one technique-based analysis study in which students analyzed two texts side-by-side. Today, I want to share another technique-based analysis study with you — this time, a character analysis. The Assignment Without choice, there really is no writing workshop, […]