Posts in Teaching the Classics
"Close Reading" and Postmodern Criticism

My mother hates the term “Close Reading.” To her it is emblematic of the postmodernist deconstructive literary criticism she encountered during her own college years in the late 80’s. To engage in this sort of “close reading” was to focus so intently on the trees that you missed the forest entirely; to purposefully evade and ignore the overarching thematic meaning of an author’s text and to decide what the work “meant to you” by evaluating how the granular details of the story made you feel...

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Picture Books...for High Schoolers?

If you are already thinking about the reading list you will assign to your students next fall, congratulations– you are way ahead of Missy and me! But let me offer one piece of advice as you assemble your curriculum: Assign children's picture storybooks to all of your students in the first few weeks of the school year. 

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Conflict–The Heart of Every Story

“Write me a story,” I said to the girls in my junior high composition class. “It is due next Wednesday.” That was the extent of the assignment I gave them. No limits, no rules, no guidance – nothing. Admittedly, I was new – as a first year teacher, I had no way of knowing what I was in for, or how grave an error I had just made...

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