April 30, 2007

Ferris Wheel of Literary Criticism

As the semester is wrapping up I thought to myself, "I wonder which of these theories I will use most when I am teaching?" I liked the question so much that I decided to pose it to the rest of the class as well. I think that my views need to be stated first. I had a feeling (and one that I was right in having) that this topic would be taken up by a variety of people. Myself heading into the elementary field I think might be the most hard pressed to enter into the topic of criticism with these still developing students.

I think that my views are this. I will probably use some aspect of Authorial Intent and Culture in History to introduce my students to the literature they will be reading. I'm not so sure, and I could be entirely wrong in this, that any of the other aspects of literary criticism could be grasped by the still developing minds of elementary students.

That said, I think that it will become my job to try and introduce as many of the different ways of criticism as possible. Because the mind of a fifth or sixth grader might be able to handle the material easier than a first or second grader I think that the earliest I would introduce anything other than Authorial Intent and Culture would be fifth grade. This can be done through teacher led discussions and even through writing prompts. If in fact I do have these upper elementary grades, I think that it will be my job, no my duty, to prepare them for what they might expect in the middle school and into high school.

Another aspect that elementary students are involved in is Reader Response. "How?" you ask? Well...any type of project that I set my younger students to do will be their response to a book. I look back on my elementary years and think about the projects that I worked on with my parents. These projects (everything from mobiles to shoe box creations) all prepared me to make a verbal response to a book. I was just putting it in this form first.

I can't wait to read what my secondary, and even those that are looking into Higher Education, have to say about this topic. I think that this carnival is going to be amazing!

Posted by Tiffany Brattina at April 30, 2007 9:59 PM | TrackBack
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