Literary Criticism Lesson Plan

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Seton Hill University
Greensburg, PA  15601


Daily Lesson Plan

Introduction to Literary Criticism


Teachers: Greta Carroll & Katie Vann

Subject: English

Grade: 10th

Date: 3 April 2009

Time: 12:26-1:05 PM


Behavioral Objective(s):
  • Students will be able to identify the four main schools of Literary Criticism, being: Author Intention, Reader-Response, Intertextuality, Mimeticism.
  • Students will be able to work in groups to achieve a group goal.    
Pennsylvania State Academic Standard(s):
1.1.11. B. Analyze the structure of informational materials explaining how authors used these to achieve their purposes.
1.1.11. F. Understand the meaning of and apply key vocabulary across the various subject areas.
1.3.11. A. Read and understand works of literature.
1.3.11. E. Analyze how a scriptwriter’s use of words creates tone and mood, and how choice of words advances the theme or purpose of the work.
1.3.11. F. Read and respond to nonfiction and fiction including poetry and drama.
1.6.11. A. Listen to others.
Ask clarifying questions.
  • Synthesize information, ideas and opinions to determine relevancy.
  • Take notes.
1.6.11. D. Contribute to discussions.
Ask relevant, clarifying questions.
  • Respond with relevant information or opinions to questions asked.
  • Listen to and acknowledge the contributions of others.
  • Adjust tone and involvement to encourage equitable participation.
  • Facilitate total group participation.
  • Introduce relevant, facilitating information, ideas and opinions to enrich the discussion.
  • Paraphrase and summarize as needed.
1.6.11. E. Participate in small and large group discussions and presentations.
  • Initiate everyday conversation.

Materials and/or Equipment:
  • Painting
  • Note cards (for matching activity)
  • Poster paper
  • Markers
  • Stickers
  • CD Player
  • Handouts of “Love Story” lyrics
  • Exit-slip evaluation forms
  • CD with song
  • Handout with summary of schools of criticism, questions, and definitions
  • Prizes (school supplies)

Activities and Procedures:

Anticipatory Set:
  We will have a painting in the front of the classroom.  We will then ask the students the following questions about the painting:
  1. What do you think of the painting?  Have you seen this painting before?  How do you feel about the painting?  
  2. Is the painting a realistic portrayal of real life?
  3. Does it remind you of any other paintings you have seen?  If so, what painting or artists?
  4. What do you think the painter was trying to convey?
These questions will be used to introduce the students to Literary Criticism. 

Lesson Sequence:
  1. Ask students what they think Literary Criticism is.  
  2. Put up quote from a book review; ask them if this is Literary Criticism.  Next, put up an actual quote from Literary Criticism article beside book review quote.  Ask students which one of these is Literary Criticism. 
  3. Explain to students that Literary Criticism is not just “criticizing” a work.  Explain proper definition.
  4. Begin explanations of the four schools we will be dealing with.  Reinforce the relation to the anticipatory set questions.
  5. Split the students into four groups (two groups of four, two groups of five), have them          number off to get the four groups. 
  6. Handout sets of sixteen note cards. 
  7. Explain to students that for each school there is a question, an example, and a definition which corresponds.   There will be four note cards which will list the school.  One of the schools will be on a fluorescent note card (this will be used for a later activity).   The students in each group are to match the correct information to the school.  The group that is done fastest and is correct will get a prize.
  8. Go over correct answers of the matching game.
  9. Give winning group their prizes and the rest of class the consolation prize. 
  10. Pass out handout, summarizing literary schools for the students’ future reference.
  11. Explain to students that the fluorescent note card is their school of literary criticism for the coming group activity.
  12. Students will remain in the same groups.  Pass out “Love Story” lyrics by Taylor Swift.
  13. Tell students that they are to apply their school to the song.  Tell them that if they are stuck or need help to refer to the handout.
  14. Pass out poster paper.  Have students write ideas, pictures, or words on the poster paper in preparation to visually share (and present) with the rest of the class.  “Love Story” will be playing in the background during this time. 
Closure: Group presentations.

Modifications for Individual Differences:  No known necessary modifications. 

Students will complete evaluation exit-slips.  These will contain questions pertaining to what the students learned during the lesson and what they thought of the lesson itself. 

Assignments: No assignments, since this is a onetime lesson. 

Student Teacher Reflection:
 Cooperating Teacher Reflection:
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