Review: Teaching Literature in High School

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During my planning time this summer, I sat with my Reading Lists for College-Bound Students book in hand and a course descriptions file from a random high school in Georgia on my computer screen, trying to figure out how in the world to design a high school lit class for Brianna. Yes, she’s only in 8th grade, but I’m looking at this year as our practice year for high school.

So, there I sat, trying to figure it all out. I was asking myself questions such as:

  • What books should I include (because that reading lists book has lots of books listed!)?
  • How many books should a typical lit class entail?
  • How should I grade a class like this?
  • Is there a logical way to tie the class to our history and/or science topics?

I was starting to sweat, when my Curr-Click newsletter was delivered to my in-box. There, just under the featured freebie for the week, was the answer to my dilemma: an e-book entitled, Teaching Literature in High School! When I saw the topics covered, I immediately emailed the author, Meredith Curtis and begged politely asked if she’d be interested in allowing me to review her book.

She graciously agreed and I’m so glad she did. Her book was just what I was looking for and it really helped answer many of my questions and ease my fears. Some of the topics covered include:

  • How to Create Your Own Classes
  • Sample Classes You Can Use
  • British Literature
  • American Literature
  • Remedial Literature Classes

Not only does Meredith offer class outlines that you can use straight out of the book, but she also gives guidelines on how to grade a literature class, including how many books should be read to earn each letter grade, A through C.

She also gives some wonderful background information about many of the authors whose books she features, helping you gain a better understanding of what was going on, historically, during the authors’ lifetimes. She even includes a look at the history of many of the books themselves.

Teaching Literature in High School also offers tips on helping kids understand the basics of analyzing a book, including understanding the characters and tone, and recognizing the plot, theme, and worldview of the books they’ll be reading. There is even a section that includes tips on writing a literary research paper! This book has it all — literature, composition, and a little bit of history all rolled into one.

You’ll even find tips on using a book club as a literature course and, my personal favorite, using blogging to teach literature. This 172-page e-book is packed with ideas that you can put to use immediately — even if you have younger children, thanks to two lists of great books for younger children geared toward kids of elementary age. You can purchase the book as an immediate download through Curr-Click for just $15.

I received this product free for the purpose of reviewing it. I received no other compensation for this review. The opinions expressed in this review are my personal, honest opinions. Actual results may vary. This post may contain affiliate links.

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  1. OOOHH,me please:)
    I am only a 2nd year homeschooler,but my oldest is doing high school(9th grade)this year,and just let me tell you I AM TERRIFIED,LOL.
    tmw1223 at gmail dot com

  2. Please include my entry, my email is: savedbygrace7215(at)yahoo(dot)com
    This giveaway couldn't come at a better time for me, my DS is starting highschool this fall…and I still have not quite planned everything out! lol

  3. I saw this in my CurrClick newsletter too and almost ordered it, but I had already ordered my lit curriculum for this year. I would love to have this to supplement – it looks wonderful!

  4. Took me awhile to find how to comment on this ~ I'm so non-techie that I couldn't figure out 'socializing' was other people talking back to you! Well, hopefully not 'talking back' to you – perhaps 'interacting conversationally' is a safer way to put it. 🙂

    Please add me to the drawing! Thanks!


  5. I have an 8th grader this year too, and am starting to sweat high school! I would love to have this book. thebamberg6(at)msn(dot)com

  6. This sounds fabulous! I like to pretend we are light years away from high school, but I suspect it will be here before I know it.

  7. I didn't know that keeping a number of the books read could factor into their grade. I usually use Progeny Press for a couple books to help teach literary terms, etc and use them for grades. Teaching Lit in High School sounds like a great resource, put me in the drawing! [email protected]

  8. I need this resource!! My oldest is starting high school this year, and although I have homeschooled for 8 years now, I feel like I need all the help I can get on the high school front. Thanks!!

    sandsmertz(at)gmail dot com

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