Question Detail

Is it important to teach canonical works?

Apr 9, 2013 5:11am

  • English Language Arts
  • 9-12


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    • Apr 12, 2013 3:24am

      I'm with Emily. I think it is important to teach many because students need to understand our literary heritage to get the most of our modern works, of which may contain allusions to canonical texts. That being said, you can teach reading strategies in any text, so a balance of the two is great. If you are passionate about the story, you can get the kids excited. I can get my kids as excited about Old Man and the Sea as the Outsiders. It's really about how you play up the importance of classic works.

      • Apr 16, 2013 11:13am

        Teach Hamlet by introducing The Lion King! A Sherlock Holmes classic can be introduced with another media (for example the dubstep version!--- it's out there!) Using an introductory text to introduce a master or classical text can be beneficial, often essential for uninterested learners.

        • Apr 21, 2013 2:59am

          It is only important to teach what you think students in your classes will be engaged with the most. We don't know their levels of aptitude or participation, so it would be hard to say what books work well with any group of students.

          The best thing that you can do is talk to the students about what they like to read, what really stimulates them, why they read, and how often, and you can easily build a profile of the types of works that you think will work best. I actually never choose stories to go over in class; I leave that up to the students.

          • Apr 9, 2013 11:29am


            • Apr 23, 2013 11:24am

              I believe it is most important to teach texts that are: 1) at students' instructional levels, 2) relevant to students' lives (thematically or specifically as it relates to content), and 3) something that I am also interested in. The most important thing isn't teaching the so-called "classics"; it is building lifelong critical thinkers, readers, and writers.