I’m working on adapting some lessons and goals for my ENG4U e-learning course. I’ve usually taught this course F2F only, so I’m working on new instructional strategies for  my literary criticism unit.

Literary-Criticism-is-Not-Boring.jpgHere’s some scratchings:

Backward Design- ENG4U-Literary Criticism

Stage 1: Students should be able to identify and apply different theories in literary criticism, e.g. Marxism, Feminism, Historical, Psychological, Archetypal.
In regular speak: Students should know these theories, and be able to analyse a piece of art, poetry or any text using one of these theories.
They need to know what sort of questions to ask when using these theories, eg–What would a feminist critic ask about a work? There are lists of questions to share with the students, and they can also generate their own questions.

Stage 2: Students should be able to categorize these theories. I should be able to give them a generic story or film and a lens, and they should be able to ask the right questions. If I give the students the story, The Three Little Pigs, they will be able to choose a lens and write a detailed analysis using that lens. They should be able to ask 5-7 key questions and expand on their ideas.

A specific set of goals would be:

  1. Read text and interact with it.
  2. Ask 5-7 questions about the text using a literary model, and be able to do this with all models
  3. Communicate these ideas in writing or speaking.

Assessment continuum:Students start off becoming experts in one theory, and then become experts with others. They can teach the class a theory.

Stage 3: Ideas for instruction online

  1. Post 3 pieces of art and divide students into literary teams. Each team posts pieces of analysis of their theory for each picture.
  2. Students teach each other theories. Students create a video or a presentation about their assigned theory and demonstrate it using pop culture messages.
  3. Students read stories and poems and write essays or reports. They post these and have other students peer edit them.
  4. Students watch video clips from Shrek and identify the archetypes present.
  5. Students create a Padlet or Lino together (collaboratively), posting questions a particular theorist would ask: What would feminist criticism say about Lady Macbeth’s character?

Does anyone have any other suggestions? My night school e-learning course begins on Tuesday. I’d like to make it awesome.

Photo Credit: Chicago Public Library

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