Transcript Slide 1

Making the Classics
Come Alive!
What do you do with the
• Get rid of them completely
• Continue dragging students
through them
with strategies that WORK!
How to Make the
Classics Come Alive:
• Dramatize
• Scaffold
• Pair with young adult
(YA) texts
Why it works:
• “social and student-centered
• “active methods allow students to
have some ownership in
generating meanings and
Baxter 120
Dramatization Ideas
• Hot-seating
(ask questions of the main
character in a role-play)
• Tableau Variations (highlighting
characterization, character relationships, plot
• Role-Breaking
(role-playing the parts of
minor characters, focusing on cultural and
historical contexts by reversing them)
Scaffolding Methods
Why it works:
• “The language of the classics
frequently intimidates today’s
students and generates negative
attitudes and immediate resistance”
• “Insufficient knowledge also
impedes students’ ability to resonate
with the classics”
Shelley 387
Scaffolding Methods
• Building Background Knowledge
• Developing Vocabulary
• Facilitating the Reading of the
• Enrichment and Extension
Pairing with Y.A. Texts
Why it works:
• The “richness [is] clearer to students
as they read the companion novel
and [make] connections for
• “They can then discuss the many
thematic bonds between the two
novels, as well as the contrasts in
narrative voice”
Abair 83
How to Pair with Y.A. Texts
• Select a y.a. lit text that relates in
theme or character to a classic
• Read the y.a. lit novel first, then the
classic novel
• Compare and contrast the many
thematic bonds between the two
novels, as well as the narrative voice
A Few Suggested Pairings
• The Scarlet Letter –
Nathaniel Hawthorne
• “Self-Reliance” – Ralph
Waldo Emerson
• Beloved –
Toni Morrison
• Zen and the Art of
A proud woman and her child are
isolated from the surrounding
community for transgressions
committed years earlier
Maintenance (sections
on excellence) - Pirsig
More Suggested Texts
and Authors
Into Thin Air, Into The Wild
A River Runs Through It
Jon Krakauer
Norman Maclean
Stephen King
Sandra Cisneros
Chris Crutcher
Lois Lowery
Martha Brooks True
Confessions of a Heartless
Girl (2003)
Jennifer Donnelly A Northern
Light (2003)
Angela Johnson First Part
Last (2003)
Richard Peck The River
Between Us (2003)
Jane Yolen Sword of the
Rightful King: A Novel of
King Arthur (2003)