Teaching Context for Literature by @evenbetterif

Name: Kate McCabe
Twitter name: @evenbetterif
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): English
Position: Head of KS4
What is your advice about? Teaching Context for Literature

  1. Spend a lot of time researching your author, poet, playwright. They are likely to have had a fascinating life & lived in interesting times so discover who they are.
  2. Communicate this visually in your PPTs. Help students see the writers life and world whether through illustrations or photographs.
  3. Decide where & how you use contextual info – I always start with the context, some teachers like to start with the text. Judge the extent to which the context shapes the text.
  4. Look for and research less obvious context clues in the text. This could be aspects of style, narrative themes and preoccupations, motifs or language choice.
  5. Ask students to include contextual understanding in their paragraphs frequently so that they are aware of it’s significance. Make sure it doesn’t become an add on.

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