One of the things I haven’t addressed with a project before this year is literary criticism. Since I’m teaching freshmen this year at my school, one that allows me plenty of autonomy, I thought I would try to find something besides the requisite essay for my students to do as an assessment. Well, there wasn’t really much out there that spoke to me.
About this time a friend from high school published a memoir, and she wanted those of us that had read her book to write a review of it on Amazon. Light bulb! After I wrote a glowing review for her fabulous book, I created the ELAmazon assessment. I used it with The Crucible, and I was pleasantly surprised by the results. The kids didn’t knock the criticism part out of the park, but it was a great way to see where the gaps were at the beginning of the year. Plus, since it wasn’t a formal essay, the kids weren’t as reluctant to complete it!
Here is a link to the project.
Using a set of notes I found explaining the difference between summary and literary analysis, I did a few short writing practices with the students before i gave them the project to work on. Since this was the first year, and they were my guinea pigs, I will definitely be more specific with next year’s group. I think this is a project I will use in some form for years to come!