A trifle consoles us because a trifle upsets us. —-Pascal
For tyranny, it seems, is never free/From this distemper—faithlessness to friends.—-Aeschylus
Satire is a sort of glass wherein beholders do generally discover everybody's face but their own . . .—-Swift
Fame is a bee.
The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Nothing so aggravates an earnest person as a passive resistance.—-Herman Melville
Your goodness must have some edge to it,—else it is none.—-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Lord, what fools these mortals be!—-Shakespeare
All Animals Are Equal But Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others—-George Orwell, Animal Farm
I am not yet worthy, but she, Art, my mistress, is worthy, and I will live to merit her. An honourable life? Yes. But the honour comes from the inward vocation and the hard-won achievement . . .—-George Eliot, Middlemarch
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness . . .—-Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
For were the works of God readily understandable by human reason, they would be neither wonderful nor unspeakable.—-Thomas A Kempis
Be true! Be true! Be true! Show freely to the world, if not your worst, yet some trait whereby the worst may be inferred!—-Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter
How Do I Use a Literature Unit?
Each Literature Unit is set up to be used with the reading of a classic work of literature or a book about a classic work or author. The Literature Unit is designed to enhance the understanding of the work and give parents and teachers a resource in one location that will give a substantial amount of information regarding the work being studied. Students can also use the Unit depending on their age and reading level (audio versions of the creative stories are available for the younger students). You can choose to use as much or as little of the Unit as you want depending on the needs and desires of your students. It is a guide, not the final word. Once you decide what your children/students are going to read and obtain the book, I would proceed through a Unit like this:
What follows pertains mostly to the older students but younger students can also begin to learn to discuss what they read by answering simple questions of fact and opinion. That is, "What did the rabbit say to the tortoise?"(fact) and "Do you think the rabbit should have said that to the tortoise."(opinion)
If you are planning to have a discussion group with others who are reading the same books or just plan to discuss the reading with your child/children on your own here are some guidelines to help with the discussion.
If you plan to lead the discussion it is best that you also read the assignment(Ideally, you should read it twice - - ideally there should be 36 hours in the day so don't fret about this). I know homeschooling and teaching takes a lot of time (I've done both) so if this is not possible and you are in a group or have more than one child at home parents or students could take turns leading the discussion. In any case the discussion questions on this site will be very helpful and if you simply do not have the time to read the assignment you could still ask your children the discussion questions, have them verbally answer them and, where appropriate, have them defend their answers using the text.
The method I have used for discussion comes from the Great Books Reading and Discussion program. I was a co-leader of an adult group for three years and used this method teaching literature to homeschooled children for a year. Here are the basic guidelines for that type of discussion:
In short, first attempt to find out what the author is saying and what the story or poem or novel or essay is about and then decide what you think about it.
This format requires students to read carefully the weekly selections, to listen attentively to the comments of other students and the leader, to address the questions being asked and to voice their own opinions and ideas.
You can also use my essays and discussion of the text as a starting or ending point. You might read to your students my comments about the text and then ask them if they agree or disagree and why.
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