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Low Tech, High Visual English Lessons

Posted by Emily Guthrie on Jun 10, 2014 7:35:31 AM

If you follow this blog at all, you know that I LOVE using technology in the classroom, but today I want to share some of my favorite  low tech teaching strategies.  I am a terrible artist, but I find a lot of benefit in drawing as we read. Students remember my silly drawings and they get a sense of the big picture of the literature. I require note taking in my class and my students usually love taking these notes and invariably, they are so much better than mine.

Low Tech, High Visual English Lessons

Drawing our way through English: 

bMy mythology unit begs for a map through the journey!  As we work our way through the Iliad, Aeneid, and Odyssey we can make connections and see the relationship between gods and humans. We can trace repercussions and retaliation to untangle the twisted web.  I usually draw this on my board as we go and by the end of the unit, it takes up all of my walls! 

 

eThis basic outline of the characters of To Kill a Mockingbird is helpful when guiding students through the first few chapters.  Having this on the board helps students to put it all together for the rest of the novel. 

 

dThis character map of Ethan Frome is most helpful as a review at the end of the novel.  Before delving into the symbolism of the cat and the dish, I like to make sure that students have the basics down.

 

cLord of the Flies is such a fun novel to unfold.  I usually draw the island from the beginning and add details as the novel goes on.  Some years, I've had student volunteers add details for each reading assignment and I am always amazed at their perceptive reading!

 

a

No reading of Slaughterhouse Five could end with an easy  linear mind map, but I love creating a visual with quotes that can help reveal the deeper truth behind the madness.  

Even though I am quite possibly one of the worst artists ever, I love to map out our reading and I find that students engage in the process well. What do you think?  Do you or would you try this with your students?  Leave us a comment below.

Topics: Literary Analysis/Reading Strategies, literature, teaching reading, teaching tips

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