You love looking at literature through a formalist lens! You’re a classicist at heart. You appreciate the beauty of a black and white film, and if we’re really being honest, you listen to classical music in your free time. So, pull out your sticky notes and grab your copy of Companion to the Classics. Let’s create a meaningful and fun lesson based on the fine details that make a story a story: the words on the page.
Scholars believe the story is all about the form. So, think of the story you’re teaching and use a lens that looks closely (very closely) at the form and structure of the story. You might think about the main idea of your story and then work backwards to identify all of the literary elements that point back to that main idea.
Using a formalist lens for lesson planning is a great way to spark your creativity (and save you time!). Plus, your students will love becoming scholars themselves! Let’s look at some reader response lens activities to have your students try a new lens for learning:
- an artist to create a piece of artwork to represent the meaning of the story
- a teacher to write an essay prompt or multiple-choice questions
- a critic to write a book review for the class newspaper
For more information on how to use this lens in the classroom, click here.