Independent Reading Project: Creating a Museum of Living Literature
1. Problem Statement
In preparation for the Advanced Placement Literature and Composition exam, high school students must read many kinds of literature during the year-long course to familiarize themselves with different time periods, movements, philosophies, and genres. Advanced Placement students must learn to think critically, and be ready to find, analyze, and express literary connections through written analysis. The biggest challenge of teaching and learning Advanced Placement English is the difficulty covering the entire scope of literature in two semesters. Twentieth century literature often gets neglected. The pace of the curriculum can also limit the creativity of lesson planning and evaluation. Many teachers rely heavily on lecture, discussion, and a traditional analysis paper.
To add some variety to traditional teaching and learning strategies, a teacher might design an independent project where students work in teams and focus collaboratively on a single novel from the twentieth century. Each team would read a selected book and work together to create artifacts that would be shared with the other teams. Through collaborative work and sharing, students would be able to grasp the concepts and connections of several works of literature. The project outlined in section 5 will target twentieth century literature.
2. Target Audience
The target audience is two sections of the Advanced Placement English Class. There are approximately 24 students in each class. These students are in their final year of high school at St. Pius X Catholic High School. The classes are coed, ranging in ages between 17-18 years old. They come from middle to upper income level families and live in any one of the counties in the Atlanta metropolitan area. There is some ethnic diversity. Most of the students are Catholic. Most of these students could be considered �gifted�. They all have above average intelligence and possess a variety of skills, talents, interests, and learning styles as one would expect to find in any group of teenagers. These students are highly motivated to succeed when they are challenged. They are college bound. Some of them will be attending the top universities of our country.
3. Theory Proposed As Solution
I have designed a project-based activity that takes advantage of the six Cs of motivation.
4. Explanation of the Theory
Motivation is essential to encourage students to go beyond simple declarative knowledge. If one of the goals of education is to develop higher order thinking, educators must engage students minds through multiple and challenging opportunities that encourage deeper understanding of curricular content (Blumenfield 1991). One way to foster this deeper understanding is to integrate motivational strategies into instructional design. The six C�s of motivation (Turner...