The availability of EdTech tools has transformed the teaching profession and has offered the possibility for our students to do amazing things! Check out this guest post by Ethan Miller concerning the various ways to teach English Literature in the 21st-century classroom.
The biggest challenge for every teacher is to transform a rather dry, uninspiring subject into something engaging and interesting for students. Over the years, there have been different styles of teaching. But every teaching methodology has an expiry date and the traditional teaching style as we know it is breathing its last breath.
Edtech is the present and future of our education system. The integration of technology with the curriculum has played a huge role in evoking interest among today’s tech-savvy kids by allowing them to learn subjects like science, maths, and geography while having fun.
In these changing times of teaching and education, it is essential to bring a change in the way English literature is taught, analyzed, and assessed in order to attract more students. And the best way to make English literature appealing to the students of this generation is by introducing Edtech in the teaching process. Here are a few ways of making English literature interesting to students with the help of Edtech:
Teaching with memes
Unless you are living under a rock, I am sure almost everyone has come face to face with memes on the internet. Those funny images with witty text are a source for great fun for teenagers and young adults. What if you can use memes to teach English literature? I think memes are great for breaking the ice with your students before starting the lesson. For example: If you are going to introduce one of Shakespeare’s plays, you could start with memes like these:
Memes can be used not just as icebreakers but also as a way to have fun with literature. For example: If your class has just read Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, perhaps a meme like the one below will really crack them up.
Once you demonstrate how memes can lighten up the English literature class, encourage your students to make their own memes and have fun with literature. It is to be noted the primary objective of memes in a literature classroom is to make the subject fun and relatable for today’s young students. It shouldn’t be considered as an irreverence towards the great works of literature.
Analysis through Digital Storytelling
For years, reading and discussions have been the mode of analyzing literature. While reading literature can be quite enlightening and discussions help to understand the deeper meaning of the text, it can be a daunting task for a novice reader. Here’s where digital storytelling can come to the rescue by easing the lesson through the form of a story before the students actually read. With the help of images, text, music, and voiceover, one can easily summarize the book or play in the form of a simple story and get the students excited about the piece of prose that they are about to read. Digital storytelling can be used as a tool to assess the understanding of the students as they would love to document their understanding in the form of an audio-visual medium rather than writing a long assignment about it.
Audiobooks and Audio Podcasts
Audiobooks are a godsend for reluctant readers. Reading can be a fascinating experience but trying to read the complex language often found in literature text can be exhausting at times. Audiobooks are wonderful tools for students to study English literature as it narrates the text with tonal shifts and pronunciation giving an all around experience of listening to a story. It helps the prose leave a deeper impact on the psyche of the students.
Apart from audio books, teachers should definitely check out audio podcasts as a means of student assessment. Instead of giving writing assignments, I encourage my students to articulate their understanding of the literature text in the form of audio podcasts. I found that students are happier creating audio podcasts than writing essays as it gives them the freedom to express them in casual tones, songs, and even rap.
A discussion about English literature is incomplete without mentioning the abundance of classical poetry at our disposal. There are plenty of poetry apps on the internet that not only let you read some of the best poems in English literature but also help us understand the true meaning behind each and every line. POETRY from The Poetry Foundation is one such wonderful app that helps you appreciate poetry according to your mood. The purpose of reading poetry in English literature will be unfulfilled until it inspires students to express through poetry. By using an app called Instant Poetry, I encourage my students to summarize their understanding of classical poetries in their own words.
Visual medium is perhaps the most popular form of communication as today’s teens are hooked to Youtube, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. And who doesn’t love movies? But it is surprising how very few teachers utilize this craze for visual content in their literature classrooms. With so many musicals inspired from classic works of literature, a teacher should organize movie sessions once-in-a-while so that students can understand the underlying inspiration that the movie has taken from the work of literature. It will not only help students watch the movie in a new light but it will also help them appreciate the beauty of English literature. I also encourage my students to submit projects such as their own video representations of literary fiction as it helps them explore the various layers of a story while having fun with it.
In a nutshell, English literature doesn’t have to be a serious subject for students as Edtech allows us to have fun with learning prose, poetry, and nonfiction. These are just a handful of methods which I found useful in drawing the attention of students towards English literature. If you have other ways to add color to often falsely perceived monochromatic literature, please feel free to mention in comments below!
Quizizz is one of my go-to review activities in my classroom – it’s just so fun and easy to create! My students love that they can play the game on their individual devices, see the class leaderboard, and view fantastic MEMES after they answer each question! The memes, friends. Oh, the memes!!
Quizizz has recently unveiled a great app that students can use to prevent summer “brain-drain” by reviewing age appropriate trivia-like content. The best part? IT’S FUN!
Zip Quiz is similar to Trivia Crack with a few exceptions …
–> Players can choose to “spin the wheel” for a category OR can select a category of their choice
–> Players can choose the level of the questions they receive
–> True to Quizizz form … the MEMES are great!
–> Players can also choose an avatar
Zip Quiz is available as an iOS app.
Here’s how to get started:
On this screen, select “Get Started” – but, I’m sure you figured that out 🙂 Next, you’ll choose an avatar … the focal point of many popular memes.
On the next screen, you’ll enter your username and select your grade level. It’s been a few years since I was in 12th grade, of course!
When you see this screen, you’re ready to play!
Next, you’ll get to select “individual or versus” based on whether you want to play a game individually or against an opponent.
If you choose “play versus,” Zip Quiz will find a random opponent for you to challenge. After you’ve finished the game, you can challenge your friends through text, email, or social media to beat your score!
Next, you’ll be able to either spin the wheel or choose your quiz subject!
You have 60 seconds to answer as many questions correctly as you can! True to Quizizz form, the winner gets a crown and the loser gets a rain cloud! Zip Quiz will show your accuracy percentage, the number of questions you missed, and the number of questions you answered in 60 seconds.
This game is FUN and a great way for kids to continue learning, or at least review over the summer break!
Give it a whirl!!
I’ve been looking back at my posts about game-based learning tools today, and I seem to focus on three great tools : Kahoot!, Quizizz, and Quizlet Live. All of these tools are fantastic additions to any classroom and promote student engagement. However, today I thought I’d share a quick rundown of some similarities/differences among these three tools!
Please feel free to use (but do not alter) this comparison chart for professional/educational purposes.
Kahoot!, Quizizz, and Quizlet Live are all great options for classroom use. My students have favorite features of each of these tools: they love the intensity of the Kahoot! music, the memes on Quizizz, and the speed and cooperation that is required when playing Quizlet Live.
As I’ve shared previously, I use all three of these tools in my classroom. I think that utilizing a variety of tools, especially game-based tools, helps to keep things interesting in my classroom, so to speak. Completing the same activities repeatedly would get boring … even if that activity is playing a fun game! Variety is important and can be easily achieved through these tools and other educational technology tools!
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Quizizz is a fantastic game-based formative assessment tool that just keeps getting better!
As I’ve shared before, Quizizz is a FREE website where teachers can create FUN quizzes and activities for their students. Similar to Kahoot and Quizlet Live, teachers can create their own games or can choose from a variety of existing activities. Read more about Quizizz here!
One of the many great things about Quizizz is that the great minds behind this platform make frequent and AWESOME updates! Check out a few of the newest additions…
Yes, sometimes we still need to print, or at least have a backup, just in case. Sometimes the WiFi crashes, the electricity goes out, or some other catastrophe will undoubtedly throw a wrench in our otherwise beautiful lesson. The print quiz feature is fantastic for a great backup plan 🙂
Share to Classroom
This feature is probably my favorite addition to Quizizz. I am fortunate enough to teach in a GAFE building, and tools like Google Classroom are absolutely indispensable in my classroom! I love that I am able to create Quizizz games and share the game link with my students via Classroom. Students then simply click on the Classroom link and join the game – NO pin to enter! Not that entering a pin causes a huge issue in my high school classroom, but this feature would be a huge sanity saver in the elementary classroom!
Ok, this is cool. For those of you that are particularly gifted in the art of creating memes, this new feature is for you! Use popular websites like IMG Flip, or simply use Google Drawing to create your own memes. Then, upload them to your account and add them to your games. It’s really that simple!
Quizizz is a fantastic learning tool for any classroom! Give it a try!