Canon Revival: Supplementing Classic Literature Through Young Adult Novels

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2018-05
Authors
Grace, Ruth
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English

The Department of English seeks to provide all university students with the skills of effective communication and critical thinking, as well as imparting knowledge of literature, creative writing, linguistics, speech and technical communication to students within and outside of the department.

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The Department of English and Speech was formed in 1939 from the merger of the Department of English and the Department of Public Speaking. In 1971 its name changed to the Department of English.

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1939-present

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  • Department of English and Speech (1939-1971)

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Abstract
Classic literature read in high school English classes can be difficult for students to comprehend and analyze. To better prepare students to critically think about and engage with classic literature, Young Adult Literature (YAL) can be used to supplement students' understanding and comprehension of the texts that they read. For this unit plan, three Young Adult (YA) novels are taught as precursors for three classic texts that are traditionally read in high school English classrooms. The outcomes of this unit are for students to become familiar with similar themes, plot events, and character developments within the YA novels that will prepare them to analyze the same components within the paired classic novels. Analyzing these factors within the context of YAL allows for students to form stronger connections and analyses that will act as scaffolds when reading classic literature. This three-week unit plan contains lessons for fifteen days of instruction as well as three additional extension plans for each YA novel. Students engage in various forms of discussion, compose brief analytical essays on specific topics, and conduct research all in an effort to prepare them to analyze and read classic literature following completion of this unit.
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