Teaching literature

Reading in class

Cover of "The Book Thief"
Cover of The Book Thief

In Norway during the first year of high school we have two competency goals concerning literature

  1. Discuss and elaborate on English texts from a selection of different genres, poems, short stories, novels, films and theater plays from different epochs and parts of the world
  2. Discuss literature by and about indigenous peoples in the English-speaking world

Looking closely at these goals it seems to me that it should be voluntary for students if they want to read a novel in class, and if they do they would be smart to choose one by and about indigenous people.

I’m giving my students a choice here and among the suggested literature discussed at our last network meeting I have listed these books. Regarding literature by and about indigenous people suited for high school students, I have to admit I’m at a loss and need some help! Please comment here if you have any suggestions.

  1. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Ransom Riggs
  2. The book Thief, Markus Zusak
  3. Ender’s Game, Orson Scott
  4. Twice Toward Justice, Claudette Colvin
  5. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
  6. Life of Pi, Yann Martel
  7. White Tiger, Aravind Adiga

Lesson plan

  1. Click on the links above and read the book descriptions, check out related media and read at least 2 of the customer reviews. Based on your research choose one of the books and write a short post on your blog explaining your choice and your expectations for chosen book
  2. See if the writer has a Twitter account and send a short message to the author with a link to your blog post!


  1. Hi, Ann and loads of smiles (loved the vid) and best wishes for the new year ahead. Here’s a book I’d love to delve into, but not sure whether it can be of help to you. So, how about “Life of Pi” which was turned into a movie by Ang Lee in 2012? Have a peek!

    (BOOK) http://www.amazon.com/Life-Pi-Yann-Martel/dp/0156027321
    (SPARKNOTES) http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/lifeofpi/context.html
    (FILM) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0454876/

    Hope that helps. 😉

  2. One of my favorite books from the Indian English-speaking world was White Tiger. Definitely preview it first because murder is involved – but a fantastic read. It makes me ask the question, “Is education enough to reach wealth and power? In all countries?”

    Good luck!

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  4. Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko and Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich ( both by Native Americans about Native Americans)

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