Teaching literature to first year students

Reading in class

booksIn 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
  3. Literature by and about indigenous people (optional)

This year the choices are limited to two different books, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian and About a boy. To be able to make a good decision the students are asked to do these tasks to prepare.

Lesson plan

  1. Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 9.17.17 AMIn groups of 4 work together first in pairs and find information about the two authors, Sherman Alexie and Nick Hornby. Make a list of 5 interesting facts about each to present in your group. Use Twitter as one of your sources by following the authors and reading their tweets.
  2.  Listen to the two videos below. Based on the videos write a short paragraph about your impressions of the authors and the books
  3. Based on your impressions decide on wich book you want to read and write a short paragraph explaining your decision
  4. Read the first chapter of the book and write a short paragraph on your first impression.
  5. Send a link to your blog post to the author using Twitter and hashtag #1stc





  1. Thank you for sharing your plans! I have just finished reading Alexie’s novel with my own students (same level), and I think they quite enjoyed it. My students were asked to co-write presentations of the novel using Google presentations. Now, we have moved on to American culture: we used Rihanna’s song “American Oxygen” to find topics for further investigation. They will make Google presentations this time, too, but this time they must make this into a video presentation to be shown in class. By the way, have you tried quadblogging? I want to try it out next year.

  2. Thank you for commenting, good to know your students liked the novel. Perhaps they would want to comment on my students blogs and offer their insights? I have used Quadblogging several times, you should try it out next year!

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