Teaching Novels in Your Homeschool {Part 2}

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Yesterday I talked about how I teach a novel to my homeschooled boys.  We tend to do a lot of discussion questions more than anything.  Today, let's talk about the types of things that can be discussed when you are analyzing a literature selection.

To start you can talk about the elements of fiction: setting, characters, plot, conflict, and theme.

Setting has to do with the environment of the novel.  Where does the story take place?  What is this place like?  How does the setting lend to the story?

Characters can be discussed in the light of their personalities, but you can also discuss physical description and how that plays into the story. You can also compare and contrast different characters and how they interact with others.

Plot is the sequence of events in a story.  Here is a brief explanation of the parts of a plot.  After you have read the novel can your student put the story into the different plot parts?

Conflict makes a story interesting. Many times there are many conflicts in a novel.  Here is a list to work off of...
Man vs. Man
Man vs. Nature {animal}
Man vs. God {fate}
Man vs. Himself
Man vs. Society
Taking a moment to go through a discuss the conflicts in the story will help your student understand the depth of the novel better.

Theme is the main idea {or sometimes ideas} that are brought forth in the story.  Here is a list of themes to get you started.

Another area that you can focus on as you read the novel is the literary elements of the story.  This can include imagery, metaphors, similes, irony, personification, foreshadowing, symbols, and allusions. Here is a list with definitions to help you focus on some of the literary techniques used.

Tomorrow come back for a post of fun ideas to use as you go through a novel and my top picks of novels that are not to be missed!

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