Top 10 Classroom Techniques to Teach Literature.

Teaching literature is an exciting stuff. It needs a vast range of reading and background knowledge. Sometimes it becomes challenging because your student may find it hard to grasp what you try to impart. I too face such difficulties but it is the nature of Literature! Here I have some classroom techniques that I use in my classrooms. I found they work effectively to break the boredom to develop genuine insights in students.

01. Shot Gun Questions


This is one of my regular question types as an ice breaker and revision of previous lesson. This can be used as a great tool of classroom management as student promptly give you their attention. You may ask a series of rapid question related to a topic without giving prior time to think. The questions can be short answer elicits regarding the names of characters, places so on. You can point your finger as a shot gun and fire questions all over the class. I try this and I always get wonderful results. 

02. Who Tells This?

This is a similar kind of task but here you have to give a little time for students to think. This is a great way to revise the previous lesson specially in novels and dramas. You can narrate a part of a text and ask students to guess who said this and where or when. This can create immediate learning environment in the class as it activates thinking. 

03. Quote of the Day.

Everyone knows how hard it is to memorise the quotations. You can pick out golden quotations and display one of them in the class at the beginning of the lesson and ask students to memorise it. You may discuss where it was taken create a small discussion on it. At the end of the lesson you may ask them to repeat the quote. This is successful for any level of students.  

04. Draw the Setting.


 Pictures are a great tool to carry messages. You may have seen how effectively pictures are used in websites to generate an awesome effect. You can ask your students to sketch the setting in the poem, yes, this is great with poems but you can use it for other genres too. This can give a better idea of the text you are going to discuss. Try it, there are some artistic students who draws wonderful sketches which you can show the class for greater effect.

05. Mind Map.


Mind map is a great awareness tool for any stage of a lesson. You can ask your students to draw a mind map regarding characters, themes or a topic given. This gives a great chance to analyse a text easily. You can encourage the students to use this to produce written answers. You may draw the central theme in the middle and ask students write the findings around it using circles or thought bubbles. I try this mostly when discussing a thematic question or past paper questions. I have seen many teachers use this method effectively.

06. Idea Collage.


This is a bit similar to mind mapping but more interesting and motivating. Students can use sticky notes to write and paste the findings on a given topic using their creativity. You can encourage students to paste their collages in different places of the class. Finally, you can ask the class to start a gallery walk watching others collages contrasting their findings. This task takes all the students participated to the task and intrinsically motivating. Your students would love this.

07. What’s Next?


This is a great tool to activate the thinking in the mind of students. At the end of a poem or a short story, you can ask your students tell what is going to happen next in the poem or short story. Your students may come up with different interesting answers. You can ask students to present their ideas in written or spoken form. This really engages your students to the lesson. However, your students should have some command in their language to use this.

08. Quick Skit.


You can ask the students to create and act out a mini drama on the text. You can divide students into groups and give them some time to produce a script and divide characters. This will motivate the students and your students will enjoy the lesson. Depending the level of students, you may provide a script or demonstration. This enable the students use their language communicatively giving the exact message in the text.

09. I’m the Character.


You can ask your students to imagine that they are certain character in the piece of literary writing. Ask them to give a self-introduction about himself. This can be used to extract the characterisation in a fun way. You can ask students to demonstrate their answer individually or in a group.

10. Fastest Finger

You can use this to find techniques in poetry or introduce vocabulary. You can tell the line and the word number for example: line 10 word 5, which students have to locate quickly and tell what the technique is or you can explain the vocabulary. I use this tack-tic at the beginning of lessons to introduce vocabulary and techniques.

Using motivating activities breaks the monotony of the lesson and students participate in the lesson enthusiastically. You must have better activities than this, why don’t you share them commenting below.  

Why don't you share your magic trick with us too. Comment below and join the discussion. Please share the post if you think it is useful to others.

Post a Comment


  1. Attracive ideas
    I too follow some of them in my classes too.

    1. Appreciate your concern dilshan. Thank you for your permission to borrow your posts to be published in my blog. Hope the world'd get the best out of them. Cheers!