Teaching Literature Ideas for High School

Anyone can hand a teen a book list and say, “Read these.” However, teaching literature to a high school student is so much more than that.

Teaching Literature Ideas for High School

Good books can open the mind and heart to ideas, and a good teacher knows how to help teens learn to use literature for life-learning.

Teaching Literature Ideas for High School

Move beyond a basic book list with some of OUR FAVORITE BLOG POSTS about teaching literature in high school homeschool.

One of the coolest ways to handle literature with your homeschool high schoolers is to frame literature through the lens of ideas. For instance, think about literature-theme ideas such as:

  • LIBERTY shaped the United States.
  • PERSEVERANCE brought success where everyone expected failure.
  • EQUALITY righted wrongs that no one thought could be corrected.

When you teach ideas, rather than just the plot or the characters in a book, you open up the possibilities for discussion. What wonderful talks we have had with our homeschool high schoolers- either at home or in co-op classes. They love to discuss the ideas that drive us to do what we do and be who we are!

Teaching with Autobiographies

Eye-witness accounts of historical events, personal insights, inspiration, and warnings from people who are willing to share their life-stories. Here are some excellent autobiographies for teens.

Learning from Great Essays

This post includes a list of suggested GREAT essays for your teen to read, most available online for free. Essay writing is an often-overlooked element of literature. We make our kids learn to write ’em — make sure they READ ’em, too!

Journalism and Literature

Literary journalism involves a creative telling of accurate, factually-reported events. These books can be really exciting to read with your teens, and almost certainly spark great discussions.

Study Values with Literature – Great Christian Writers

Check out this list of a FULL YEAR of recommended titles for teens!

Here are some more ideas for handling literature with your homeschool high schoolers from our Authoritative Guide series of posts.

On the other hand, some homeschool high schoolers do not want to use simple literature guides. They love learning ideas from literature guides but they like to have their whole English/Language Arts curriculum in one place.

That is why we create our ELA bundles- everything Language Arts is in one place.

Use an integrated curriculum. An integrated curriculum has a little American Literature, World Literature, British Literature, and another Literature mixed through the year, each year. This is a good choice for teens who will get bored with one literature topic for the entire year.

Integrated curriculums often also include the required writing, vocabulary, grammar and speech components so that homeschool moms do not need to shop for a bunch of extra curriculum. 7Sisters ELA Bundles are an example of integrated ELA curriculum (they also include schedules to help your teen know what to study and when).

The ELA Bundles cover:

The ELA bundles have all three state-required Literature topics (for the states that require American, British and World Literatures). However the topics are sprinkled through each bundle. (This is similar to the Integrated Math 1, 2 and 3 that many high schools use, where Algebra 1 and 2 along with Geometry and Trigonometry are sprinkled throughout each year.)

To record this on the transcript, you could handle it in several ways (if you have a local supervising organization, they may be may have some guidelines they prefer).

BUT for lovers of individual Literature Study Guides

Remember, 7Sisters Literature Study Guides (as will all 7Sisters curriculum) is no-busywork, no overkill. Not only that but there are SO many choices to accompany so many great literature titles. Visit the ebookstore now to see what 7Sisters can offer your homeschool!

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Teaching Literature Ideas High School

Sabrina Justison

20+ year homeschool mom and curriculum developer for 7SistersHomeschool.com. Fred's wife. Writing, drama, music, blogs, kids, shoes, coffee, & books in varying orders on various days. He is God, He is good & He loves me.

8 Replies to “Teaching Literature Ideas for High School”

  1. Thanks for your wonderful posts – I absolutely love the idea behind “7 sisters” – Thanks for making each one of us part of your group. I really like this post as I have an aspiring teen author and I often wonder how to give her direction. Although I have enjoyed writing it has never been a passion for me. These are some great ideas – what you read definitely influences the things you think, the things you write, and the person you become. Thanks!

    • So glad you feel “at home” with us! There are lots of ways to encourage young writers; we often have different interests than our kids and have to get input from others regarding ways to equip them. Thanks for commenting!

  2. I love using good literature to talk about values and ideas. I’ve not thought of requiring them to read essays, but I love the idea. It can be a model for good writing as well as a jumping off point for some good discussions.

    • It’s funny how long it took me to make that connection, Leah. I know that I, myself, learn best that way — give me a good model to observe carefully, and I will produce something much better than if I simply work from a set of instructions.

  3. Pinning this! Excellent lists and resources. I especially appreciate the reminder to discuss IDEAS and Ideals with them, rather than just facts. I will be utilizing the essays, for sure!

    • Great to hear, Jenn. The essays were a new addition for me a few years back. It was as if my brain suddenly went, “DING! I want them to learn to WRITE good essays….shouldn’t I have them READ some good essays??” LOL – lightbulb moments for homeschool moms! :)

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