Writing Through Literature?

Everyday I recieve questions from Teacher Applicants about the process and content of the Teacher Applicaiton. This was my most recent questions from Sara from Brown University:

I am applying for a teaching position with Breakthrough this summer, and I have one question about the application– what is “Writing through Literature”? The application brochure does not go into detail, and I couldn’t find anything about it on the website. I wanted to write a lesson plan based on it, and it would be helpful to have more information about the course.

I recruited some extra help from Founder of Breakthrough Collaborative, Lois Looffbourrow, to respond to this question. Check it out:

In the top 9th grade classes in this country, students will be expected to write clear concise expository prose, perhaps comparing and contrasting two protagonists from two works of literature, perhaps discussing the symbolism of the journeys taken by characters in a short story.  For so many of our students, they don’t get a chance to hone their writing skills.  Writing is more than formulaic, it is about learning how to discover your voice, test your opinions, prove your thesis.  At Breakthrough,  the strength of our writing program across the curriculum is critical.  Our literature teachers are often the ones that help lead students to better appreciate the craft of writing, the imperative of writing.  For example, were you teaching Romeo and Juliet to 8th graders, you would need to ask yourself a series of questions as you designed your curriculum: How do I bring writing into the classroom, into my students’ homework?  How do I prepare my students to take a final examine with essay questions?  How do I help them improve on their basic five-paragraph essays? I truly believe that reading and writing in Literature go hand in hand.

Hope this helps!!!  Thanks for sending Dave this question!!  It is fun to think of all of you pondering the application and dreaming of working with amazing students.


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