Responding to Literature: Podcast Episode 191

May 20, 2019 | Posted by the IEW Blog Team


If you have worked through our teacher course, you know that IEW teaches nine units. With the latest update we have included an addition called “Writing About Literature.” Andrew Pudewa jokingly calls it “Unit 8.9” because it reflects elements of both of those units. In Podcast Episode 191, Andrew Pudewa and Julie Walker discuss how and why this addition was made to the syllabus. Additionally, they describe how and when to introduce it to students.

For younger students, “Writing about Literature” is essentially a combination of Units 8 and 9. Because of this, it is very important that students be allowed to progress through all of the units before you begin teaching this model. In fact, for students who are in their first year of writing with IEW, Andrew recommends delaying teaching it until the following year, and not before the student has progressed to at least the fourth grade. For students who are ready, teachers may introduce it by following the teaching procedures in Teaching Writing: Structure and Style.

For students who are closer to high school age, the instructor may consider introducing a more formal style of literary analysis. This model varies considerably from the “Response to Literature” model and should only be introduced after students have already encountered Unit 9. During the podcast, Andrew describes the goal of literary analysis and provides tools that students can utilize to help them write this challenging type of essay.

If you are seeking wisdom about how to teach your students to write about literature, you will find a wealth of knowledge and tips in this podcast. So don’t miss it! Finish off the year right by first listening to this podcast and then challenging yourself to write your own response to literature essay. Doing this will help you have confidence to confidently complete your year with IEW.

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