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Teacher Tips and Answers

Warm-Up for Reading and Writing About Literature

Writing a Personal Narrative
© Thoughtful Learning 2018

Numerous tests in high school assess your ability to read and understand literature and poetry. The Common Core assessments for high school English, the ACT and SAT, and the exam for AP English Literature and Composition ask you to read works of literature, answer questions about them, and write thoughtful responses. The activities in this unit will help you develop the skills you need to succeed on these assessments. If you’d like to use these skills on a simulated assessment, see the unit “Practice Test for Reading and Writing About Literature.”

What Is Literature?

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We all tell stories—what happened during fifth hour, how the team came back 14 points to win, what the doctor said about your broken arm. . . . These everyday stories help us understand our lives and what is happening around us.

Over thousands of years, some of the best stories have risen to the top as "literature." Despite the lofty title, literature performs the same basic function as everyday storytelling. It helps readers understand what it's like to be alive—where we have been and where we are going. Reading literature also allows you to spend time with some of the most amazing storytellers who have ever lived.

Thinking About Stories

When reporters go out searching for news stories, they try to answer the 5 W's and H. You can use these same questions to think about the basic parts of any story, fiction or nonfiction:

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