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Literary Fanzine Part 2

Literary Fanzine Part 2

Written by Jana Hege
May 27, 2020

To give a little more context, my class is a high school-level literature class taught at a homeschool co-op. I had 18 students first semester, and 16 second. Many of the students had not had a higher level literature class before, and some even told me they hated reading. Other students were very advanced in both reading and writing. The literature fanzine gave them all a chance to create without leaving anyone out and without the pressure of a grade.

The second book we studied was A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain.  In class, we discussed some of the language, metaphor, and imagery used in the novel. I had the students read a specific section of the book and choose a “golden line,” a particular phrase or expression that stood out to them as either interesting, beautiful, or both. The assignment was:

Use the “golden lines” we found during class to write either a poem or a short passage on a topic of your choice.

I was really please with the variety of responses I received. Some of them are humorous, and some are quite profound. My favorite thing about this exercise was that the students who are normally very quiet in class had an opportunity to engage with the text in a creative way that didn’t involve speaking in front of others. While I encourage class participation, it can be a real struggle for some of my students.