THE BEST WAYS TO TEACH 'IDENTIFYING THEMES' in Form Four

Welcome to UNIT 7:4! 

Review: Previously in Unit 7:3, we discussed about how to teach the sub topic ‘Identifying themes’ in Form Three. In this sub topic, students were introduced to the various techniques of identifying and analysing various themes in literary works.

In this Unit 7:4, we will learn how to teach the sub topic, Identifying themes’ in Form Four. In this sub topic, we will again guide students to identify and analyse various themes in literary works.


(Also: For Literature in English Subject, Check out my Literature in English Blog. Also check out My Diary for Diary Writing Inspiration and More! )
                                                                    
THE FOLLOWING IS THE COMPREHENSIVE TEACHING GUIDE ON THE SUB TOPIC:

A: INFORMATION OF THE TOPIC:
1. Topic: READING LITERARY WORKS
2. Sub Topic: Identifying themes.
3. Periods per sub topic: 16
4: Class: Form Four.
B: HOW TO TEACH THE TOPIC:

GENERAL INTRODUCTION
The student should be able to relate works studied with personal and national experiences. For example, in Form Four class, students may have read two or more works of art. Thus, in this sub topic, students should be guided by the teacher to discuss and relate the works studied with their personal and national experiences. For instance, if the students have personally experienced, heard about the incidents, or seen the incidents like those from “Unanswered Cries”, they should discuss their implications in comparison to other literary work studied.

ACTIVITIES AND GAMES TO FACILITATE THE LESSON

ACTIVITY 1: INTRODUCING THE LESSON
The students are introduced to the lesson by reminding of what they have learned under this course. For the particular moment, students are told that they are going to compare two literary works. A teacher should guide them on how to effectively and efficiently compare two works of arts by applying proper techniques. These techniques include:
  • How more than one work of art are introduced in an essay.
  • How to start a new reading and shift from to the text, and
  • How to conclude by incorporating all two analysed books.
Knowing how to discuss and analyse two works of art in a single essay, a student will be able to analyse and compare readings effectively.

ACTIVITY 2: DISCUSSION OF THEMES FROM LITERARY WORKS STUDIED
In this activity, the teacher will guide students to discuss the themes of literary works studied. He/she will lead students to compare and contrast the themes of two works of art selected for the lesson. Before going further, a teacher reminds the students on analysing major and minor themes of the selected works of art. See the diagrams below on the major themes and minor themes from the selected novels:
Major theme and minor themes in UNANSWERED CRIES

Major theme and minor themes in PASSED LIKE A SHADOW


For example, a teacher may write a guiding question on the board: “What are the main issues discussed in two novels you have read under this course?” If students have been read ‘Unanswered Cries’ and ‘Passed Like a Shadow’, they will have to discuss in groups these main issues/themes discussed in them.
To facilitate the discussion of the themes from two texts, a teacher can draw two circles on the board and allow each group to discuss six themes (three from each novel) and then each leader of the group will go to the board and write the themes they have discussed on a particular circle. See the filled circles below (each one with issues from a particular novel):
 
Themes in UNANSWERED CRIES

Themes in PASSED LIKE A SHADOW

Guide students to use the correct patterns when they are discussing the themes:
For example;
  • ‘The themes found in the novel, ‘Unanswered Cries’ are…….’
  • ‘The main issues discussed by the author of this novel are as follows………
ACTIVITY 3: RELATING THE ISSUES OF THE NOVELS WITH PERSONAL EXPERIENCES.
The teacher guide students to relate works studied with personal experiences.
Students to write summaries of literary works studied. A teacher guide students to relate the main issues discussed in ACTIVITY 2 above with the students’ personal experiences.
A teacher can provide guiding questions to help students discuss the matters with ease. Some of the questions are:
  • How the events in two novels you have read are related to your own society?
  • By giving your own experiences, show how the two novels you have read are relevant in your contemporary society.
ACTIVITY 4: RELATING THE ISSUES OF THE NOVEL WITH THE NATIONAL EXPERIENCES.
In this time, the teacher guides students to relate the works studied with national experiences. A teacher can use the guiding questions below to guide students on what to discuss.
  • Explain how the issues expressed in two novels you have read are relevant to the contemporary society like Tanzania.
  • ‘Writers are the teachers of any society like Tanzania’. Prove this statement by using two readings you have read.
6: CONNECTION: Beyond the Sub Topic. This sub topic is the topic that is widely engage students with the society in the sense that now students discuss the issues from the texts and what happen in their own societies. This allows them to have critical thinking skills since they have to come to the conclusions by relating the issues to the society. They also improve inference makings skills. This is made possible because they discuss the themes in groups by using the clues found in the texts. These and other skills are learnt by the students when they analyse the selected works of art.

7: NOTE: In short, discussing personal experiences and national experiences means that the same issues are discussed at the same time and in the same society but with some varying purposes. The only difference is that personal experiences are those experiences a student have in his or her own society (and that is obviously a part of Tanzanian society) and national experiences are those experiences which are directed connected to the Tanzanian society in general (not only a place where a student come from or he/she has once visited).

Also each novel will be presented here fully analysed.

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If you are a STUDENT, TEACHER, PARENT/GUARDIAN, or an education stakeholder, you can also get various Materials, Teaching Guide, and Notes for ‘O’ Level English Language (OLE) right here.
FORME ONE
FORM THREE
FORM FOUR
                   
Other Related Useful Links & Blogs:

Other Useful ‘O’ Level English Topics:


Reference
  • Conteh, Osman (2002) Unanswered Cries, Macmillan Publishers Limited.
  • Mapalala, B (2009) Passed Like a Shadow, DUP, Dar es Salaam.

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