How Using Art Can Help Students to Study Literature

The Challenge of Engaging Students

Reading literature requires one’s full attention if it is to be studied and understood in depth. Reading literary pieces needs concentrations and persistence to comprehend how the plot unfolds.

Using literature to teach young people can sometimes be difficult because they characteristically have fleeting attention. Their focus jumps from one thing to another, and they consider most writings boring.

Emphasis on Teachers of English

It’s even worse for English teachers. Students fail to comprehend written works and thus do not appreciate them. Using visual talent is a proven way of capturing and maintaining attention, especially where young minds are involved. They prefer what they can see and probably touch but mostly see.

Using art to teach written matter encourages them to focus their attention and think about the various themes expressed.

§     Social Media

Gadgets are the biggest culprits when it comes to stealing attention. Learners will ignore their teachers to engage in social media, particularly where pictures and videos are involved. Instagram and Facebook posts can be used to manipulate thought.

While students might only see images, getting them to study them and suggest what poses and movements could mean is inspires thinking. Well captured photos and choreographed videos are considered art. They express feelings, themes, and opinions.

The images have the power to reveal what the artist sees and feels. Poses are sometimes inspired, and photography has evolved into a contemporary life form. Discussing and relating photos on social media to literary themes could be quite fruitful.

§     Traditional Art

More than anything, painters and sculptors use their art to convey messages and induce thought. Simple paintings convey messages at different levels. Things are rarely precisely just what they seem. Engaging learners to discern signs and possible meanings of art is a healthy way to discuss writings.

Traditional art is generally more preferred because most works are accompanied by a tale or written literary expressions. In such instances, it becomes easier to understand the literature by merely looking at the art form and drawing parallels. In cases where a piece has no direct art form, relating with art from similar eras is also alright.

Reading literary pieces needs concentrations and persistence to comprehend how the plot unfolds. That’s why its incredibly important to use comfortable chairs for reading literature.

§     Teaching Reading through Art

Whichever art form is chosen, there are several ways of acquiring and accessing them. Coincidentally, these also stimulate the brain to concentrate by creating excitement. Art galleries and museums provide the opportunity to step out of the monotony of classrooms.

Students are therefore more actively involved and particularly if they are allowed to touch the art. There are also online galleries which can be easily accessed and have inexhaustible content. Children’s books contain lots of pictures. These are especially effective since they are painted purposefully to relay specific messages.

When trying to capture the attention of scholars, those who write papers for use pictures on their sites. In classical tales, the stories can even be used as excerpts for study. A more liberal approach is to issue topics and ask the students to come up with the pictures themselves.

How Literature Can Be Utilized in Teaching

1.     Less Is More

Using one or two pictures is preferable. It limits the discussion to relevant topics and reduces the time spent. For instance, after discussing two photos for about thirty minutes, the class should then proceed to analyze written works. The teacher should be keen to maintain the same methods applied to the images.

2.     State the obvious

Students should start by stating what they can see and perhaps touch. That includes elements of a painting that are too outright to miss. They may consist of color, items, people, activities depicted and even expressions that are obvious to sight. They have to notice the art, which basically the first step to reading literature.

3.     Ask why

Next, the students discuss why they saw what they did. In so doing they establish a protocol for taking notice of elements of the art. They understand what lead to the observations and develop this, as a rule, to be used in the analysis of content.

After establishing the rules students then have to analyze the information. By applying thought, they make sense of it through interpretation. Students ask why and by provoking their ideas they deliver answers to the questions. They understand the reasons behind the noticeable observations that they made.

4.     Compare to reality

While still operating within the confines of the art they make relations with their own life. That adds perspective and personal touch to a scenario. It is at this point that differing views and opinions might occur as each student interprets the art uniquely. Students can then go beyond art and find possible applications to societies problems and everyday situations.

Analyzing art in this way prepares students’ minds to be receptive and critical of literary pieces. Proceeding to excerpts and applying the same procedures to words helps young minds create comparisons. They understand compositions and can thus extrapolate vitally and educationally.

Final Thoughts

There are several ways of using art to teach. Most of these techniques work very well when utilized. However, they can easily divert everyone’s attention altogether if indulged too much. The wise man’s saying, “Too much of anything is toxic,” still applies here. They should, therefore, be employed carefully and strategically.

The key lies in dwelling just enough on the art to draw ample parallels with the writings at hand. By doing so, minds are able to switch between art and literature without losing focus. Therefore, art inspired by literature is the best for effective teaching. When both are combined in the right manner, the results will be splendid.

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