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Lesson Plan

Reader Response in Hypertext: Making Personal Connections to Literature

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Reader Response in Hypertext: Making Personal Connections to Literature

Grades 9 – 12
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Six 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Patricia Schulze

Yankton, South Dakota


National Council of Teachers of English



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



In this lesson plan, students choose four quotations to inspire personal responses to a novel that they have read. Students write a narrative of place, a character sketch, an extended metaphor poem, and a persuasive essay then link all four texts to the quotations they selected. If desired, students incorporate photos into their presentation then publish the collected texts on their website. This lesson is used with novels that contain a strong sense of place, that focus on closeness of characters, and that are metaphorical in character, such as A River Runs Through It, Montana 1948, and The Bean Trees.

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Writing Rubric: Teachers can use this rubric to evaluate the content, organization, word choice, voice, sentence fluency, and conventions of their students' writing.

Interactive Venn Diagram: Students use this online tool to compare and contrast the details of two books, to organize ideas for a compare and contrast essay, and a variety of other compare and contrast activities.

Persuasion Map: Students use this online tool to map out and print persuasive arguments. Included are spaces to map out the thesis, three reasons, and supporting details.

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This lesson asks students "to develop and explore their personal responses to literature," which Allen Carey-Webb identifies is the basic teaching strategy that "put[s] the ‘reader response' theory into practice" (6-7). As Carey-Webb explains in more detail, "Rather than lecture, recitation, or the discovery of some predetermined meaning, reader response teachers favor small- and large-group discussions, literature circles, creative writing, and dramatic and artistic activities that help students engage actively with what they read and express their individual responses and understandings" (7). This lesson adopts the reader-response techniques of asking students to engage with the texts that they read and respond individually in multiple genres.

Further Reading

Carey-Webb, Allen. 2001. Literature and Lives: A Response-Based, Cultural Studies Approach to Teaching English. Urbana, IL: NCTE.

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