One of the methods I really like for working on a literary text is called dicing. It is a method that allows an analysis of certain topics from different aspects. All you have to do is make a dice with these six words written on it: DESCRIBE, COMPARE, CONNECT, ANALYZE, USE, FOR/AGAINST. By throwing the dice the students are required to write down about a certain topic - they either have to compare something, analyze it or use it, etc. After that students discuss the topic.

I used this method as a part of the analysis of the story Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach. The lesson is pretty long (90min), but if you want, I can explain what I did in some of the next posts and maybe even give you the lesson plan. What do you think? I also used two more interesting methods, which I will explain in a few posts. 

The dice for Jonathan Livingston had the following things written on it:
  • DESCRIBE how Jonathan pursued his dreams!
  • COMPARE Jonathan with the rest of his Flock!
  • USE Jonathan’s story to describe a story of some famous athletes!
  • List some of the reasons FOR and AGAINST following your dreams!
  • CONNECT this story with the real life!
  • ANALYZE the relationship of Jonathan and his teacher!

To download the dice for Jonathan Livingston click on the picture.

Preparing for this method does take time because you have to make all the dices, but once you have them, you can reuse them several times. Luckily, there are a number of web pages from which you can download the template, and then just cut it out and glue the pieces together. I used this web site – it’s great, because you can write the things you want to appear on the sides of the dice on the actual site and it will generate the dice for you.

You can, of course, use this method for much more than just doing literature – I imagine it would be pretty awesome for practicing grammar in form of a game (irregular verbs, tenses, comparison of adjectives, passive, indirect speech…). And it could be great for some "get to know you" activities at the beginning of the school year.

So be creative, and have fun with it!


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