I feel that it is essential for every English literature student–whether that be honors, regular, or support level– to have the ability to read a single text through a different critical lens. This skill teaches students how to have an open mindset and view the world through someone else’s perspective–which is one of the fundamental purposes of reading.
(***Make sure you read all the way to the bottom of this post for a special giveaway and link up!***)
2. Use well-known movies for examples
There are lots of examples out there for The Lion King including this teacher’s website and this student project, but since I have a Harry Potter obsession (see my classroom here: High School Harry Potter Classroom, I tend to always use HP related examples. Here is a visual of Harry Potter Critical Lenses (click to enlarge):
3. Use tactile “lenses” to physically teach the concept of looking through different lenses at a single piece of text
This one is my favorite because it adds an element of fun to the really challenging concept of understanding critical lenses. Either by using the glasses as group roles or having each student do a multi-read of a single text, students physically wear a critical lens to help them remember how they should be viewing the text.
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Even though there’s an element of fun, this activity isn’t all fluff. By wearing the different lenses, students have a kinesthetic way of comprehending a text through multiple views. If you would like a set of these lenses along with full explanations of the Harry Potter critical lenses, check out my lesson here:
This is MY best of the best lesson in my classroom, but if you want to see lots of other bests from amazing ELA teachers, then follow the links below. We have all teamed up to write about the best of our classroom, so the content is English teacher vetted and approved!