Questions for Discussing Literature

 

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A general help for students and teachers when discussing fiction and non-fiction

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Foto: Henrika Florén Questions for Discussing Literature onsdag 10 april 13 By Henrika Florén

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QUESTIONS FOR FICTION These questions can be used for any novel. The are also helpful if you want to make your own discussion questions for a given text. By Henrika Florén onsdag 10 april 13

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Setting ”the time, place, and conditions in which the action of a book, movie, etc., takes place ▪ The movie changes the play's setting from the late 18th century to the year 2000. ▪ She uses modern-day Los Angeles as the setting for her book.” from http://www.learnersdictionary.com/search/setting What was special about the setting of the book? How did it make the story better (or worse)? By Henrika Florén onsdag 10 april 13

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Themes ”the main subject that is being discussed or described in a piece of writing, a movie, etc. ▪ The quest for power is the underlying theme of the film. ▪ A constant theme in his novels is religion. ▪ The playwright skillfully brings together various themes. ▪ The album focuses on themes of love and loss. ▪ Adventures are popular themes in children's books.” from http://www.learnersdictionary.com/search/theme What themes can you find in the novel? What message do you think the author is trying to get across to the reader? By Henrika Florén onsdag 10 april 13

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Characters ” a person who appears in a story, book, play, movie, or television show ▪ The film's main characters are a woman in her late 30s and her elderly neighbor. ▪ She plays the film's lead/main/central character. ▪ a fictional character [=a character in a work of fiction] ▪ a popular cartoon character ▪ the title character of the book Tom Sawyer [=the character named Tom Sawyer] from http://www.learnersdictionary.com/search/character Are the characters real and believable? Can you relate to their problems? Do they remind you of yourself or of somebody you know? By Henrika Florén onsdag 10 april 13

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Change & Development How do characters change and develop in the story? If so, what causes the characters to change or to grow and develop? By Henrika Florén onsdag 10 april 13

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World View By Henrika Florén How does the story reveal the author’s world view? ( How s/he looks upon the world) By Henrika Florén onsdag 10 april 13

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Your Feelings Did parts of the book make you feel uneasy, moved, surprised...? If so, why? Did you learn something from this? By Henrika Florén onsdag 10 april 13

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QUESTIONS FOR NON-FICTION Many non-fiction books are also excellent to discuss; Biographies, memoirs, essays, historical accounts. Topics can cover anything from religion to science. The following questions should help you with some ideas on what to discuss. By Henrika Florén onsdag 10 april 13

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Facts Did you find anything surprising about the facts in the book? If so, what? By Henrika Florén onsdag 10 april 13

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Opinions ”a belief, judgment, or way of thinking about something : what someone thinks about a particular thing ... ▪ Why ask (for) my opinion if you have already decided? ▪ I value your opinion. [=I respect the way you think about things] ▪ We asked for their opinions about/on the new stadium” from http://www.learnersdictionary.com/search/opinion Has the book changed your opinion about a person or a topic? If so how? By Henrika Florén onsdag 10 april 13

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Information Was the information in the book presented in an interesting way? How does the author achieve this (or not)? By Henrika Florén onsdag 10 april 13

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Debate If the text is debating something, are all sides of the issue taken into consideration? Is the author biased? By Henrika Florén onsdag 10 april 13

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adapted from http://www.book-clubs-resource.com/running/discussion-questions.php with definitions from http://www.learnersdictionary.com By Henrika Florén onsdag 10 april 13

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Foto: Henrika Florén by Henrika Florén Detta verk är licensierat under en Creative Commons Erkännande-IckeKommersiell-DelaLika 3.0 Unported Licens. onsdag 10 april 13

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