What is Literature?

Literature includes a wide variety of textual formats which includes poems and prose. Prose can be nonfiction or fiction; the latter includes novels and short stories. Literature can also be in a dramatic format and performed as plays. It also includes religious texts, children's books, and graphic novels. Every culture has its own literary tradition, and literature has been passed down through generations with stories and folktales that have helped preserve cultures. Literature can help teach lessons to readers that often revolve around a common theme or human experience, or can help readers ask questions and ponder new circumstances.

Literature is an important part of any curriculum. Students learn about the world in a new way and can choose from a broad array of works that cover the spectrum of human emotions and experiences. This can give learners a better understanding of the world around them and expose them to people and places that they would not otherwise learn about. Literature provides students with the critical thinking skills and knowledge to read and analyze texts closely. Study.com offers many courses, including courses geared toward elementary-aged children through high school and college students. The level of difficulty increases as students progress through the various courses offered.

Literature contains many fields, including American Literature, African-American Literature, and British Literature. Study.com includes all of these courses and more. Many of these courses can help students working toward a degree earn credits, which are accepted at many colleges and universities. In addition to earning credit, literary studies give students a broader appreciation of cultures and time periods worldwide. Students can benefit from the practice quizzes and content included to bolster their appreciation and knowledge of literature.

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Literature Topics

Literature Education Resources

Study.com provides many resources to support students as they progress through the courses offered. Resources include accessible content that helps guide students through the courses. Each chapter contains checks for understanding so that students can demonstrate their knowledge by taking assessments aligned with what they are learning. These resources are available to anyone taking a course through Study.com and can also provide support to educators. Students also have access to 24/7 tutoring support.

Literature Courses and Lessons

The goal of any literature course is to give the student access to a wide variety of texts and examples of writing and to help students learn more about human nature. By accessing the following courses, students can learn more about topics like British Literature, African American Literature, and literature from around the world. These courses will provide students with the context surrounding these pieces of literature and give students a deeper understanding of the world at that time.

For teachers and parents

Literature Education Lesson Plans for Teachers

Study.com has many lesson plans to help teachers build curricula for various literature courses. These resources can help support teachers and parents teaching literature to elementary-aged children in the short story unit or help teachers guide their high school students through a curriculum about Shakespeare or American Literature. Lesson plans can be used to plan an entire year or to supplement a course related to literature, such as a high school English class.

Lesson plans
  • American Literature Resources for Teachers

    This resource contains content to support a high school American Literature course. Some examples of resources help teachers guide students through texts such as To Kill a Mockingbird and As I Lay Dying.

  • Famous Authors Lesson Plans & Teaching Resources

    This plan includes resources to help students learn about famous authors, such as Jane Austen and Ray Bradbury. Over ten famous authors, as well as the time period and context of the texts, are examined.

  • Famous Children's Authors Lesson Plans

    This resource helps teachers to plan lessons about famous children's authors, such as Eric Carle. There are many great resources to teach about important elementary and middle school-level books and their authors.

  • Literary Analysis: Lesson Plans & Activities

    Literary analysis is often complex for students of any age. This resource gives teachers examples and strategies for literary analysis to use with students. Reading comprehension and common literary elements are covered.

  • Literary Elements Lesson Plans & Resources

    Understanding literary elements are essential in understanding literature, especially as students progress through middle and high school. This resource can be used to help teach the different elements.

  • Teaching Middle Grade Genre Books

    This unit covers different genres and texts commonly taught in middle school, such as A Wrinkle in Time and Bud, Not Buddy. This resource will give teachers ideas about how to teach these important texts.

  • Myths & Legends Lesson Plans & Resources

    This resource contains common myths and legends. Greek mythology, common fairy tales, and folklore are all covered topics in this fun resource. Teachers can use this to build reading and writing skills.

  • Nonfiction Literature Lesson Plans & Resources

    This five-chapter resource can be used to supplement a literature course and teach students about the importance of reading nonfiction. Students will learn to examine text features and other essential skills.

  • Shakespeare Lesson Plans & Resources

    Many of Shakespeare's most famous works are covered in this course. These lessons help prepare both teachers and students to understand Shakespeare better, and is excellent for teaching Shakespeare at any level.

  • Short Stories for Kids: Guide for Teachers & Parents

    This resource can be used by both teachers and parents to supplement a course or be taught on its own. Short stories from around the world are covered in this course aimed at elementary and middle school students.

  • Teaching Young Adult Books & High School Literature

    This comprehensive course plan helps to teach students about different genres, such as dystopian futures and short stories. Students can take quizzes and assessments to test their knowledge of the texts they read.

Literary Skills and Practice

The literature skills and practice section focuses on high school common core standards. Each grade level is divided into four sections: grammar, vocabulary, reading, and writing. Students have the opportunity to take practice quizzes on a variety of subjects. In grade 9, students will practice identifying various types of clauses in a sentence. They will also study the meaning of words and how they are used in sentences. Students will have the opportunity to learn how to revise their writing, a skill they will need for high school and beyond. Students will also read passages similar to the ones they will see on school tests, so they can practice reading comprehension skills that will support their learning.

The grade 10 practice section introduces the grammar skill of comparing adverbs and adjectives. Students can build and expand on the skills they worked on in grade 9. Students will practice analyzing nonfiction and fiction passages and examine how to best read and interpret these passages. Students will practice analyzing more complex literary devices, like anaphora and epistrophe. These skills will give students extra practice with writing skills, such as creating a thesis statement. Students can read practice thesis statements and determine why one is a more substantial piece of writing than the other.

The skills and practice in grades 11 and 12 deepen a student's understanding of grammar, vocabulary, reading, and writing further through more complex reading passages and writing skills. Students can practice additional grammar skills, such as correcting inappropriate shifts in verb tense. Students will also practice using etymology to determine the meaning of a word they do not know. This skill will benefit students who take literature courses in high school in college.

Students can benefit by beginning in the grade 9 section and testing their knowledge of their grammar, vocabulary, reading, and writing. This assessment will give students a baseline of their skill level. They can then progress through each skill and practice section as needed to check their understanding of the content. All of these sections include important grammar skills that are often not taught directly in high school English courses but that students will need to know to write effectively. Writing effectively and analytically reading are important skills to guarantee success in college and beyond.

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Homeschool Literature Resources

This curriculum helps students prepare to take the AP English Literature exam. Using the resource AP English Literature: Homeschool Curriculum will help homeschooler educators successfully teach their students the content they need to be successful. The curriculum also contains passages similar to the level that students will see on the test. This resource also includes information about how to take the test itself.

Homeschool solutions
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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What does literature mean?

    Literature is the study of written works such as poetry, drama, novels, and short stories. It is considered an art form, and it is a way for cultures to pass on their knowledge.

  • What are the three types of literature?

    There are many types of literature and many ways to differentiate them. The three main types are drama (plays), poetry, and prose. Prose includes nonfiction as well as fiction such as short stories or novellas.