2015 Student Research Conference:
28th Annual Student Research Conference

Using Pop Culture to Engage Students in Reading Canonical Literature
Alyssa R. Bollinger♦
Dr. Barbara Price, Dr. Rebecca Dierking, and Dr. Alanna Preussner, Faculty Mentors

Jerome Evans writes in "From Sheryl Crow to Homer Simpson: Literature and Composition Through Popular Culture" (English Journal 2004) that popular culture, or any form of media produced for the public, holds a significant place in the English Language Arts classroom as both an object worthy of close examination and a means for students to approach literature (32). This study examines the impact of analyzing pop culture texts alongside canonical literature. The research was conducted with 31 juniors at a suburban, Midwestern high school and consisted of a variety of collaborative and individual analysis activities with the goal of improving evidence-based claim writing and increasing student engagement with the assigned text. Based on survey data, individual conferences, teacher observations, and student work samples, this study demonstrates the possibility of pop culture analysis leading to improved literary analysis and increased student involvement and encourages further research into this teaching method.

Keywords: English, Secondary Education, Reading Instruction , Popular Culture, Engagement

Topic(s):English, Secondary MAE Research

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 308-4
Location: VH 1212
Time: 1:45

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♦ Indicates Truman Graduate Student
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