2018 Student Research Conference:
31st Annual Student Research Conference

Bringing Literature to Life: Performance as a Reading Engagement Tool in the Secondary English Classroom


Rachel M. Davis♦
Dr. Barbara Price, Rebecca Dierking, and Dr. Priscilla Riggle, Faculty Mentors

While student performance is a common teaching strategy when studying Shakespeare, it is seldom used with other equally complex texts. A growing number of students do not enjoy reading for school or for pleasure, and when this is combined with increasingly shorter attention spans, teachers can find it hard to effectively engage students with classic texts like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn or The Scarlet Letter. Incorporating performance activities that get students on their feet and thinking critically about a text, for example reading scenes from the text in character, can greatly improve student engagement with the text and participation in analytical discussions of literature. In my research I explore how the inclusion of acting and performance activities in a literature study of The Great Gatsby influenced the reading engagement of high school students in a large suburban school. 

Keywords: Reading Engagement, Classic Literature, Performance, The Great Gatsby, Suburban High School, Secondary English Education, MAE Research

Topic(s):English, Secondary MAE Research
English MAE Intern
Theatre

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 302-2
Location: MG 1090
Time: 1:15

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♦ Indicates Truman Graduate Student
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