Sunday, September 27, 2020

Please Welcome Thomas Durwood an Award Winning Teacher



                                        About Mr. Thomas Durwood

   I most recently taught English Composition, World Literature, Business Writing and Public Speaking at Valley Forge Military College, where I was named Teacher of the Year five times. My cadets were perpetually tired from their military duties, so there was huge premium on classroom engagement. From this challenge sprang the attention-getting lesson plans in "Kid Lit." I was usually able to connect these building-block assignments to larger ideas and to critical thinking on a number of topics which the cadets found useful. I am also a children's author and father who loves thoughtful discussions with my kids!

                                 A Pathway to Critical Thinking

   Looking for topics to talk about with your kids? I promise that your kids have lots to say about the stories they have seen and heard. Kids have seen hundreds of versions of the coming-of-age story. They are well-versed in its conventions, and will surprise you with detailed and passionate opinions about everything from the powers of characters, to key roles and parenting. 

                                      Basic Rules of Literary Criticism 

    If learners can understand the basic components of their favorite children’s stories, this worthy skill can lead to a lifetime of critical thinking. Kid Lit: An Introduction to Literary Criticism shows young readers and general readers alike how to recognize class, gender, story structure, Orientalism and trauma in children’s narratives. 

                                           Kid Lit: An Introduction to Literary Criticism  

 The Kid Lit text offers techniques of new scholarship in children’s literature. Kid Lit includes 28 pages of lesson plans to help teachers leverage this idea-rich material into productive classroom sessions.

Readers will discover:

  • what story points have in common
  • a breakdown of Afrofuturism 
  • different villain categories
  • recurring literary characters such as the failed adult, savage conquest, and dream manic girl
  • what scholars of the family consider important
  • vital connection between movies and war  
  • social Darwinian structure supporting children's films  
  • similar story lines and movies


                                         How to Use “Kid Lit”

   “Kid Lit: An Introduction to Literary Criticism” is meant to be a practical guide to literature, as practiced in a classroom for a fifteen-minute in-class writing exercise comparing sidekicks and common story points.

   Teachers can use the ideas in “Kid Lit” as an introduction to the world of critical thinking, using the stories the students already know so well. I hope you enjoy these lessons!    



                                          Thomas Durwood

Kid Lit: An Introduction to Literary Criticism


Kid Lit: An Introduction to Literary Criticism Lesson Plans


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