>There are times when I feel as though I am helping my students dissect
>wonderful pieces of literature when we really should be enjoying them
>for the sake of their beauty. I try to have them analyze the vocabulary,
>characters, etc. Does anyone else ever feel like that?
Yes, I also feel like this from time to time, but I think that we can have
best of both worlds. I tell my students that what they gain from any
piece of literature is the most important aspect since we all come from
different places, have experienced different things, etc. We are all
going to gain different things from each piece of literature that we read,
but I'm also there to expose them to taking a closer look at the
vocabulary, the plot structure, the characters, the setting, the
symbolism, etc. that they may not even think of while reading. As
teachers the direction we take students causes them to take a closer look
at what they have read and gain further insight to the base of knowledge
they have already gained on their own.