Why Should You Provide Quizzes When Teaching Literature?

Quizzes are a learning staple in maths and the sciences, and you might have provided a few yourself while covering grammar, but literature, with its open-ended questions and lack of clear, hard facts, isn’t often considered an ideal subject for quizzes. While you’re never going to want to stop setting essays and holding discussions, there are several good reasons to incorporate quizzes into your lesson plans while covering novels, poems, and plays.

Here are just a few.

Hammers Home Tougher Details

There can be a lot to follow when you’re discussing a more complex piece of work, and it’s relatively easy for students to concentrate so much on themes and language that they forget about smaller, more concrete matters. Your students could conceivably go into an exam knowing exactly how to analyse a certain poem, but without remembering when it was written or what form of poem it is. Quizzes can be used to reinforce the retention of such information.

Acts as Bookends for Key Concepts

As you discuss a certain play, poem, or novel, you’ll naturally move between certain key areas as the weeks go on. It’s vital that your students understand each of these areas, so it can help to add in a quiz at the end of each section to let them know that they will be moving onto something else. It also acts as a nice way to round out the area and address any lingering questions.

Provides Additional Motivation to Learn

For some students, literature will be their favourite subject, but many others will not be quite so keen. When students become uninterested in the subject, it can be tempting to start shirking the work. Unfortunately, it can be easier to get away with slacking off when you’re covering an area like literature since concepts don’t build on each other like they do in other subjects. If your students didn’t bother reading the pages you set, it isn’t going to impact their ability to learn what you’re teaching in a few months’ time. By cycling regular quizzes into your lessons, they’ll know that such behaviour will be tough to get away with.

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