How Important is Literature in the Modern Curriculum?

Literature remains a critical part of the curriculum even in our modern, technology-driven age. Reading and analyzing works of literary fiction, poetry, drama, and nonfiction provides immense educational value for students. Studying literature builds critical thinking, creativity, writing abilities, cultural awareness, and more—skills that serve students well both in academics and in life. Quality literature also asks timeless questions about the human experience that spur reflection and debate. While priorities in education necessarily evolve with the times, literature continues to have an important place in the curriculum.

Developing Communication and Analytical Skills

One major benefit literature provides is improving vital communication and analytical skills. To properly interpret, discuss, or write about sophisticated literary works, students must learn to read closely, form opinions and conclusions based on evidence in the text, assess the author’s choices and techniques, and articulate complex ideas clearly. Mastering this critical analysis around rich literature cultivates higher-order skills that allow students to excel with complex texts and concepts in any discipline. Producing their own written analyses also builds invaluable composition skills. All this is something teachers can learn when they study reading certification programs online.

Sparking Creativity and Imagination

Immersing oneself in imaginative works of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction unlocks creativity in students. Good literature transports readers into compelling storylines and intricate imaginary worlds very different from their own lives. This exposure sparks creative thought, showing students new perspectives beyond the familiar. Quality creative writing also employs vivid, innovative use of language that makes students more aware of the power and possibilities of words. Fostering creativity serves students well both in academics, where they must think of novel solutions, and in building innovative leaders of the future.

Understanding Culture and History

Studying literature also allows students to better understand their own and other cultures, and the histories that shaped them. Much literature provides insightful commentary on the attitudes, social norms, and issues of its time period. Reading and analyzing literature across different eras grants perspective on how societies, values, and challenges have evolved over time. Exposure to literature from many cultures also builds intercultural awareness and empathy for experiences different from one’s own. This global, historical perspective is invaluable for students entering an increasingly diverse, globalized world.

7 Important Works of Literature Kids Will Benefit from Reading

  1. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White – This beloved classic about the friendship between a spider and a pig teaches themes of friendship, love, life, and death.
  2. The Giver by Lois Lowry – This thought-provoking dystopian novel explores themes of individuality, freedom of choice, and the role of memory in human life.
  3. The Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis – This popular fantasy epic imparts lessons about loyalty, belief, and moral strength through magical adventures.
  4. Matilda by Roald Dahl – With its appeals to intelligence and justice, this story is a fun, empowering tale for young readers.
  5. Wonder by R.J. Palacio – This highly influential novel deals with themes of inclusion, kindness, and courage.
  6. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor – Explores themes of prejudice, injustice, land ownership, and integrity.
  7. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson – Teaches thoughtful lessons about friendship, loss, hope, and imagination.

Though approaches to education must keep pace with an advancing world, the incredible value literature provides in building skills, knowledge, and sensibilities that serve students inside and outside the classroom means it will always have an important place in a relevant, modern curriculum. What students gain from studying great creative works makes literature timeless.

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