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Lit.'s in the Cards!

High School Literary Analysis Activities: Lit.'s in the Cards!

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See more activities in: High School, Literary Analysis

Here’s a game to help ensure that your teenager hits the important aspects of analyzing a piece of literature. Use this game to prepare for a literature quiz, and a good grade is in the cards!

What You Need:

  • A standard deck of cards, with jokers, face cards, and numbers 4-9 removed
  • An index card and pen
  • A copy of the assigned literature

What You Do:

  1. Before the game, read the assigned literature.
  2. Shuffle the cards well and place in a pile face down.
  3. Write the following on an index card:
    • Hearts: characters or setting
    • Spades: plot (exposition, complications, climax, resolution)
    • Clubs: theme
    • Diamonds: literary techniques*
  4. Turn over the top card, and check the suit and the number of the selected card.
  5. Check the key written on the index card to determine which element of literature applies to the selected card. For example, for a card with hearts, the player will have to think about the characters or setting of the piece of literature.
  6. The number on the card determines how many statements to make about that element of literature. If a player chooses the three of spades, for example, he needs to name three plot points from the literature.(Note: He may look back at the literature for ideas, if necessary.)
  7. If the selected card is an ace, it’s a free pass. The player collects the card and leaves it in front of him, face up. When all four aces have been collected, the review is over!
Liana Mahoney is a National Board Certified elementary teacher, currently teaching a first and second grade loop. She is also a certified Reading Specialist, with teaching experience as a former high school English teacher, and early grades Remedial Reading.

Updated on May 23, 2013
See more activities in: High School, Literary Analysis
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