Literature Improves Thinking

Image

little-girl-reading-book

Are you uncomfortable with ambiguity? It’s a common condition, but a highly problematic one. The compulsion to quell that unease can inspire snap judgments, rigid thinking, and bad decision-making.

Fortunately, new research suggests a simple antidote for this affliction: Read more literary fiction.

A trio of University of Toronto scholars, led by psychologist Maja Djikic, report that people who have just read a short story have less need for what psychologists call “cognitive closure.” Compared with peers who have just read an essay, they expressed more comfort with disorder and uncertainty—attitudes that allow for both sophisticated thinking and greater creativity.

“Exposure to literature,” the researchers write in the Creativity Research Journal, “may offer a (way for people) to become more likely to open their minds.”

Djikic and her colleagues describe an experiment featuring 100 University of Toronto students. After arriving at the lab and providing some personal information, the students read either one of eight short stories or one of eight essays. The fictional stories were by authors including Wallace Stegner, Jean Stafford, and Paul Bowles; the non-fiction essays were by equally illustrious writers such as George Bernard Shaw and Stephen Jay Gould.

Afterwards, each participant filled out a survey measuring their emotional need for certainty and stability. They expressed their agreement or disagreement with such statements as “I don’t like situations that are uncertain” and “I dislike questions that can be answered in many different ways.” Continue reading

Literature Improves Empathy


Have you ever felt that reading a good book makes you better able to connect with your fellow human beings? If so, the results of a new scientific study back you up, but only if your reading material is literary fiction; pop fiction or non-fiction won’t cut it.

Great Expectations from great literature … empathy occurs in the spaces between characters, such as Joe and Pip, pictured here in the 2012 film adaptation. Photograph: Moviestore/Rex Features

Empathy occurs in the spaces between characters, such as Joe and Pip in Great Expectations. Photograph: Moviestore/Rex Features

Psychologists David Comer Kidd and Emanuele Castano, at the New School for Social Research in New York, have proved that reading literary fiction enhances the ability to detect and understand other people’s emotions, a crucial skill in navigating complex social relationships.

Continue reading

Week 4:10 (May 20–22)

Image

Freshmen: Exam Study Guide, Exam Time-Slot Signup, Literary Terms, Analytical Verbs, Tone Words, Analytical Verbs, Weaving & CitingTransitions & CommentaryTheme Log / Macbeth: Interactive E-text, Film Adaptations, Outline & Rubric, Essay Rubric, (Pre-)Notes, “Reading Shakespeare” Packet, Choice-Emphasis TrackerThings Fall ApartE-text, Audiotext, (Pre-)Notes

Diploma Support: Final Exam Schedule, Semester Grade ChartRotation CalendarSay Something, Eduaide.ai / Research: EBSCO HostGale Databases, Google Scholar, JSTOR, Sci-Hub / EEs: Full EE Guide, MLA TemplateMLA Sample PaperCat. 1 (28/34)Cat. 1 (30/34)Cat. 2 (34/34), Cat. 3 (33/34), EE Rubric, English EE Scoring, Prescribed Reading List

Week 4:9 (May 13–17)

Image

Freshmen: Exam Study Guide, Literary Terms, Analytical Verbs, Outline Rubric, Macbeth Interactive E-text, Macbeth Plain E-text, Macbeth Film Adaptations, Exam Time-Slot Signup, Essay Rubric (required only for late/incomplete Macbeth outlines)

Diploma Support: Final Exam Schedule, Semester Grade ChartRotation CalendarSay Something, Eduaide.ai / Research: EBSCO HostGale Databases, Google Scholar, JSTOR, Sci-Hub / EEs: Full EE Guide, MLA TemplateMLA Sample PaperCat. 1 (28/34)Cat. 1 (30/34)Cat. 2 (34/34), Cat. 3 (33/34), EE Rubric, English EE Scoring, Prescribed Reading List

Week 4:8 (May 6–10)

Image

Freshmen: Theme Claim Padlet (for B3–4), Film Adaptations (for C1–2), The RCP, Lit Terms, Analytical Verbs, Outline & RubricEssay Rubric, Macbeth Interactive E-text, Theme Log, Vocab Practice, Macbeth Audioplay, Macbeth Plain E-text, Performance Prep Sheet / Perf. Responsibilities: A3–4 , B1–2, B3–4

Seniors: Evaluative Language, Final Journal, Major Works Comparison Charts, General Literary Terms, Poetry Terms, Graphic Novel Terms / Paper 1: Tips, Video, Rubric, High-Scoring Example (Poetry), High-Scoring Example (Prose), Prompts for the Examples / Paper 2: Tips, Video, Rubric, Scored Example, The Metamorphosis E-textBeloved E-text

Diploma Support: Semester Grade ChartRotation CalendarSay Something, Eduaide.ai / Research: EBSCO HostGale Databases, Google Scholar, JSTOR, Sci-Hub / EEs: Full EE Guide, MLA TemplateMLA Sample PaperCat. 1 (28/34)Cat. 1 (30/34)Cat. 2 (34/34), Cat. 3 (33/34), EE Rubric, English EE Scoring, Prescribed Reading List

Week 4:7 (Apr. 29–May 3)

Image

Freshmen: FSA PM3 Testing Locations, The RCP, Lit Terms, Analytical Verbs, OutlineEssay Rubric, Macbeth Interactive E-text, Theme Log, Vocab Practice, Macbeth Audioplay, Macbeth Plain E-text, Performance Prep Sheet / Performance Responsibilities: A3–4 , B1–2, B3–4, C1–2

Seniors: Evaluative Language, Final Journal, Major Works Comparison Charts, General Literary Terms, Poetry Terms, Graphic Novel Terms / Paper 1: Tips, Video, Rubric, High-Scoring Example (Poetry), High-Scoring Example (Prose), Example Prompts / Paper 2: Tips, Video, Rubric, Scored Example, The Metamorphosis E-textBeloved E-text

Diploma Support: Rotation CalendarSay Something, Eduaide.ai / Research: EBSCO HostGale Databases, Google Scholar, JSTOR, Sci-Hub / EEs: Full EE Guide, MLA TemplateMLA Sample PaperCat. 1 (28/34)Cat. 1 (30/34)Cat. 2 (34/34), Cat. 3 (33/34), EE Rubric, English EE Scoring, Prescribed Reading List

Week 4:6 (Apr. 22–25)

Image

Freshmen: The RCP, Lit Terms, Analytical Verbs, OutlineEssay Rubric, Macbeth Interactive E-text (join with JXZG6N), Theme Log, Vocab Practice, Macbeth Audioplay, Macbeth Plain E-text, Performance Prep Sheet, Theme-Tracing Task / Performance Responsibilities: A3–4 , B1–2, B3–4, C1–2

Seniors: Final Journal, Major Works Comparison, Lit Terms, Poetry Terms, Graphic Novel TermsJournal Rubric, Analytical Verbs / Paper 1: Tips, Video, Rubric, High-Scoring Example (Poetry), High-Scoring Example (Prose), Example Prompts / Paper 2: Tips, Video, Rubric, Scored Example, The Metamorphosis E-textBeloved E-text

Diploma Support: Rotation Calendar (Fixed!)Say Something, Eduaide.Ai / Research: EBSCO HostGale Databases, Google Scholar, JSTOR, Sci-Hub / EEs: Full EE Guide, MLA TemplateMLA Sample PaperCat. 1 (28/34)Cat. 1 (30/34)Cat. 2 (34/34), Cat. 3 (33/34), EE Rubric, English EE Scoring, IB Prescribed Reading List

Week 4:5 (Apr. 15–19)

Image

Freshmen: The RCP, Lit Terms, Analytical Verbs, OutlineEssay Rubric, Macbeth Interactive E-text (join with JXZG6N), Theme Log, Vocab Practice, Macbeth Audioplay, Macbeth Plain E-text, “Reading Shakespeare”, Performance Prep Sheet, Soliloquy Breakdown, Theme Tracing Task / Performance Responsibilities: A3–4 , B1–2, B3–4, C1–2

Seniors: Final Journal, Major Works Comparison, Lit Terms, Poetry Terms, Graphic Novel TermsJournal Rubric, Analytical Verbs / Paper 1: Tips, Video, Rubric, High-Scoring Example (Poetry), High-Scoring Example (Prose), Example Prompts / Paper 2: Tips, Video, Rubric, Scored Example, The Metamorphosis E-textBeloved E-text

Diploma Support: Rotation CalendarSay Something, Eduaide.Ai / Research: EBSCO HostGale Databases, Google Scholar, JSTOR, Sci-Hub / EEs: Full EE Guide, MLA TemplateMLA Sample PaperCat. 1 (28/34)Cat. 1 (30/34)Cat. 2 (34/34), Cat. 3 (33/34), EE Rubric, English EE Scoring, IB Prescribed Reading List

Week 4:4 (Apr. 8–12)

Image

Freshmen: The RCP, Lit Terms, Analytical Verbs, OutlineEssay Rubric, Macbeth Interactive E-text (join with JXZG6N), Theme Log, Vocab Practice, Macbeth Audioplay, Macbeth Plain E-text, “Reading Shakespeare”, Performance Prep Sheet, Soliloquy Breakdown, Theme Tracing Task / Performance Responsibilities: A3–4 , B1–2, B3–4, C1–2

Seniors: Final Journal, Major Works Comparison, Lit Terms, Poetry Terms, Graphic Novel TermsJournal Rubric, Analytical Verbs / Paper 1: Tips, Video, Rubric, High-Scoring Example (Poetry), High-Scoring Example (Prose), Example Prompts / Paper 2: Tips, Video, Rubric, Scored Example, The Metamorphosis E-textBeloved E-text

Diploma Support: Rotation CalendarSay Something, Eduaide.Ai / Research: EBSCO HostGale Databases, Google Scholar, JSTOR, Sci-Hub / EEs: Full EE Guide, MLA TemplateMLA Sample PaperCat. 1 (28/34)Cat. 1 (30/34)Cat. 2 (34/34), Cat. 3 (33/34), EE Rubric, English EE Scoring, IB Prescribed Reading List

Week 4:3 (Apr. 1–5)

Image

Freshmen: The RCP, Lit Terms, Analytical Verbs, OutlineEssay Rubric, Macbeth Interactive E-text (join with JXZG6N), Theme Log, Vocab Practice, Macbeth Audioplay, Macbeth Plain E-text, “Reading Shakespeare”, Performance Prep Sheet, Soliloquy Breakdown / Roles & Responsibilities: A3–4 , B1–2, B3–4, C1–2

Seniors: Syllabus, IB Rubrics, Lit Terms, Poetry Terms, Journal Rubric, Analytical Verbs/ Paper 1: Overview, Rubric / Paper 2: Overview, Rubric / The Metamorphosis: E-text, Other Kafka Stories, Opening Colormarking, Notes on Existentialism, Dualities Discussion

Diploma Support: Rotation Calendar5th Rotations, Say Something, Eduaide.Ai / Research: EBSCO HostGale Databases, Google Scholar, JSTOR, Sci-Hub / EEs: Full EE Guide, MLA TemplateMLA Sample PaperCat. 1 (28/34)Cat. 1 (30/34)Cat. 2 (34/34), Cat. 3 (33/34), EE Rubric, English EE Scoring, IB Prescribed Reading List