A frequent question in today’s high school English classroom is how "the classics" fit into our 21st century curriculum. Students ask, "How is this relevant to me?" and complain that the literature they are reading in class is outdated and difficult to understand. Therefore, my project embraces a few canonical texts that are most frequently used in America's schools and presents them in an innovative way that students will not only understand, but engage on a critical level. Based on emerging research in the education field, my project explains how modern technology and the techniques of parody and satire can be used in combination with one another to make literature come alive. For example, texts such as Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, and Herman Melville’s Moby Dick can be spun from new and even humorous perspectives. Models for three class projects involving these texts are described and linked, including a YouTube parody video, a digital modern adaptation poster, and a Twitter account featuring a character from a novel. By creating these projects myself, I am presenting ways that students can access literature right where they are, yet pushing them to think critically and creatively about important themes found in works that continue to stand the test of time.
Integrated Language Arts Education
Dr. Tim Murnen
First Advisor Department
Second Advisor Department
Shelton, Ashley N., "The Power of Parody and Satire in the 21st Century English Classroom" (2014). Honors Projects. 131.