If you teach middle or high school literature classes, you really need to check out LitCharts. This tool can really help your students analyze a text with a multitude of interactive infographics that can enrich their understanding of a novel in a unique way.
I came across LitCharts while I was looking for different way for my students to discuss the themes in The Giver. My students are 5th grade gifted students, and the resources are a little advanced for them. However, there were definitely some pieces I could use with my class.
One of my favorite tools is the “Theme Tracker.” This page describes the major themes in the novel. What is unique is that it not only describes the theme and its usage by the author, but it offers an interactive chart for each theme. The chart allows the user to see immediately which chapters relate to the theme more than others. If you don’t remember the chapter very well, you can click on it to go the chapter page, which gives text evidence supporting the themes. All of the themes are color coded, so you can see how certain passages support more than one theme.
LitCharts also gives breakdowns regarding symbols, characters, and quotes. While you are browsing the site, be sure to look at the “Chart Board” for your favorite book, one of the most powerful infographics I’ve ever seen.
Because some of the books included happen to cover somewhat adult topics, be sure to thoroughly check out the LitChart coverage of the book before assigning it to your students.
I suppose some teachers might view this as a high tech cheat sheet, but savvy teachers will find many ways to use this to enrich the learning of their students.