In this computerized age of high tech entertainment and push-button satisfaction the printed word is being forced to compete like never before. How do we give the edge to literature? How do we make the jump from the printed page to the working minds of children? One answer is the arts. The arts are a wonderful vehicle by which students can bridge their lives and the literature. Dance, visual arts, photography, film and architecture can all be used to make that leap, to move from the printed page to the mind, to help children live literature.
This unit is designed as a way to help students make a bridge from literature to real life through the examination of architecture and place in the development of fictional characters and plot. I will ask students to look at several short stories, which I have paired up with poems. This is literature that my eighth graders would be reading normally anyway, but the difference is that I am trying to emphasize techniques authors use to create a sense of place.