Ch 4: Teaching Bildungsroman & Coming of Age Fiction

About This Chapter

Bildungsroman stories and similar coming of age fiction offer relatable stories to which students can connect. The lessons in this chapter provides guidance on how educators can teach about the literary elements in these types of works.

Teaching Bildungsroman & Coming of Age Fiction - Chapter Summary

Our team of instructors have utilized this chapter to discuss strategies for teaching about bildungsroman and coming of age fiction. These lessons incorporate practical approaches to the works of such authors as John Knowles, J.D. Salinger, and Stephen Chbosky, just to name a few. Some of the topics included in this chapter are as follows:

  • Building summaries and textual analyses
  • Examining literary themes
  • Character development and plot construction
  • Elements that define classic literature

Beyond these highly-detailed literary context lessons, this chapter also provides pre-made lesson plans for several novels within this genre, including The Catcher in the Rye and The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Use the lesson plans as they are or treat them as templates to help you expand your own plans.

How It Helps

  • Offers approaches to new and old works: While teaching about the classics is expected, many students may prefer newer works, and this chapter gives teaching resources for both.
  • Re-sparks teacher interest: If you've taught the same novel every year, you may feel bored with it, but this chapter will let you see those old classics in a new light that should reinvigorate your interests.
  • Enhances student understanding: By incorporating these literary context lessons into your classroom, your students may more fully understand these literary works.

Skills Covered

Upon completing this chapter, you should possess the skills to:

  • Lead students through an analysis of themes in A Separate Peace
  • Develop character guides students can review when reading The Outsiders
  • Encourage student collaboration for building a Tears of a Tiger summary

44 Lessons in Chapter 4: Teaching Bildungsroman & Coming of Age Fiction
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Bildungsroman Lesson Plan

1. Bildungsroman Lesson Plan

With this lesson plan, your students are going to learn about the literary concept of Bildungsroman. They will apply this to their own creative writing, and they will also analyze a written work.

A Separate Peace Lesson Plan

2. A Separate Peace Lesson Plan

Reading the novel 'A Separate Peace' with your students? Use this lesson plan to review the main plot points and theme with your students, asking high-level questions and digging for a deeper understanding.

A Separate Peace Discussion Questions

3. A Separate Peace Discussion Questions

'A Separate Peace' by John Knowles is a novel about a man who returns to his high school boarding school to make peace with his past. This lesson will guide classroom discussions about this novel.

A Separate Peace Project Ideas

4. A Separate Peace Project Ideas

If you are teaching ''A Separate Peace'', consider these project ideas to wrap up your study. Projects include analysis of events, characters, and themes in the form of a newspaper, journal, and debate.

A Separate Peace Pre-Reading Activities

5. A Separate Peace Pre-Reading Activities

'A Separate Peace' can be a rewarding novel for adolescents. This lesson contains activities that may be used before teaching the novel to help students make the personal connections and predictions that will increase comprehension.

A Separate Peace Unit Plan

6. A Separate Peace Unit Plan

'A Separate Peace' by John Knowles is a novel about a man who revisits the prep school he attended during World War II to come to terms with his regrets. This asset provides guidelines for a novel study about this book.

A Separate Peace Activities

7. A Separate Peace Activities

'A Separate Peace' by John Knowles is a novel about boys at a boarding school who are preparing for service in World War II. The activities in this asset support classrooms in a novel study about this book.

The Catcher in the Rye Lesson Plan

8. The Catcher in the Rye Lesson Plan

Do your students truly grasp the impact of Salinger's ''The Catcher in the Rye''? A text and a video lesson tout the enduring power of this work and an activity allows students to assess its lasting impact.

The Outsiders Lesson Plan

9. The Outsiders Lesson Plan

Use this Study.com lesson plan to summarize and examine the plot of The Outsiders. Dig deeply into the theme of social class, then guide students as they use persuasive writing to defend characters' actions.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower Lesson Plan

10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower Lesson Plan

Check your students' understanding and help them prepare for assessment after reading 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower' with this lesson plan. Review characters, summarize key events, then practice defending answers using text evidence.

Tears of a Tiger Lesson Plan

11. Tears of a Tiger Lesson Plan

Review key plot points and characters with this lesson plan for the novel Tears of a Tiger. Examine how rich descriptive language enhances the story, then put that technique to practice in writing.

Tears of a Tiger Pre-Reading Activities

12. Tears of a Tiger Pre-Reading Activities

If your students are about to read Sharon Draper's ''Tears of a Tiger'', it can be helpful to set the stage for what they will encounter in the text. This lesson offers some pre-reading activities that will get your students ready.

Forged by Fire Lesson Plan

13. Forged by Fire Lesson Plan

Use this lesson plan to increase student comprehension of 'Forged by Fire' by Sharon Draper. Students will read a text lesson that summarizes the plot and outlines themes, discuss these story elements, then apply learning to a culminating activity.

Forged by Fire: Summary & Themes

14. Forged by Fire: Summary & Themes

Gerald is tough. He survived a fire, extreme poverty, and years of abuse at the hands of his mother and stepfather. But when Gerald learns of the danger his beloved younger sister faces, he must save her or die trying.

Forged by Fire Book Activities

15. Forged by Fire Book Activities

'Forged By Fire' by Sharon Draper is the story of Gerald and his sister Angel, and their abuse-riddled childhood. This lesson provides creative and group activities that can be done to assure comprehension of the book.

Life of Pi Lesson Plan

16. Life of Pi Lesson Plan

Use this lesson to help students summarize 'The Life of Pi' by Yann Martel. After they have finished reading the novel and lesson, students will have a chance to discuss and analyze plot before applying comprehension skills to an activity.

Life of Pi: Book Summary & Plot

17. Life of Pi: Book Summary & Plot

This lesson offers a comprehensive plot summary of Yann Martel's 2002 novel, Life of Pi. The narrative is about a young man who is trapped on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger.

Walter Dean Myers' Monster Lesson Plan

18. Walter Dean Myers' Monster Lesson Plan

Use this lesson plan after students have read 'Monster' by Walter Dean Myers to summarize key points. Students will read an anchor lesson and answer questions to dig more deeply, then apply concepts to an activity to strengthen understanding.

Monster by Walter Dean Myers Summary

19. Monster by Walter Dean Myers Summary

This lesson presents a comprehensive summary of Walter Dean Myers' 1999 novel, Monster. The book is about an African American teenager on trial for murder.

Monster by Walter Dean Myers Unit Plan

20. Monster by Walter Dean Myers Unit Plan

Teaching 'Monster' to your high school students can be an intriguing exploration of the court system from the perspective of a young defendant accused of murder. This unit plan will help you guide students through context, theme, and plot.

Monster by Walter Dean Myers Discussion Questions

21. Monster by Walter Dean Myers Discussion Questions

'Monster' by Walter Dean Myers is a novel based on the true story of Steve Harmon, a teenager on trial for murder. This asset contains classroom discussion questions about this novel.

Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak Lesson Plan

22. Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak Lesson Plan

'Speak' by Laurie Halse Anderson presents the uncomfortable yet necessary topic of date rape to students. This lesson plan uses a text lesson to summarize the story and guided discussion and introspection to broach difficult topics with students.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson: Book Summary

23. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson: Book Summary

What doesn't kill us makes us stronger, and this couldn't be more true for the main character of the novel, ''Speak'' by Laurie Halse Anderson. Read this summary to follow Melinda's journey as she finds the strength to be herself.

Speak Novel Pre-Reading Activities

24. Speak Novel Pre-Reading Activities

'Speak' is a relatable story of rape and the results of defending yourself in high school. This lesson provides a variety of pre-reading activities that will help students with the challenging subject matter.

My Sister's Keeper Lesson Plan

25. My Sister's Keeper Lesson Plan

Jodi Picoult's 'My Sister's Keeper' introduces the controversial idea of a savior sibling. This lesson plan ensures that students hit all marks when summarizing the book with the use of a text lesson and group activity.

My Sister's Keeper Book Summary

26. My Sister's Keeper Book Summary

In ''My Sister's Keeper'', author Jodi Picoult explores the ethics and morality of having one sibling do something against their wishes in hopes of providing a better future for the other sibling.

The Contender Novel Lesson Plan

27. The Contender Novel Lesson Plan

Robert Lipsyte's book, 'The Contender,' explores the story of a young teen who rises against all odds. Students will complete a reading assignment, discussion questions, and create a contender profile. They will also take a quiz to demonstrate their learning.

The Contender: Book Summary & Characters

28. The Contender: Book Summary & Characters

Things are changing in Alfred Brooks' life, and he has to decide how he will change with the times. Will he head down the dangerous path his friend seems to be taking? Or will he make something of himself? Does he have what it takes to be a contender? Find out as we learn more about the characters and a book summary of Robert Lipsyte's ''The Contender''.

Perks of Being a Wallflower Discussion Questions

29. Perks of Being a Wallflower Discussion Questions

'The Perks of Being a Wallflower' is a novel by Stephen Chbosky about a boy dealing with both typical and atypical challenges as he moves through his high school years. This lesson will guide classroom discussions about this novel.

Ordinary People Discussion Questions

30. Ordinary People Discussion Questions

'Ordinary People' by Judith Guest describes how the Jarrett family copes with the tragic loss of a son and brother. These questions will support a classroom discussion about this novel.

Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes Discussion Questions

31. Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes Discussion Questions

'Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes' is a novel for young adults by Chris Crutcher about a friendship between two social outcasts. This asset contains classroom discussion questions about this novel.

Whistling Past the Graveyard Discussion Questions

32. Whistling Past the Graveyard Discussion Questions

''Whistling Past the Graveyard'' is a novel about a young girl who runs away from home and learns about life in the 1960s South. These questions can help your students work through their thoughts about this novel.

The Body by Stephen King Activities

33. The Body by Stephen King Activities

'The Body' is a mystery novella by Stephen King about a group of friends who set out on a quest together. The activities in this asset will help students understand and connect with the story.

The Catcher in the Rye Unit Plan

34. The Catcher in the Rye Unit Plan

'The Catcher in the Rye' is a classic that includes complex themes, such as death, isolation, and loss of innocence. This unit plan will help you guide your high school students through these themes, as well as other literary elements of this novel.

Life of Pi Project Ideas

35. Life of Pi Project Ideas

These three project ideas for Yann Martel's 'Life of Pi' will give students a chance to demonstrate their learning and creativity after finishing a reading of the novel. Use these project ideas at the end of a unit as a final assessment.

Heat by Mike Lupica Discussion Questions

36. Heat by Mike Lupica Discussion Questions

'Heat' is a fun baseball book and so much more. The quick pace and realistic characters make it an appealing read. These discussion questions explore the story and literary elements, then address students' personal response to the book.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson Discussion Questions

37. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson Discussion Questions

Use these discussion questions after or while students are reading 'Speak' by Laurie Halse Anderson. These questions will demonstrate students' understanding of the storyline while allowing them to share valuable insight about their feelings and emotions.

The Adventures of Ali Baba Bernstein Activities

38. The Adventures of Ali Baba Bernstein Activities

''The Adventures of Ali Baba Bernstein'' is a popular children's story by Johanna Hurwitz. These activities will help your students delve deeper into the characters, plot, and themes of the story.

Girl in Translation Discussion Questions

39. Girl in Translation Discussion Questions

'Girl in Translation' is the story of a Chinese American family's rise from poverty to success and the people who helped, or harmed, them along the way. These discussion questions will help you guide high school students through the novel's themes.

Me and Marvin Gardens Discussion Questions

40. Me and Marvin Gardens Discussion Questions

With its engaging story and timely topics, 'Me and Marvin Gardens' is a good book for a middle school discussion group. After assigning this novel, use these discussion questions to make the most of the reading experience.

The Alchemist Unit Plan

41. The Alchemist Unit Plan

'The Alchemist' is a philosophical novel by Paulo Coelho about a man who travels to the Egyptian pyramids in search of his 'Personal Legend'. This asset guides teachers as they develop instructional plans for this novel.

Memoir Unit Plan for High School

42. Memoir Unit Plan for High School

This memoir unit plan is designed to guide you as you teach the genre of memoir to your high school students. It incorporates lesson plans, writing prompts, and lots of engaging activity ideas to help students both read and write their own memoirs.

The Goldfinch Book Discussion Questions

43. The Goldfinch Book Discussion Questions

The following questions are designed to help you guide your students through a structured discussion about Donna Tartt's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel 'The Goldfinch'.

Speak Novel Unit Plan

44. Speak Novel Unit Plan

''Speak'' by Laurie Halse Anderson is a 1999 young-adult novel about some difficult themes. This is a good book to actively work through with students, and this unit plan can help.

Chapter Practice Exam
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