Skip to contentContribute to ReadWriteThink / RSS / FAQs / Site Demonstrations / Contact Us / About Us



Contribute to ReadWriteThink

ReadWriteThink couldn't publish all of this great content without literacy experts to write and review for us. If you've got lessons plans, videos, activities, or other ideas you'd like to contribute, we'd love to hear from you.



Professional Development

Find the latest in professional publications, learn new techniques and strategies, and find out how you can connect with other literacy professionals.



Did You Know?

Your students can save their work with Student Interactives.

More more

Home õ Classroom Resources õ Lesson Plans

Lesson Plan

Critical Literacy: Women in 19th-Century Literature

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)


Critical Literacy: Women in 19th-Century Literature

Grades 9 – 12
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Five 45- to 60-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Elizabeth Nolan Conners

Weston, Massachusetts


International Literacy Association



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



Introduce students to fundamental ideas of critical literacy through a reading and critical analysis of two pieces of literature from the 1800s, focusing on each author's intent and intended audience. Students first read and discuss two chapters from a story by Louisa May Alcott. Each student then chooses a literary piece for individual analysis from the online archives of a popular magazine from that era. After reading and studying the two selections, students write an essay in which they compare each author's purpose and voice.

back to top



  • Interactive Venn Diagram: This handy online tool allows students to easily sort information into a visual aid.

  • Compare & Contrast Map: This map provides an additional way to visually plot out the information students find within the text.

back to top



McLaughlin, M., & DeVoogd, G. (2004). Critical literacy as comprehension: Expanding reader response. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 48(1), 52Ė62.

  • Critical literacy helps teachers and students expand their reasoning, seek out multiple perspectives, and become active thinkers.

  • Critical literacy focuses on issues of power and promotes reflection, transformation, and action. It challenges the ideal or commonplace for the purpose of relieving inequity and injustice.

  • Critical literacy recognizes the complexity of problems, rather than accepting simple explanations or solutions.

  • By examining texts from a variety of viewpoints, students learn to appreciate multiple points of view and develop their ability to read from a critical stance.

  • Students can learn to become active, critical readers and thinkers.

back to top