MTT Elective Session: Intro to Lit Analysis



Are you new to Tapestry literature? This session might appeal to you if:

  • You are interested in learning about systematic literary analysis as a method of understanding and analyzing literary works.
  • You are new to Tapestry literature. This is a great introduction to our approach, especially for upper-level students.
  • You are interested in earning Master Teacher certification in Literature electives. This presentation is a prerequisite to future Master Teacher literature electives.

This session first identifies a problem for homeschooled students moving on to college: namely, that college professors, as well as CLEP, AP, and SAT tests, are expecting them to already have basic literary analysis skills. Meanwhile, homeschooling parents are assuming that their students will begin learning these skills in college. They do not realize that such basic training should ideally begin in high school.

The session then defines systematic literary analysis as practiced by Tapestry: “Making appropriate use of all available means in order to better understand, evaluate, and enjoy (or at least appreciate) both the parts and whole of a work of literature.” We unpack this definition for a few minutes.

The bulk of the session is then devoted to an example of systematic literary analysis at work. We take apart Jesus’ Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector, examining it according to the categories of Frameworks, Settings, Plot, Texture, Characters, Content, and Artistry.

To conclude, the session returns to four questions asked at the beginning and attempts to answer them from the perspective of systematic literary analysis. These four questions are:

  • “Isn’t systematic literary analysis something for college?”
  • “Systematic literary analysis seems dry and boring. Will it kill my student’s enjoyment in simply reading?”
  • “Can my students do it at their age?”
  • “With everything else on my plate, how am I supposed to learn systematic literary analysis well enough to teach it to them?”


Additional information

Curriculum Type

Teacher Training


Downloadable Video