The Literature Web

The Literature Web is a model designed to guide interpretation of a literature selection by encouraging a reader to connect personal response with particular elements of the text. The web may be completed independently and/or as a tool for discussion. Recommended use is to have students complete the web independently and then share ideas in a small group, followed by a teacher-facilitated debriefing. The web has five components:

  • Key Words: interesting, unfamiliar, striking, or particularly important words and phrases contained within the text
  • Feelings: the reader’s feelings, with discussion of specific text details inspiring them; the characters’ feelings; and the feelings the reader infers the author intended to inspire
  • Ideas: major themes and main ideas of the text; key concepts
  • Images and Symbols: notable sensory images in the text, “pictures” in they reader’s mind and the text that inspired them, symbols for abstract ideas
  • Structure: the form and structure of the writing and how they contribute to meaning; may identify such features as use of unusual time sequence in narrative, such as flashbacks, use of voice, use of figurative language, etc.; style of writing.