We recently went through our classic ELA library and thought it was the perfect time to reflect on books ELA educators have been teaching for a generation. Are these literary works still relevant? Is it time to pack these books in the storage closet and turn to more modern Young Adult novels to engage students? Or do they remain our go-to classics?
Lord of the Flies by William Golding has been a staple in high school English classrooms for decades, mainly because of its biting analysis of human nature and the need for society in order to avoid the deadly dangers of chaos.
The question is, can this novel about boys trapped on an island and discovering the darkness of human nature still be relevant today? Yes! You just need to know how to spin it to today’s young people.
Here are the top five reasons why Lord of the Flies should still be taught:
Connects with Modern Novels and Films.
Maze Runner and Hunger Games are two popular young adult book series and films that deal with similar themes. Use them to help engage students when reading LOTF.
Creating lessons and projects that require teamwork go hand-in-hand with this novel. Have students create their own society of rules as they work to complete projects and challenges.
When it comes to driving home the lesson on this literary technique, few novels have such core and substantial symbols as LOTF. Also, any excuse to keep a conch shell in your classroom is worth its weight.
Social Media Projects
There are plenty of opportunities to have students write blogs for the characters, capture imagery on Instagram that connects to literary devices, and more in this novel. Take advantage of the technology your students use on a daily basis.
Thematic Relevance to Today
Civilization vs. Savagery, Order vs. Chaos, Law vs. Anarchy – all of these major themes can be inspected under the lens of what is happening in the news today, particularly in terms of governments and the amount of control they wield.
While Lord of the Flies, a novel written in the 1950’s about British boys lost on an island, may seem to have lost its connections with students today, there are still plenty of ways for teachers to keep it relevant. At its core, it’s still a book that illustrates and complements so many standards English teachers reach for in their lessons.
What are some ways you’ve engaged your students with Lord of the Flies?