Blog posts

US Election 2020

English · 7 November 2020

The US election this year had many people glued to the edge of their seat, regardless of nationality. Voter turnout was the highest it’s been in over 100 years, with many voters making use of mail-in ballots and the early voting option.

However, tensions ran high as the former president himself questioned the election process in his speech on election night. He stated “…so we’ll be going to the Supreme Court, we want all voting to stop. We don’t want them to find any ballots at 4 o’clock in the morning and add them to the list, okay?”, thereby demanding valid mail-in, absentee and overseas ballots be thrown out and alleging fraud without evidence. But can one talk about democracy whilst not wanting to count all ballots? The motivation for these allegations could lie in the fact that more democrats tended to vote via mail.

Consequently, former president Donald Trump quickly lost his lead in battleground states such as Michigan and Pennsylvania. This lead to candidate Joe Biden winning the election after passing the threshold of 270 electoral votes. We hope this transitional period runs smoothly and that the division the United States is currently experiencing can be overcome. Did you watch the election coverage? What are your thoughts on the current political climate in the United States?

Stay safe and healthy,

Sarah


We celebrate Lit4School’s first birthday: One year ago, we launched the new Lit4School website, which was indeed not a Gunpowder plot but an attempt to provide teachers of English and German with authentic literature and media for their classes.

Up to the present day, we feature a great variety of more than 300 texts for all school types and grades. Our selection includes silenced voices, offers intercultural perspectives, promotes democratic and political education and provides transparency by outlining our arguments in favour. Lit4School offers an effective, timesaving and topic-based research on literature and media that meets the requirements of the curricula. As a non-profit database, we do and will not charge any fees.

Thanks, everyone, for making this possible! To help us grow further, share your suggestions for literature and media with us.

Kind regards and stay safe,

The editors


Die liebenswerte Bromance setzt sich fort: Der tiefbegabte Rico und der hochbegabte Oskar gelten seit dem Band Rico, Oskar und die Tieferschatten als das Freundespaar und Detektivgespann der aktuellen Kinderliteratur schlechthin. 

Doch im neuesten Band Rico, Oskar und das Mistverständnis – man ahnt es – trennen sich ihre Wege. Rico ist zum ersten Mal verliebt und Oskar ist nicht bereit seinen besten Freund zu teilen. Dabei müssten sie gerade jetzt zusammenarbeiten. Denn: Ihr Spielplatz ist in Gefahr. 

Innerhalb Berlins besitzt so ein unbebautes Grundstück einen ungeheuren Wert und soll veräußert werden. Nur ein seit Jahrzehnten verschollener Bruder könnte den Verkauf verhindern. Während Rico auf dessen Suche nach Hessen fährt, agiert Oskar in Berlin. Erzählt wird in der Ich-Perspektive aus der Sicht Ricos. Oskars Erlebnisse verarbeitet Rico in einer eigenen Geschichte, die im Berlin um 1900 spielt – Oskars kapitale Abenteuer.

Einsamkeit und Eifersucht sind auch bei den erwachsenen Figuren angesagt. Während Frau Dahlings Verlobter sich wegen eines vermeintlichen Kurschattens nicht meldet, wird eine ganze Gruppe von Senioren mit ihren ganz eigenen Herzgeberechen Teil der Ermittlungen der Jungen.

Andreas Steinhöfel wurde für den ersten Band Rico, Oskar und die Tieferschatten mit dem Jugendliteraturpreis ausgezeichnet. Rico, Oskar und das Mistverständnis ist der nun schon vierte Teil der Reihe. Neben Hörspielen und Verfilmungen erweitern Comics die erzählte Welt.  Besonders interessant für den Unterricht sind an diesem Band die Vielzahl intertextueller Bezüge zu anderen Büchern Steinhöfels und bekannten Werken der Kinderliteratur. Besonders deutlich wird die Anlehnung an Kästners Emil und die Detektive herausgearbeitet. Der kleine Erich wird samt Eltern auf dem Bahnhof auf dem Weg nach Dresden angetroffen und zeigt sich begeistert von Oskars Detektivarbeit. 

– Katharina Kraus

Andreas Steinhöfel: Rico, Oskar und das Mistverständnis. Carlsen Verlag 2020. ISBN 978-3551557834. 336 Seiten, 16,- €.


The rest of the school was happily anticipating their Hallowe’en feast; the Great Hall had been decorated with the usual live bats, Rubeus Hagrid’s vast pumpkins had been carved into lanterns large enough for three men to sit in, and there were rumours that Albus Dumbledore had booked a troupe of dancing skeletons for the entertainment.” – J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (1998)

Originated from a Celtic harvest festival or the Christian tradition of All Saint’s Day, Halloween heralds the approaching cold season and is widely celebrated as a non-religious tradition to frighten away evil spirits and ghosts. Lit4School offers a variety of texts for all school types that can serve as a starting point for your Halloween lesson(s): For bewitched and spooky little stories for our younger learners Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, Nate the Great and The Halloween Hunt by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat and Marc Simont, How to Scare a Ghost by Jean Reagan and Lee Wildish or Froggy’s Halloween by Jonathan London provide literary stepping stones. Intermediate learners might enjoy R.L. Stine’s collection of short fiction Nightmare Hour, which features a little bit of everything – from mystery and ghost fiction to aliens and witchcraft. Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein about a terrifying creature that haunts his master or the story of the headless horseman in Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow are longer works of fiction from the realm of gothic horror that might be suitable for advanced learners of English.

We do hope, that you like our suggestions and would appreciate it, if you would share your suggestions for a Halloween read with us, so we can feature them in our next year’s post.

Have a spooky Halloween with your pupils!

Kind regards and stay safe,

Simon


Welche Herausforderungen und Chancen bietet der Seiteneinstieg ins Lehramt? Wie und warum entstand das Seiteneinsteigerprogramm im Freistaat Sachsen? Inwiefern ist eine kontinuierliche, fachliche und praktische Fort- und Weiterbildungsmaßnahme für alle Lehrkräfte (im Sinne des Lebenslangen Lernens) sinnvoll?

In der aktuellen Folge des Podcasts Mathe für Alle: “Seiteneinsteiger:innen – Eine bunte Lehrerschaft macht Schule” interviewen unsere Kolleginnen Denise Heyder und Franziska Wehlmannden den Geschäftsführer des Zentrums für Lehrerbildung und Schulforschung Alexander Biedermann zur Entstehungsgeschichte des Seiteneinsteigerprogramms (wAL) an der Universität Leipzig. Auch Studierende und Absolvent:innen des Programms kommen zu Wort und zeichnen ein differenzierteres Bild einer oftmals emotional geführten Debatte: In ihrem Studium sehen sie keinesfalls ein Notprogramm, sondern eine strukturell starke Qualifizierungsmaßnahme, die durch ihre praxisnahe Ausrichtung Potentiale für die Schulentwicklung bietet. Unterschiedlichste Vorerfahrungen und berufliche Expertisen bilden für sie ein Abbild der Gesellschaft und tragen zu einem bunteren und vielfältigeren Schulkollegium bei.

Die neue Folge des mathematikdidaktischen Podcasts ist ab Donnerstag, den 29. Oktober online verfügbar.

Bleiben Sie weiterhin gesund,

Ihr Lit4School Team


October 28th: Mark Haddon

English · 28 October 2020

“Prime numbers are what is left when you have taken all the patterns away. I think prime numbers are like life. They are very logical but you could never work out the rules, even if you spent all your time thinking about them.” – Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

This recognisable quote from Mark Haddon’s mystery novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time shows the mind and thoughts of young Christopher Boone, a boy on the Asperger’s spectrum. On his quest to find out who killed the neighbour’s dog by the name Wellington, Christopher uncovers the truth about his parents’ break-up. The diarylike text offers unique perspectives into the teenage life of a boy with special needs and how he faces his challenges in everyday life. Amazingly, Haddon created a heart-warming story for both, children and adults that brought to us how it is to be different from everyone else.

The award-winning author is also known for his Agent Z series and wrote many works of fiction for children and young adults. But it is for his Curious Incident, the fantastic approach of the adventures of a special boy who solves a murder mystery, that we celebrate him today.

Happy Birthday, Mark!

Sarah-Sophia and Simon


Who doesn’t know Vermeer’s mysteriously beautiful Girl with a Pearl Earring? The painting that creates so many questions: Who is the girl? Why does she look so solemnly? Where might she be, where come from? And what on earth is up with that very prominent accessory of her’s?

Tracy Chevalier is the women who told the painting’s story. She designed answers to many of the questions and gave the face a background, a “how it could have been”. Her novel Girl with a Pearl Earring (1999) is available in 38 languages and has sold over 5 million copies in 15 years. Additionally, a film starring Scarlett Johansson was produced, so all in all a major success.

She also wrote other historical novels inspired by characters, events or circumstances of the past like Burning Bright which follows painter-poet William Blake or Reader, I Married Him featuring short stories inspired by Jane Eyre. With New Boy she gave Othello a completely new setting making the story relatable and appealing to a wider readership. It shows that Shakespeare’s original still has relevance today.

It is delightful that the past still inspires adventurers and narrators in the present. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Tracy!

Sarah-Sophia


Knapp 30 Preise gibt es, die in Deutschland für deutschsprachige Jugendbücher vergeben werden. Der öffentlichkeitswirksamste unter ihnen ist der seit 1956 vergebene und vom Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugendgestiftete Deutsche Jugendliteraturpreis. Dieser umfasst allerdings mehr als nur einen Preis: Während eine Kritiker*innenjury Preise in den Sparten Bilderbuch, Kinderbuch, Jugendbuch und Sachbuch vergibt, lobt eine Jugendjury, bestehend aus sechs Leseclubs, zusätzlich den „Preis der Jugendjury“ aus. Eine Sonderpreisjury verleiht schließlich eine Auszeichnung für Nachwuchsschriftsteller*innen sowie für das schriftstellerische Gesamtwerk eines*r Autor*in. Insgesamt sind die Preise mit 72.000 Euro dotiert.

Seit der Leipziger Buchmesse im Frühjahr sind die jeweils sechs nominierten Bücher in jeder Sparte bekannt. Nun wurde der Deutsche Jugendliteraturpreis 2020 auf der Frankfurter Buchmesse vergeben. In der Kategorie Bilderbuch gewinnt die Trilogie Dreieck Quadrat Kreis von Mac Barnett (Text) und Jon Klassen (Illustration), übersetzt von Thomas Bodmer. Als Kinderbuch wird Freibad. Ein ganzer Sommer unter dem Himmel von Will Gmehling prämiert. Den Preis der Sparte Sachbuch erhält A wie Antarktis. Ansichten vom anderen Ende der Welt von David Böhm (Text und Illustration), übersetzt von Lena Dorn. Wie der Wahnsinn mir die Welt erklärte von Dita Zipfel (Text) und Rán Flygenring (Illustration) ist das Jugendbuch des Jahres und Wer ist Edward Moon? von Sarah Crossan (Text) in Übersetzung von Cordula Setsman erhält den Preis der Jugendjury.

Den Sonderpreis als „Neues Talent“ erhält Rieke Patwardhan für ihr Kinderbuch Forschungsgruppe Erbsensuppe oder wie wir Omas großem Geheimnis auf die Spur kamen. Für ihr Gesamtwerk ausgezeichnet wird Cornelia Funke.

Soweit die Hard Facts. Das sind viele neue Ideen für die herbstliche Lesegemütlichkeit und für den Deutschunterricht natürlich! Lust auf die Vorbereitung machen die vom Arbeitskreis für Jugendliteratur zusammengestellten Praxistipps, die kostenlos zum Download bereitstehen. Diese stellen für alle prämierten und fast alle nominierten Bücher Vorschläge für den Einsatz im Unterricht sowie erste methodische Erprobungen vor. Auch für die nominierten Jugendbücher Elektrische Fische von Susan Kreller und Kein Teil der Welt von Stefanie de Velasco. Den Lit4School-Eintrag zu Kein Teil der Welt legen wir Ihnen noch einmal ans Herz. Weitere Einträge folgen! Wir lesen uns erstmal weiter durch die Liste der Prämierungen. Hier entlang für weitere Infos zu den Preisträgern und den Praxistipps!

Katharina Kraus


October 16th: Oscar Wilde

English · 16 October 2020

“For there is one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.” – Oscar Wilde

And here we are, still talking about the wild(e) Oscar and his incredible works. In mind, we have an extravagant dandy with a colourful character, an iconic figure of style much like those he describes in his works. 1854 he was born in Dublin to a wealthy family who appreciated the Arts, 166 years later we celebrate his art and his birthday. Thanks to him, we always have our ill cousin Bunbury to visit if we need to escape society for a bit. We also owe the beautifully gruesome tragedy of Dorian’s moral decay to him, a novel that I personally just couldn’t put down. And let’s not forget his splendidly horrific fairytales that create a peculiar kind of melancholic joy. His elegant brilliance with words forged many extraordinary and sometimes slightly controversial quotes which often helped me find a start for cards and letters; If you don’t know how to begin, begin with Wilde – success guaranteed.

“I have nothing to declare, except my genius” – Oscar Wilde

To this genius, I raise my glass: Let’s have a Wilde one – Happy Birthday Oscar Wilde!

Sarah-Sophia


“The air was motionless, but when you opened your mouth there was just a faint chill, like a chill from a glass of iced water before you sip, and now again a leaf came drifting – from nowhere, from the sky.– Katherine Mansfield, Miss Brill

Now that the days are getting shorter and colder, it’s time to cuddle up inside with a good short story! In honour of Katherine Mansfield‘s birthday, we’d like to share some of our favourites of hers. The modernist author’s short stories are packed with emotions subtly hidden in interactions. In Miss Brill, we get to know a character filled with loneliness, alienated from the world. And although Miss Brill finds moments of happiness, these too are crushed by a smug comment on her appearance. From one lonely soul stuck in her own world to another, The Garden Party tells a story of inner conflict and class consciousness. Laura, the protagonist, is ripped from her bubble of wealth and comfort when a neighbour dies on the same day her family is planning to host a party.

Mansfield’s short stories make the reader aware of the superficiality of social conventions and confront us with the complex and often darker spheres of human nature. If you are looking for a comprehensive introduction to her short stories – here is an article from the British Library.

Happy reading! Do you have any short stories you absolutely love? Share them with us!

Sarah and Simon


Gemessen an seiner öffentlichen Sichtbarkeit ist der Deutsche Buchpreis ohne Zweifel der  wichtigste jährlich vergebene Preis für einen deutschsprachigen Roman. Seit 2005 wird er jedes Jahr am Vorabend der Frankfurter Buchmesse verliehen. Gestiftet wird der Preis in Höhe von 25.000 € vom Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels, einem eingetragenen Verein, der die Interessen der Verlage, Zwischenbuchhändler und Sortimentsbuchhandlungen in Deutschland vertritt. Mit dem Preis verbindet der Börsenverein das Ziel, „über Ländergrenzen hinaus Aufmerksamkeit zu schaffen für deutschsprachige Autor*innen, das Lesen und das Leitmedium Buch“. Der Deutsche Buchpreis ist damit ein Preis mit einem klar erkennbaren Interesse: dem Interesse des Buchhandels, Bücher zu verkaufen. Und zwar literarisch hochwertige Bücher, die von einer jedes Jahr wechselnden siebenköpfigen Jury unter einer Fülle von Einreichungen in einem mehrstufigen Verfahren ausgewählt werden. In diesem Jahr haben 120 Verlage 187 Titel eingereicht, mehr als je zuvor.

Mit Anne Webers Annette, ein Heldinnenepos wurde gestern abend ein ungewöhnlicher Sieger gekürt: die in Form eines epischen Langgedichts verfasste Geschichte der französischen Widerstandskämpferin Annette Beaumanoir, die im Zweiten Weltkrieg Juden rettete und später in der algerischen FLN aktiv war, spielt mit der ehrwürdigen Gattung Versepos, die eigentlich „seit über hundert Jahren mausetot“ ist. So schreibt es Moritz Baßler, Professor für Germanistik an der Universität Münster, in seiner (ansonsten hymnischen) Rezension. Die meisten Kommentator*innen reagierten überrascht. Als Favoritin für den Preis galt eigentlich Deniz Ohdes Roman Streulicht, der am Wochenende bereits mit dem Aspekte-Literaturpreis ausgezeichnet wurde.

Eine Heldinnengeschichte in einer erschwerten Form, prämiert mit dem Ziel, Aufmerksamkeit für dieses Buch zu schaffen – wie geht das zusammen? Die Jury schreibt in ihrer Begründung: „Die Kraft von Anne Webers Erzählung kann sich mit der Kraft ihrer Heldin messen: Es ist atemberaubend, wie frisch hier die alte Form des Epos klingt und mit welcher Leichtigkeit Weber die Lebensgeschichte der französischen Widerstandskämpferin Anne Beaumanoir zu einem Roman über Mut, Widerstandskraft und den Kampf um Freiheit verdichtet. Annette, ein Heldinnenepos ist eine Geschichte voller Härten, die Weber aber mit souveräner Dezenz und feiner Ironie erzählt. Dabei geht es um nichts weniger als die deutsch-französische Geschichte als eine der Grundlagen unseres heutigen Europas. Wir sind dankbar, dass Anne Weber Annette für uns entdeckt hat und von ihr erzählt.“

Sollten Lehrkräfte sich für den Deutschen Buchpreis interessieren? Unbedingt! Die Longlist und mehr noch die Shortlist des Deutschen Buchpreises haben einen entscheidenden Einfluss darauf, was im Herbst gelesen wird, und sie bieten eine gute Orientierung über Entwicklungen aktueller Literatur. Und ist Annette, ein Heldinnenepos auch ein Buch für den Deutschunterricht? Ja! Das Thema Held*innen und die Form des Epos legen Bezüge zur mittelalterlichen Literatur nahe, die im Unterricht (oft: zu) wenig vorkommt, obwohl sie in vielfältigen Adaptionen durch die Moderne und Postmoderne geistert – von der „Nibelungentreue“ des Deutschen Reichs (der Begriff wurde 1909 von Reichskanzler von Bülow geprägt) bis zu den vielfältigen Bezügen auf die Artusepik in Fantasy-Literatur und -Serien. Annette, ein Heldinnenepos bietet die Gelegenheit, diesen Bezügen einmal nachzugehen und dabei nach Held*innen der Gegenwart zu fragen – vielleicht in einer fächerverbindenden Einheit mit dem Religions- oder Ethikunterricht? Ein Eintrag zu Anne Webers Buch für Lit4School ist auf jeden Fall schon einmal in Arbeit!

Silke Horstkotte


Every cloud has a silver lining.

After COVID-19 upset our plans to present Lit4School at the Leipzig Book Fair in spring, we got the chance to be a part of the digital Frankfurt Book Fair 2020. Being the world’s largest trade fair for books with a tradition of more than 500 years, it connects readers, authors and publishing companies until the present day.

From the 14th to the 18th of October you can visit the digital fair free of charge: Discover a wide range of live conferences, virtual Q&A sessions and exhibition stands – including our presentation.

Don’t miss out!

The editors


Autumn Read 2020

English · 9 October 2020

Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year. The morning of the first September was crisp and golden as an apple.” – J.K. Rowling

As summer draws to a close and winter slowly approaches, here are some of our suggestions for the golden time of the year – or the ‘season of mists and mellow fruitfulness‘ as Keats called it in his romantic poem “To Autumn” (1819/20).

  • Sarah’s picks: Gusts of wind, thunderstorms and crisp autumn air… the perfect time of year to cuddle up inside with a cup of tea, fuzzy socks and a good book! And although we can’t always hide away from the outside world under a cosy blanket, we can try to bring that atmosphere to the classroom with some autumnal stories! For young readers, Room on the Broom offers a fun story full of rhymes about a witch, a dragon and a flying broomstick to get everyone in the Halloween spirit. For a short story about a relationship that has run its course, take a look at Early Autumn by Langston Hughes. Although the conversation seems to stay in the realm of small talk, the awkward dynamic between the two hints at a complicated past and unresolved feelings. The autumnal setting reflects their relationship. We hope these suggestions help you (pumpkin) spice up your autumn reading list!
  • Sarah-Sophia’s picks: As the veil of darkness falls a little earlier every day, it is time for me to unbox some old scary Gothic stories. Mary Shelley provides us with a quite extraordinary one, a favourite of mine in the time leading up to Halloween: Frankenstein (1818). Combine some ingenuity with an omnium gatherum of body parts. Add some stitches and a little electricity and you won’t need a ghost to haunt you as you have a corporeal monster: Frankenstein’s monster. This multi-layered character will wake sympathy and terror likewise and pull you into its tragic life story of becoming a monster in the process. My suggestion: Read it to someone in the dark with a flashlight under your face. Fancy something more romantic and slightly easier on the mind? Here are some powerful lines of hope and transition by Emily Brontë: Fall, leaves, fall (1846) Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away; Lengthen night and shorten day; Every leaf speaks bliss to me; Fluttering from the autumn tree. I shall smile when wreaths of snow; Blossom where the rose should grow; I shall sing when night’s decay; Ushers in a drearier day.
  • Rico’s picks: All kinds of animals may be preparing for a good winter’s sleep … but you certainly don’t, avid reader, no. You are used to sharpening your senses through the looking glass which is literature. May I suggest Vox, Christina Dalcher’s dystopic novel, for that very purpose? Set in a future version of the USA, which has taken yet another turn for the worse, this story forcefully demonstrates how quickly freedom can be lost if we don’t uphold it in our every day lives. If that isn’t enough to keep you up at night, how about a more classic scare treatment in the form of The Cats of Ulthar? Chills up your spine are guaranteed in this 2-page short story by the great H. P. Lovecraft. Once Halloween has passed, however, we would be wrong in not offering some consolation which, of course, also is literature. Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle is a nicely illustrated story for the young – and young at heart – about a small, hard-working creature stumbled upon by a curious little girl. So do feel encouraged to not freak out about the way things are at the moment. Where is lit, there certainly is hope!
  • Simon’s picks: Cold foggy mornings and warm burning sunsets: In autumn, summer shows the last flair of rebellion against the approaching winter, and thereby creates a colourful, mysterious and melancholic season. Here comes my first suggestion – a classic gothic tale that some of you might know from its film adaptation with Johnny Depp from the year 1999: Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1820). The classic short story of the ‘pumpkin-topped headless horseman‘ does not only play around Halloween, but it also features the somewhat awkward schoolmaster Ichabod Crane as a main character, who strongly believes in the supernatural. After a harvest party, Ichabod rides home on his old horse ‘Gunpowder‘ and becomes the victim of a rather mean prank in the middle of the night. My second suggestion is rather suitable for the elementary classroom and the earlier grades, whose colours reminded me of autumn: Ruth Brown’s Greyfriars Bobby (2013). This beautifully illustrated picture book tells a heartwarming story about a faithful, little dog, who became a local hero for the people of Edinburgh.

Also, if you come across a brilliant new story which you think the world should know about, make sure to suggest it, so we can feature it in our next holiday reading list. Enjoy your autumn holidays, especially long walks in the park, but remember: Winter is coming…

The editors


Burn by Sheila Atim

English · 8 October 2020

As you can imagine, theatres around the globe are struggling with the social distancing our safety requires. One particular theatre in London, The Old Vic, is taking brave steps towards a digital service to the world: Time and again this year, they provided recordings and even live sessions of theatre plays which you can enjoy from the safety of your home. In time for World Mental Health Day, a powerful performance of a play by Sheila Atim has been put online, called Burn. The viewer gets a glimpse of a young woman’s monologue with her therapist. While the recording only lasts about 14 minutes, layer upon layer of defence mechanisms is delicately explored. Do approach the play with the caution necessary when dealing with a complex topic as is mental health.

If you get the chance to discuss this incredibly important part of life, which is still surrounded by stigma, with a group of language learners who are experienced (possibly Leistungskurs) and are not afraid of a challenge, we recommend considering Burn for an empathetic approach to mental health.

Rico


‘Teachers: Leading in crisis, reimagining the future’ – UNESCO’s motto for World Teacher’s Day 2020

Today we celebrate World Teacher’s Day, which is meant to appreciate and empower educators and their achievements all around the world. Founded in 1994, the day commemorates the anniversary of the adoption of the 1966 ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the status of teachers. Ever since, the 5th of October reminds the world to create a better understanding of the teacher’s role in the development of pupils, students and society. The joint statement from Audrey Azoulay (Director-General of UNESCO), Guy Ryder (Director-General, International Labour Organization), Henrietta H. Fore (Executive Director, UNICEF) David Edwards (General Secretary, Education International) on the occasion of World Teachers’ Day 2020 recognises, appreciates and values the efforts of teaching in times of COVID-19 – showing us that, no matter what, #TeachingNeverStops:

In this crisis, teachers have shown, as they have done so often, great leadership and innovation in ensuring that #LearningNeverStops, that no learner is left behind. Around the world, they have worked individually and collectively to find solutions and create new learning environments for their students to allow education to continue. Their role advising on school reopening plans and supporting students with the return to school is just as important.

Happy World Teacher’s Day, thank you for your impact and keep up the good work!

The editors


Dear users,

Lit4School life is of course a big literature party. But today we also most happily and proudly celebrate our 200th English text!

We focus on quality rather than quantity, and on additional information to make texts more accessible to you. Thus, 200 texts are a great milestone that shows that hard work pays off. We aim to create a toolkit to inspire variety in language education and hope to enrich contemporary classroom discussions with fitting literature of all kinds and periods – from ‘old and dusty’ classics to more recent examples and topics such as #BlackLivesMatter, #FridaysForFuture and #MeToo.

So, 200 English and 61 German texts on Lit4School call for a bottle of bubbly because it means there are 261 different ways to spice up language learning. If you are rather feeling cosy at the moment and in the mood to have a heartwarming, adorable autumn read, have a look at our No. 200: Diary of a Wombat.

The editors


September 30th: Podcast Day

English · 30 September 2020

Happy Podcast Day!

Though our love for books and reading is strong, sometimes listening to a podcast can be just as magical. So in honour of this international holiday, we’ve compiled some of our favourite podcasts for you to explore! True to the concept of our website, we’ll be mentioning English podcasts as well as German ones.

Of course, we can’t go without mentioning the Mathe für Alle podcast, produced at the ZLS at Leipzig University by our collegues Denise Heyder and Franziska Wehlmann! This podcast is dedicated to discussing how to teach math whilst navigating diversity in the classroom. You recieve practical examples of how to take everyone’s thinking patterns into account and discover new mathematical explanations. However, you also learn how to critically evaluate these new approaches based on current research in this field. The illustrations by Susanne Haase add a wonderful touch! You can find Mathe für Alle on Spotify and the ZLS website.

Another wonderful German podcast is Hoaxilla, produced by married couple Alexa and Alexander Waschkau. In this podcast series, the pair discusses conspiracy myths and urban legends, that so often blur reality and fiction. Using a sceptic’s eye, they break down and fit these myths into a sociocultural context and show the importance of looking beyond manipulation to understand society. All of this of course whilst still making you chuckle along the way.

For our English enthusiasts, check out the Anthropocene Reviewed by award-winning author John Green for a humourous commentary on different aspects of human life. He reviews different cultural topics, such as the board game Monopoly, and ‘rates’ them on a five-star scale. Rich in variety and short and sweet in length, you won’t get bored with this one!

For another podcast that talks about anything and everything, listen into Freakanomics Radio. Dating back to 2010, this podcast talks about current politics as well as general topics related to culture and society. Have you ever wondered how to raise a ‘likeable’ kid or about the economics of saving the rainforest? Take a look!

We hope you find something new to enjoy with your afternoon cup of tea or coffee!

Sarah


September 26th: Rabbit Day

English · 26 September 2020

Happy international Rabbit Day! This day is dedicated to the protection and care of all rabbits, domestic and wild animals alike. Our furry friends can be found all across English literature.

Stories about or featuring rabbits include:

  • Winnie the Pooh: In this classic, the supporting character Rabbit is a loyal, if slightly bossy, friend to the protagonist. Though he needs some time to warm up to strangers, he is equally endearing nonetheless.
  • Listen Buddy: This illustrated children’s book follows the story of adorable Buddy whose large ears don’t work very well, leading to one misunderstanding after another.
  • Watership Down: Sibling rabbits Fiver and Hazel struggle to build a community and find a new home after fleeing from their old one that was destroyed by humans. A wonderful read for anyone interested in a more political take on rabbit warrens.
  • The Complete Tales of Peter Rabbit: Little rabbit Peter is more adventurous and mischievous than his siblings… and consequently gets into more trouble!

As you can tell, there is an abundance of rabbits in literature, ranging from adorable and wide-eyed to bossy and adventurous. Have fun exploring!

Sarah