In a recent class at Hebron University in Hebron, Palestine, English Language Fellow Cecilia “CC” Gregg used famous quotes to perform theme analysis, and the activity really energized the class. First, Gregg had students evaluate quotes on their own to discuss their contents and determine the meaning of new vocabulary. Next, the students worked in teams to analyze the quotes further and discover literary themes. Finally, each team presented its findings and new vocabulary list to the class. The quote-analysis activity was a fun and showed a new way for students to use their conversation skills in a group setting to discuss the philosophies of literary figures, religious leaders, and political leaders. “I liked working in a group. We need more practice with our conversation skills. We need more activities like this,” one participating student remarked.
Gregg used this quote-analysis activity when guest-lecturing in an advanced reading class for first- and second-year students. The class was familiar with the analysis of texts, but they had not been exposed to smaller passages or team discussions. Gregg wanted to provide students with an engaging, yet meaningful, way to analyze what they were reading. In addition to conversation skills, students also utilized their reading and writing skills for this activity. Some students suggested that the activity could be extended outside of class, such as using it to review and analyze their favorite English songs. Others mentioned that the activity could inform discussions of political quotes from important party leaders.