Research shows that critical thinking can be gained from discussing and writing about controversial issues in class.  When students are encouraged to write about a controversial topic, whether in an essay or creative piece like a poem, they work on their communication skills and critical thinking skills at once. The literature classroom is a natural environment in which to explore students’ expression and critical thinking skills because themes in literature often touch upon controversial issues like those they may encounter online and offline. 

 This project provides classroom activities for English teachers who wish to utilize the power of social media to harness the critical reading, writing, and thinking skills of their students.  The resource includes video and audio playlists, discussion questions, readings, essay topics, grading rubrics, and writing activities to help bring extremism and its effects to light.   

 The learning objectives of the course are: 

  • To introduce the topics of extremism and anti-extremism 
  • To apply critical thinking skills in online and classroom discussions 
  • To write critically about the topic of extremism and anti-extremism 
  • To introduce a variety of poems and literature relevant to the study of extremism and anti-extremism 
  • To write creatively based on extremism and anti-extremism

The Literary Peace Project pdf