What Is CurricuLit?
CurricuLit.com is the result of one educator’s personal project to fill the apparent void in knowledge about – and ready access to – the widest possible selection of literature freely available online for use in planning lessons and sharing with students in and out of the classroom.
The old adage that “most textbooks are obsolete before they are even shipped out of the warehouse” seems to be as true now as it was 50 years ago. But even in a well-funded public school system, English and literature teachers are often confronted with a shortage (or even the absence) of quality textbooks, and for economic reasons many school systems must impose other restrictions against allowing students to take books home to read and study.
Today’s dedicated teachers, therefore, have to spend much of their time before and after class searching online for the literature they need in order to fulfill their curricular obligations to their students. Unfortunately, this can be an incredibly frustrating and time-consuming process because quality literary resource sites are often difficult to find and even more challenging to navigate. And many sites contain additional materials and images that are either distracting from the teacher’s purpose or may be considered inappropriate for children.
A further difficulty is in providing a broad enough variety of literary materials to meet the increasing need to differentiate instruction within any given classroom. Standard-issue literature textbooks tend to be limited in scope and confined to rather narrow perspectives that don’t expose students to the enormous quantity of alternatives that exist within a literary period or genre. Compounding the problem is that, in far too many instances, teachers themselves may be no more aware than their students that these alternatives exist in the first place.
• Collated the reading lists and curricular requirements of almost every public school system in the U.S.
• Identified most of the significant authors contained within those curricula
• Compiled as complete a bibliography as possible of each author’s published works
• Searched for, located and scrutinized every credible and reliable literature-hosting Web site we could find and
• Verified and cataloged as many direct links as possible for each title.
The result is a comprehensive and highly diversified database collection of freely available, public domain curricular literature – thus our name, CurricuLit – that teachers and students at all grade levels can use in support of, or in lieu of, any conventional literature textbook. Organized into specific categories and subcategories, our searchable database enables teachers, students and all readers not only to quickly and reliably access all of the literary works traditionally prescribed by the curriculum, they can also browse our lists of authors within each individual literary time period and identify alternatives that still conform to curricular requirements.
• Teachers can easily and confidently present whatever range of literature they wish within their school system’s curricular requirements without spending all of their personal time blindly searching through cyberspace for isolated materials on potentially questionable sites;
• Students can freely access the assigned literature whenever and wherever they do their classwork without having to carry around a heavy textbook;
• Parents can also access the assigned literature to assist or monitor their children’s progress or use CurricuLit.com to personally diversify their children’s literary instruction;
• School systems can save enormous sums of money that would have been spent on new and replacement textbooks every year while enabling reading scores to improve from students’ exposure to a much wider range of literature than can ever be found within the covers of any one anthology; and
• Readers of all ages can enjoy reading whatever they wish, whenever they wish, from our enormous catalog of literary works without having to leave home to find them.
Click here to learn how to use CurricuLit to meet your educational and reading needs.
Check out the CurricuLit channel of YouTube to view demonstrations and tutorials.