UW-Madison’s Great World Texts program will host its annual student conference April 20 at Union South where high school students will present their projects surrounding a classic literary text.
The Great World Texts program aims to provide high school students across Wisconsin an opportunity to spend a school year studying a work of classic literature and then share their experience through projects they create and present.
The program is taught by about 60 teachers at 22 high schools of all types around the state—large or small, rural or urban and private or public schools—and an estimated 500 to 600 students are expected to attend the conference this year. The program’s 2016 text is “Journey to the West,” which is a 16th century novel written by Wu Cheng’en.
Great World Text program coordinator Manuel Herrero-Puertas said the program simplifies academia and allows students to become familiar not only with close-reading, but also how to present and discuss their ideas among their peers.
“It’s a very social experience,” Herrero-Puertas said in a university press release.
New Horizons Charter School English teacher Renee Glembin said students are able to meet with graduate students, professors, world-renowned authors and engage with them about their projects and views on a great world text.
“The program expands their worlds in so many ways,” Glembin said in the release. “Not only does this process and final project and event expand their knowledge of classic literature, other cultures and all of those complex layers, the Great World Texts program expands students’ knowledge of their own state and most importantly, of their own capabilities and of the possibilities that await them.”