Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Thug Notes - A Different Approach to Literary Analysis #EngChat

I wasn't sure what to think when I saw my first Thug Notes. It was interesting, weird and accurate.

Thug Notes plays on the preconceived bias of people. When you see the narrator and hear the way he speaks, do you expect him to drop some knowledge on you? Probably not, but you will listen to see what he has to say about To Kill a Mockingbird or Of Mice and Men. That interest is what grabs the viewer and allows Thug Notes to provide an entertaining recap of a famous novel that students can enjoy and teachers could show in class or provide links to on their website. Here is one of many videos worth exploring on Thug Notes. (Warning: These are designed for high school and might contain some language not intended for younger audiences.)

I really enjoyed this video on Of Mice and Men and it even made me think about the biblical connection in the story that I had not realized before. I've taught this book for a number of years and that is something I never considered. I always love exploring literature in different ways and Thug Notes takes a fun new approach to the standard pieces of literature at the high school level.

The one word of caution I have for teachers is to make sure to watch all of the video before you show it in class. Some of the language might be bothersome in some schools, so use your best judgement when showing these, or any video, in the classroom. I think they are funny and could show them, but that might not be true for you in your building or district.

+Jacob Salamon does an awesome job putting these together and the collection of videos they have uploaded is very diverse and would be a great spice to add to the lesson plans.

Take a minute and look over the collection of videos, leave a comment and share with your friends who might want to show these in class or need a refresher course on some great pieces of literature. 


  1. Thanks for sharing this link. I just watched The Catcher in the Rye and The Great Gatsby. Definitely entertaining, though racy as you said. Kids gotta read to get theses videos though! Analysis on Of Mice and Men was best. Analysis on Catcher did a nice jib bringing symbols together.

  2. I just discovered Thug Notes yesterday and I think they're awesome. I teach in an area with lots of students who come from low socioeconomic status and they would LOVE these. Unfortunately, I teach middle school and most of these books are taught at the high school level.

  3. I just found your blog today and I must say that I am enjoying reading it thus far! I had never heard of Thug Notes before. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge and experiences. It really means a lot! Happy Holidays!


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