Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

The Best Resources For Learning How To Write Response To Literature Essays


Each year in our Intermediate English classes, we have students write three or four essays — Problem/Solution, Persuasive, Response To Literature, & Biography of an Historical Figure. So far, I’ve created a “The Best…” list on The Best Resources For Researching & Writing Biographies and you can find resources to support all these genres and more at The Best Websites For K-12 Writing Instruction/Reinforcement.

You can also find more links on my website under English Themes For Intermediate & Advanced.

Now it’s time for a “The Best…” list to support writing a response to literature essay.

I’m dividing this list into two parts — the first section contains links to sites that are suitable for English Language Learner student self access, and the section section includes resources more appropriate for teacher use and support.

Here are my choices for The Best Resources For Learning How To Write Response To Literature Essays:


Here are some helpful Brainpop essays (unfortunately, a paid subscription is required to access most, though not all, of them. You can also get a free trial):

Similes and Metaphors



Citing Sources


Here’s a quiz on Figures Of Speech: Metaphor, Simile or Personification.

The National Grid For Learning has a series of great interactive exercises on similes. It’s a little tricky to navigate, though. You need to scroll down to the bottom of that page to several links. Just in case you can find the direct links, I’ve decided to put them here:

Starter activity

Main session part 1


Plenary Two

Here’s a Super Simile Game

You can learn about Literary Elements and then take the quiz at this Thinkquest site.

Try to create similes in this not-very-easy game from the British Council.

Name That Literary Element is a game from Glencoe.

Mrs. Dowling’s Literature Terms is an accessible introduction to related academic vocabulary and includes quizzes.

Glencoe has a literary elements glossary that includes audio support and animations.

Figurative Language Interactive Activities

Students can use this online Literary Elements Map from Read Write Think to create a…literary elements map of a book they are reading.

Read Write Think also has an online Plot Diagram that might be helpful.

We usually have students pick one of the many Cinderella stories from various cultures and write a response to literature essay. As a “warm-up” to it (so to speak), there’s an ArtsEdge lesson that has students read three different “Cinderella” stories:

The Egyptian “Cinderella”

The Chinese “Cinderella”

The Native American “Cinderella”

Students then complete an online interactive Venn Diagram comparing the three stories.

We also have students read this animation of the popular version that provides audio support for the test. They can also read this animated version.

The Collegial Centre for Educational Materials Development (CCDMD) in Canada has quite a few nice “English Language Improvement” Resources, primarily for advanced English Language Learners. I particularly like College English Prep Online, which provides audio support for the text and provides instruction on topics like symbolism, setting, and imagery. Again, this would be most accessible to advanced ELL’s.


eMints has a list of good lesson plans and hand-outs you can print on similes and metaphors.

Write Source has some decent materials on writing a response to literature essay,  including some model essays (you’ll have to scroll down the page to “grades 9-12” to see them, and they are a bit advanced for ELL’s). They also have have some good graphic organizers.

Here’s another Cinderella version:

The Tender Tale of Cinderella Penguin by Janet Perlman, National Film Board of Canada

You might also be interested in these other “The Best..” lists related to writing:

The Best Websites For K-12 Writing Instruction/Reinforcement
The Best Places Where Students Can Write Online
The Best Sites For Grammar Practice
Not “The Best,” But “A List” Of Mindmapping, Flow Chart Tools, & Graphic Organizers
The Best Resources For Researching & Writing Biographies

As always, feedback is welcome.

If you found this post useful, you might want to look at all the previous over 200 “The Best…” lists and also consider subscribing to this blog for free.

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.


  1. Thanks for highlighting resources from ReadWriteThink. We are very proud of what we have to offer on the site! If you are interested, we pay educators in the field to publish lesson plans and share teaching ideas. Let me know if you would like more information.

  2. Thankyou so much. I can’t wait to browse through these.

  3. Pingback: The “courageous first follower of the lone nut” theory « Reading Power

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