Young readers and a portuguese sonnet of the 18th century: a viable alliance? A trial in the 2nd Cycle of Basic Education


The program of the 2nd cycle of Basic Education in Portugal contains several guidelines on the teaching of the poetic text, not only in terms of contents and objectives, but also concerning the suggestion of texts to read. These proposals are always supported by the lists included in the National Reading Plan. Now, regarding the poetic text, inserted in the field called literary education, will it be useful to make available texts that deviate from the trajectories that the textbooks outline? Is it possible to embark on texts traditionally read by a more mature student audience? Will students be able to meet this challenge of reading and understanding without compromising their learning and tastes?

This article aims to describe a trial carried out with students from the 2nd cycle of primary education in Portugal, in which it is proposed the reading of a text commonly read and /or studied years later in secondary education. It is the sonnet " O colchão dentro do toucado " by Nicolau Tolentino, an author from the XVIII Century.


We will examine how this text can captivate the students and spark their interest for poetry through an extraordinary stylistic simplicity, a rhetoric stripped of adornments and an almost colloquial and graphic language that knows how to mix naivety, the unforeseen and some surprises, features so pleasing to these young readers.

Can this text contribute to the purpose of literary education of the reader of the 2nd cycle of basic education? In what way and by what means will we propose the reading of an eighteenth-century text to young people of the twenty-first century? These are the questions we will try to answer next.

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