A Level Literature students have recently enjoyed bringing their studies to life by creating ‘character kites’ based on a novel they are studying, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. This novel is one of the texts studied by students as part of their programme and tells the story of Amir and his friend Hassan against a backdrop of controversial world events including the rise of the Taliban regime. 

Of course, A Level Literature involves exploring a range of texts and analysing what the writer is telling us through the characters involved. A key element of The Kite Runner centres on events after a kite fighting tournament, and linked to this, students created ‘character kites’ during a lesson to help them debate some key elements in the book and the traits of the central characters.

This was an opportunity for students to familiarise themselves with the characters and plot, with each of them choosing a character and writing their qualities on the kites, then finding quotations from within the text to evidence their findings and views. 

Sarah Newton, Teacher of A Level Literature says: “Creating the kites helped our students to really discuss and debate the characters in The Kite Runner, and there were some lively discussions about what the writer is telling us about the world through each character's perspective on the tumultuous events they experience. Of course, our choice of unusual activity was influenced by a key scene in the book but was a great example of how A Level English Literature uses some really unique techniques to help students to discuss, debate and work with others to shape their analysis. We hope to fly the kites in a race when the weather is sunnier, and experience some of the feelings of the characters may have in the key kite scene featured.”