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In Search of the Novel:Teacher-TalkNovel

Subject: Re: Frankenstein--for what ability & Avoiding Plagiarism

From: gcor (gcor@jersey.net)
Date: Thu Mar 30 2000 - 12:26:04 EST


Julie,

I think the "I Search" paper is less threatening than a research paper. It actually
alows for exploring ideas, thinking about a new topic. If done carefully, the
reader can keep track of his or her own thinking. When I teach reading to reluctant
and "poor" readers at the college level, I feel that this strategy serves to lure
them into "inquiry."

I like your idea about using post-it notes added to parts of the text to show
details from the novel that relate to their line of thinking.

Another writing project that students always enjoy is writing a script for one scene
in a novel. when I taught high school English in the 70s, I used to have students
write scenes for chapters in "To kill a Mockingbird" and "The Crucible." They always
followed with a production. I still have photos of what my students did. I guess
making a "production" out of their creative projects adds to the learning
activities.

I have been reading comments from teachers who are struggling with unmotivated
learners. I think the most exciting moments I have had as a teacher occurred with
less motivasted readers who begin to recognize symbolic interpretations. WOW!

Truly,
Gail

Julie Hoffman wrote:

> ?V???q?
> Content-type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII"
> Content-transfer-encoding: 7bit
>
> on 3/24/00 10:09 AM, gcor at gcor@jersey.net wrote:
>
> >
> > --------------AAD80468E7D01E876D5F40C0
> > Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
> > Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
> >
> > This is a good question. I, too, am interested in this DRP reading
> > index, and how it is determined. When I taught Frankenstein last
> > semester to students that have minimal experience with reading, I
> > noticed the number of archaic words in the text. I made lists of these
> > words from each chapter, the students made lists of words, too, that
> > they found difficult to understand, and defined them, and then created
> > voacabulary collages to begin to show what they had learned about words
> > and their connections to images today. They explained the collages to
> > other class members.
> >
> > Aside from the vocabulary, the students had difficulty understanding the
> > shifting point of view of the story. Remember now these students in
> > their first year at college had little exposure to reading classics in
> > high school and theygenerally dislike reading for pleasure. I remember
> > the day we discussed how the story started to be told by the Creature
> > rather than by Frankenstein. Students could not believe that a novel
> > could shift perspective; also, they held a strong media image of the
> > monster and the name Frankenstein, so it was difficult for them to break
> > this connection. Also, studdents told me that they had never read a
> > story for symbolic meaning. These students had not taken AP courses in
> > high school and had minimal exposure to reading a book closely by asking
> > questions about its author's life, by connecting questions about life to
> > the events in the plot, or by beginningto question the historical
> > context for the book.
> >
> > I think this book could provide a fantastic framework for an
> > interdisciplinary class of history, political science, philosophy,
> > science, and literature. The book is complicated but very exciting.
> >
> > To avoid plagiarism, I had them engage in a six week "I-Search" paper
> > project related to the novel, they completed study-guide questions that
> > I created, they designed vocabulary collages for words that they
> > identified as hard to understand, they completed questions that they
> > answered in realtion to the inquiry that they were following. At the
> > end of thie six weeks, students discussed what they learned through this
> > process of asking a question about the novel.
> >
> > Truly,
> > Gail
> >
> > ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> >
> > Dr. Gail S. Corso
> > Associate Professor of Communication Arts
> > Coordinator of Writing
> > Neumann College
> > Aston, PA 19014-1298
> >
> > gcorso@neumann.edu
> > 610-558-5515
> >
> > Julia Shugert wrote:
> >
> >> How do you determine DRP (Degrees of Reading Power)?
> >
> > --------------AAD80468E7D01E876D5F40C0
> > Content-Type: text/html; charset=us-ascii
> > Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
> >
> > <!doctype html public "-//w3c//dtd html 4.0 transitional//en">
> > <html>
> > This is a good question. I, too, am interested in this DRP reading index,
> > and how it is determined.&nbsp;&nbsp; When I taught <i>Frankenstein</i>
> > last semester to students that have minimal experience with reading, I
> > noticed the number of archaic words in the text.&nbsp;&nbsp; I made lists
> > of these words from each chapter, the students made lists of words, too,&nbsp;
> > that they found difficult to understand, and defined them, and then created
> > voacabulary collages to begin to show what they had learned about words
> > and their connections to images today.&nbsp; They explained the collages
> > to other class members.
> > <p>Aside from the vocabulary, the students had difficulty understanding
> > the shifting point of view of the story. Remember now these students in
> > their first year at college had little exposure to reading classics in
> > high school and theygenerally dislike reading for pleasure.&nbsp;&nbsp;
> > I remember the day we discussed how the story started to be told by the
> > Creature rather than by Frankenstein.&nbsp; Students could not believe
> > that a novel could shift perspective; also, they held a strong media image
> > of the monster and the name Frankenstein, so it was difficult for them
> > to break this connection.&nbsp; Also, studdents told me that they had never
> > read a story for symbolic meaning.&nbsp; These students had not taken AP
> > courses in high school and had minimal exposure to reading a book closely
> > by asking questions about its author's life, by connecting questions about
> > life to the events in the plot, or by beginningto question the historical
> > context for the book.
> > <p>I think this book could provide a fantastic framework for an
> > interdisciplinary
> > class of history, political science, philosophy, science, and
> > literature.&nbsp;
> > The book is complicated but very exciting.
> > <p>To avoid plagiarism, I had them engage in a six week "I-Search" paper
> > project related to the novel, they completed study-guide questions that
> > I created, they designed vocabulary collages for words that they identified
> > as hard to understand, they completed questions that they answered in realtion
> > to the inquiry that they were following.&nbsp; At the end of thie six weeks,
> > students discussed what they learned through this process of asking a question
> > about the novel.
> > <p>Truly,
> > <br>Gail
> > <p>~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> > <p>Dr. Gail S. Corso
> > <br>Associate Professor of Communication Arts
> > <br>Coordinator of Writing
> > <br>Neumann College
> > <br>Aston, PA 19014-1298
> > <p>gcorso@neumann.edu
> > <br>610-558-5515
> > <p>Julia Shugert wrote:
> > <blockquote TYPE=CITE>How do you determine DRP (Degrees of Reading
> > Power)?</blockquote>
> > </html>
> >
> > --------------AAD80468E7D01E876D5F40C0--
> >
> Gail,
> What good ideas for lower level performers. I, too, work with this level of
> student but at a much younger age (high school sophomores). Your techniques
> could be applied to the novels that I have my students read. Most of my
> students are not readers but they are very interested in ideas and
> discussion. We have become detectives searching for evidence to support our
> opinions. We have used tiny post-it notes to mark places in the text they
> want to remember. This helps them "bond" with the text and gets them into
> the habit of actually having supporting information to present along with an
> opinion. The students have had great discussions using this technique and
> have "caught" me when I present information that may be incorrect.
>
> Julie Hoffman


 

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