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In Search of the Novel
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eight workshops

ten novels
ten novelists
the teachers
about the project



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[Teacher-talknovel] video 7 commentary

From: R A <>
Date: Fri, 2 Mar 2012 08:36:58 -0800 (PST)
X-Mailer: YahooMailWebService/

    Much of this discussion really got at the meat of how I am involving and can involve my students in the book so that they really focus on the emotional content of the story. I do a lot of Reader’s Theater with my students through all the grades with which I work, k through 8. I agree with the teachers in the discussion group that by reading aloud, presenting skits to a group, or recreating scenes the student has to really hone in on how HE would feel about a certain event, how SHE might respond to another character during a confrontation or conversation, or WHY the writer has written dialogue as he or she has done. We’ve probably all read books in which the author did not seem to create characters with depth. I myself have seen some fabulous movies created from Nicholas Sparks’ books. However, when I tried to read, “A Walk to Remember” after having seen the movie, I was so disappointed. The book did not come to life. Conversely, I first saw Colleen McCullough’s “The Thorn Birds” as a miniseries and loved it. Later I read the book. It blew me away. The book had so much depth of feeling. It was even more alive in my mind than the movie had been. Unlike the Sparks’ novel, which read more like a screenplay in my mind, with very general and surface-level details, the McCullough novel lived and breathed. I think that encouraging students to really connect with the characters as if they were populating their real lives is going to help them see themselves IN those characters. As well, studying books in this way can spill over into their own writing. It can also spill over into their thoughts. How many times have I said about a character, “I wish I’d had a friend (grandmother/teacher) like that!” How many times might a student think, “I wish I could BE like that?” That is how a student can find himself in a story.

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Received on Fri Mar 02 2012 - 11:55:02 EST

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