Thursday, October 22, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Lessons from a Past Erin (8)

Hello, everyone! As some of you may know, I unveiled a new blog feature awhile ago, and so far, people have been enjoying it. Sadly, I think we're coming to a close on these Throwback Thursday posts, so savor them while they last! They won't be around for much longer.
It's called Throwback Thursday: Lessons from a Past Erin. In these posts, I explore my notes from my undergrad YA class, and I share them with you. I've been organizing them as mini-lessons, so sometimes how they are structured differs. But at the end of all of them, I include a discussion post so that everyone can comment and discuss the week's lesson.

Bell Ringer

Before we begin today's lesson, I want you to think of a time when you read a book or a chapter in a book, and you just felt like you couldn't think of words to describe it. I'm sure it's happened to all of us at some point in time. You might have liked it. You might have hated it. The thing is... you just can't come up with words. You can't discuss it with anybody.

Alright... have a memory? Good. Now let's get to today's lesson.

Responding to Literature

This is adapted from a handout that my professor gave our YA lit class. Its original purpose was an assignment based on a book that we read, but after looking over it again, I think it would serve as a great way to help students (and book bloggers) start thinking about the book they just read and get to discussing it. It's broken down into four different sections, and I think it will help anyone needing to discuss or write about a book.


"This part of the story is about..."
Be sure to state the section of the story or book you are summarizing. Write a short summary adequately detailing the main events of the section you are reading. What was the part about? Try to summarize the story in one well-developed paragraph.


"This part of the novel reminded of..."
Under this section, share any personal links between the characters, the story, situations, and the plot and your own life experiences as well as recollections of television shows, movies, songs, and/or any other pieces of literature you have read. You may have relatives with knowledge about something within the section you are reading. How can you connect this part of the story with the world or anything you know about the world? 


"I wonder..."
Ask one question that you wonder about after reading this part of the story. Once you have identified a question, answer it as best as you can. The question should NOT be a true/false, yes/no, short-answer type. It should tap into higher levels of thinking - evaluation or analysis. Try to answer your question in one well-developed paragraph.


"I appreciated the line..."
Select the lines of a text that stood out to you. Write a brief paragraph explaining why you found those lines particularly interesting, moving, revealing, beautiful, or disturbing (whatever comes to your heart or mind). 

What Does This Mean?

First of all, no one has to use this handout, unless it's actually assigned to you, like it was for me. And I'm going to be completely honest with you... I don't even remember what book I chose to write about. However, I can see myself using this more often to tap into my personal thoughts and share them when I write book reviews.

Now let's talk about this in a school environment: I could really see this handout helping students turn their thoughts into eloquent and well-written paragraphs that could be used in writing assignments or even to use during a class discussion.

Class Discussion

Has a teacher ever given you an assignment like this? If so, do you remember what you wrote about? Do you think an assignment like this could have helped you if you were stumped about a particular reading assignment?

Teachers - Would you assign anything like this to students to track reading progress and comprehension?

Feel free to discuss this in the comments, and let me know what you think about the handout and ways that it could help you as a student or a book blogger.


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