Day Twenty-Four of the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge. Seven days to go! Tweet at #SOL15
Thanks to Tara, Dana, Anna, Betsy, Beth and Stacey for hosting.
Also blogging with my students at Linda & Jonathan's Class Blog
|A different point of view!|
The students in my class just completed book groups that read three different books, students' choice, and we're readying for more after our spring break that arrives at the end of the week. The focus particularly for these first books was to consider point of view.
I don't believe in doing big assignments for a book, little between meetings but to bring a passage that meant something to the reader and a question or two for the group. At the end, I have a number of expectations for learning. First, I want them to contemplate the book as a whole, the imprint of the book on their lives right now, and the author's way of telling the story. Second, I hope that each one will carry the main character(s) in their hearts (minds) to connect to others in the future. What will the character's learning teach the student? Or will it teach anything? Those are some of my thoughts, and last, I really just want the students to love the book, perhaps very personally, or at least, to love it as another reading experience that might lead to new paths.
The response assignment I gave to my group that read Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart was one I have not given in a long time. It is rather simple, but because the group turned out to enjoy the book as something quite different from their usual YA reads, it seems that they were even more invested in writing thoughtfully, and the work each did was wonderful. I asked them to write a letter to the author as if they were the main character, this time, Okonkwo, the tragic Igbo (Ibo) leader from the fictional Nigerian village of Umuofia. In that letter, they must tell how they feel about the story written about themselves, either praise or deny the truth of the story, show what was enjoyed, and what might be embarrassing, and so on. I am so proud of the students who found true voices in which to write. Each also found different views to share, from the same character.
The letters are too long to share, but I thought you'd like to hear about this, perhaps to adapt it for your own students sometime.