Interesting spin this year. My professional life has been committed to participating in learning communities centered around literature; composition has always been a necessary but not tremendously rewarding part of that. </context>
This year I gutted my syllabus to pivot on the needs of the post-secondary writer - emphasizing agility and performativity/audience awareness no matter what the student’s celebrated post-secondary path is to be.
I feared my enjoyment would be sacrificed, but felt this would better serve the population I’m invested in. I planned for there to be plenty of very short literature excerpts that would model rhetorical modes and models. But the end goal isn’t the introduction of literary/critical theory, which is what my ego ideal has always pushed toward. Instead, we’re approaching literature as rhetoric, and I’m reading, consuming, and creating meaning in wholly different ways as a result.
I couldn’t be happier. A few weeks ago we worked through the first scene of Fight Club to learn how make implications about characters in narrative. We then looked at the screen play to see what strategies a screenwriter can use to develop characters indirectly.
Today was an accidental success. Neuromancer was out after a technology class. The following period we decided to look at page 1. First line explicated: character or setting? Setting. How’s it achieved strategically? Elaboration and comparison. Good, put that on your to do list. And so on through tactical use of elaboration and concretion, incorporation of dialog into prose, comparison, hyperbole, contrast…each strategy was added to do list for their current portfolio work.
My concluding realization is that literary tropes and figurative language are being covered just as they were, but we’re discussing their tactical use and inventorying them as rhetorical devices instead.
Pulling off grade level independent reading for students reading significantly below grade level: I can’t credit Calibre’s feature set enough (free software for linux, Mac, and PC). With this resource, I can refactor digital texts to suit the needs of the individual students - ration of text to white space, kerning, font, line height, etc.
Thank you, period 7. Any thoughts?