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Thread: What order for R literature assignments?

  1. #1
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    What order for R literature assignments?

    I would guess this has already been answered, but I haven't been able to find the answer so maybe some kind soul will address it...
    I'm wondering what is the most effective order in which my Rhetoric students might read the various pieces of their assignment. For example, this week there is:

    literary introduction
    summary of the literary work we're studying
    the actual literary work
    Poetics readings
    Student Activity Pages (questions)
    Literary terms

    It makes sense to read the Literary Intro. and summary before the work, and I usually tell my students to read through the SAP questions (although they won't make a lot of sense yet) before doing the reading so that they can be looking for answers as they read. But should they do all the Poetics readings before beginning the work?
    Thanks,
    Bonnie

  2. #2
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    I have tried to encourage my dd to read the Poetics readings first, but she is usually so eager to jump into the story that she'll read some from each every day. As long as she is able to adequately prepare for discussions and then is able to participate well, I don't make an issue out it. The literary terms and Poetics readings are so intertwined throughout the discussion that it will quickly become clear if the student completed and understood the assignments.

    Enjoy,
    Monica
    "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

  3. #3
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    duplicate post
    "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

  4. #4
    I feel like this question should have been answered in the first week of the unit, in the SAP's literary intro... but maybe it wasn't. It's a GREAT question! Here are some thoughts:

    I'd imagine that you are generally going to want your student to wrap his mind around the Poetics stuff first, then start reading the actual book with the new terms from Poetics in mind, so that he can apply them. I would fit in the other items you mention fit in around that basic concept. Here's how I think it could go, as if I were the student:

    1. I'd read the lit intro first, pretty much always. That will orient me to the book and may mention the Poetics concepts.
    2. I'd do Lit vocab next, but WITH Poetics readings (since they are usually about those vocal terms). So, I'd read about "irony" and then writing out the card for irony. Poetics would break down and explain the definition of irony for me, then I'd lock it into my memory by writing it.
    3. Then I'd skim the SAP questions to get a sense of how Poetics wants me to apply the concepts it taught me to the book I'll be reading. I probably won't grasp much because I haven't started the book yet, but I need to start somewhere. Since I've already done the Poetics reading then at least part of what I see in the SAPS will makes sense. That way, I'd also see what kinds of things (e.g. examples of irony) I am expected to find as I read the book.
    4. Next, I'd go for the summary of the book, because if there's a summary for the student, chances are that I need to read it in order to keep from getting lost.
    5. I like to read the actual literary book with my SAP's beside me, writing down on my SAPS any page numbers in the book that I think will help to answer the questions. (E.g. if the SAPS are asking me to find an example of irony, I might write down the line number(s) and page number of the first one I find, so that I can easily fill it in on the SAPS later). If necessary, I can read the book with my summary beside me as well. My vocab cards or even Poetics might be useful to have on hand too, in case I find an example that seems like irony but maybe isn't... in which case I need to check my definition.
    6. Finally, I'd go to do my SAPS exercises/questions, with reference to Poetics or to the literary book as needed.

    Does that help at all, Bonnie? I tried to think through it from the perspective of a high school student using all these materials...

    Christy Somerville
    Director for Rhetoric Literature
    Lampstand Press
    Last edited by cjsomerville; 09-09-2013 at 11:31 AM.

  5. #5
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    Thanks, Monica and Christy. That's quite helpful.
    Bonnie

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    I've got one question for Christy: I've always assumed the summary of the work provided in the IG is for the parent-teacher not the student. Is this a correct assumption?

    Next, let me suggest one idea just in case. Sometimes high school students don't think like adults and are more caught up in the story. If this is the case, I'd let them go forward with reading the piece of literature and then come back and read the other works although I would encourage them to have the work with them for those other works so they can look things up that strike them. Some students get discourage reading lots of introductions first and by the time they get to the actual work are not really reading. If you find this might be the case, start with the piece of literature.
    Pat
    "Of two evils, choose neither."
    Charles H. Spurgeon
    http://www.spurgeon.org/mainpage.htm

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    Pat,
    I hear you! I see Christy's list as the most efficient way to get what's intended out of the reading. It's how I would assign if I'm being completely directive. But sometimes it's best for my kids to arrive at certain conclusions on their own, so my plan is to discuss with them the reasons one might read all the other stuff before the actual "story," and then let them make some choices. They might not get as much out of certain selections, but they're bright enough to notice that if they'd only known ahead of time what they were looking for it might have saved them some backtracking. And it's not as if it's "wrong" to do it in the less efficient order - sometimes we find things in the backtracking that we wouldn't have found before.

    Someone may answer your question about the summaries in a more general way, but I'm looking at one specific - In Y2 week 3's Literary Introduction to the Song of Roland, the student is told that it might be helpful for him to read the summary found in the Literature Supplement. Again, I let my older kids choose. One said this week, "But I don't like reading those summaries - they give the story away." I told him where to find it if he has trouble understanding or getting into the story, and gave him the option of reading only the introductory paragraph to help him get started. Or even to read part of the story, and then the related part of the supplement to make sure he didn't miss something important.
    Bonnie

  8. #8
    Pat... I'm not sure what you mean by the "IG"? If you mean the summaries in the Teacher's Notes (found just under the orange box), then yes, those are generally just for the teacher, though you are always free to share them with the student. If you mean the summaries in the green Literature Supplements which sometimes appear after the Glance at the end of the weekplan, those are for the teacher AND/OR the student, as needed, which is why we put them in the more student-accessible area of Supplements. Does that help?

    Pat and Bonnie, you are both quite right to observe that I was giving the most efficient approach I could think of for a student who is trying to get their work done. That's how I generally approached literature as a teenager (because I had a heavy school load), and that's how many of my students approach it. However, I thoroughly agree with you that there are students who don't want the plot given away by a summary, or who would rather crack the literature book right away, circling back around to Poetics and SAP questions and vocabulary later. This alternative path is definitely slower, but if your student has time and prefers it, I say amen to it! I wish I'd had time for that kind of approach when I was in high school!

    Christy

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