The Literature Workshop – Blau

Chapters 6 – 8

Chapters 6-8 did restore my sense that students CAN do this work at crafting meaning and meaningful writing about literature.

Chapter 6 includes a workshop that can be done to introduce the idea of saying something about literature:

Activity 1 – Students read a short piece silently

Activity 2 – Students read aloud using Jump-in reading (like popcorn reading)

Activity 3 – Pointing – students pic a sentence that they think is most important from the piece. Everyone shares them popcorn style (students can share more than one or repeat theirs when it feels necessary)

Activity 4 – Writing about a line (Write a quickwrite about a line and what makes it important)

Activity 5 – Sharing in writing groups

Activity 6 – Report Out and Publishing (publishing just means making it public or reading aloud to the full group)

Activity 7 – Extending the workshop from practice to theory – showing how the students interpretations relate to already established theories (feminist, psychological, moral/ethical, Freudian, family dynamics, role analysis, developmental levels, verbal analysis, style analysis, etc.)

In Chapter 8, Blau outlines the writing assignments he uses to encourage students to become readers, interpreters, and research collaborators on texts.

Assignment 1 (A1): Reading Logs

A2: Reading Log Audit

A3: Reading Process Research Paper

A4: The Interpretation Project

A5: Interpretive or Critical Paper on Short Fiction

A6: Portfolio Assignment

I clearly need to own this book so that I can steal/transform his assignments into usable practices in my high school classroom. I’ll have to find some way to get my hands on it when I’m immersed in curriculum planning this year. I’m sorry to see it go!


Posted on July 9, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Yes, Blau really tracks with Janette’s assertion today that deeper rereading requires REreading. Do you think that the texts you are asked to teach have passages that will open up as well as his do after multiple readings? Do you have time to lead students through multiple readings and writings about a text?

    • Since we are reworking our sophomore English class, my goal is to figure out how to offer these types of texts and how to make time to do multiple readings and writings. I’m imagining I will start with shorter pieces at the beginning and meld into longer pieces/novels with shorter chunks reread.

  2. The activities in chapter seven would fit nicely in our World Myth unit. We read a wide variety of myths from around the world. Different groups could identify and write about quotes identified in different myths.
    We could look for similarities in their choices like we did with shirt colors today.

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