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!