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Enabling the CCSS version of exemplary adolescent literacy.
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Rescooped by Lynnette Van Dyke from Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading!

16 Fancy Literary Techniques Explained By Disney

16 Fancy Literary Techniques Explained By Disney | AdLit |
Because why waste money on an English degree when you can just watch Disney movies?

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GoogleLitTrips Reading List's curator insight, August 4, 2013 10:03 AM

A challenge...


How much more than what is so clearly discussed in this article does EVERY student need to know about literary devices before we send them out into "the real world"?


I am not suggesting the the essence of understanding literary devices is unimportant. But rather that the basics of literary devices are so clearly explained here, that the vast majority of students might well "get it" and "get it well enough" to begin seeing these devices at play in the increasingly challenging readings expected of them in the upper grades. 


I've often, and as recently as in yesterday's post, posed a concern about the degree to which literary reading instruction succeeds or fails in creating life-long readers. Or, put more bluntly, the degree to which literary reading instruction encourages or discourages the creation of life-long readers.


As English majors, I'm certain (?) that none of us could even imagine what is lost in reading among those who did not major in English and therefore are completely oblivious to the literary value of "Anagnorisis" in a well-crafted story.




No! "Anagnorisis," You know when a character who doesn't get it finally gets it. A character's important realization that he or she hadn't known what he or he hadn't known. You know. That sort of thing.


Of course, I'm cherry-picking one of the much more obtuse literary devices to make my point. Truth be told, I'm not sure that "Anagnorisis" is a term that I had ever run across before. And, yet it is the name, apparently, for a literary device that has been at the heart of discussion starters in my and probably your classrooms forever.


I've wondered aloud about whether our focus in literary analysis ought to be built upon a more delicate or fine-tuned balance between encouraging many more of our graduates to continue reading literature as an ongoing life practice and encouraging at least some of our graduates to have become so engaged in literary reading that they go on to major in English and even pick up the sacred torch of teaching literature.


Though both goals are worthy, I worry about the extent to which the latter focus might be counterproductive and dare I say fatal in the pursuit of the former focus for far too many of our students.


I have no doubt that the skills and appreciation for literary reading associated with literary scholarship can play a large role in achieving both goals. While at the same time, i can not help but be concerned about the point at which the extensive attention to the scholarly side of literary analysis also plays a major role in the declining interest in reading of many of our students as they transition from childhood stories to the literary challenges associated with stories taught in upper grades that have to be dissected at levels leaving too many students with a sense that the value of literary reading is trumped completely by the difficulty of seeing what it is that their teachers seem to see between, rather than in the lines "of last night's reading."


So even as a high school teacher, I might begin a course with this article as a discussion starter, followed by a brainstorming session regarding how many stories in print OR film OR around the Thanksgiving table when the old folks are retelling those old stories they enjoy telling and hearing no matter how many times they've sat round the Thanksgiving table boring the children to death with those old "alreday heard that one about a million times" stories.


I know my students, whether they were future English majors or not, could fill a few class sessions "seeing" these literary devices at play in all sorts of stories they had encountered.


And, by the way, as" just an aside," do you remember how much you looked forward to being promoted from the children's table at Thanksgiving to the grown ups' table? 


How great was that going to be?


hmmm... maybe ""Anagnorisis" is a more valuable literary device than I had thought it was way back when I began jotting down my thoughts on this artice.



 ~ ~


GLT Global ED dba Google Lit Trips is an educational nonprofit

Rescooped by Lynnette Van Dyke from Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading!

20 Literary Facts To Impress Your Friends With

20 Literary Facts To Impress Your Friends With | AdLit |
Aside from scoring book nerd points, these will also help you dominate on trivia night!

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GoogleLitTrips Reading List's curator insight, April 20, 2013 2:15 PM

I don't know about you but I like these kinds of articles. As an English major and an English teacher for nearly four decades, I'm always pleasantly amused at the discovery of "new" back stories particularly about books I've taught repeatedly.


I don't know how many times I did dramatic readings of the entire Of Mice and Men complete with theatre style lighting in my classroom, dressed as a teacher sort of (denim jeans and shirt with tie and jacket... you know the look) and then as I began to read the story aloud I'd casually remove my jacket. A few minutes later I'd remove my tie, followed a few minutes later by rolling up my sleeves and then in subsequent several minutes gaps, I'd pull out a red bandana, wipe my brow and tie it around my neck. Another gap and I'd pull out my old cap just like the one I'd seen George wearing if one of the films. And then I'd hit the projector switch that was set to show a slide of the Salinas valley on the white board behind me.


Okay, I was really into it, and within a single class period the kids were locked into a genuine suspension of disbelief and they wanted to know what was going to happen next.


So when I saw the trivia point about Of Mice and Men in this article, I had to smile since Of Mice and Men was one of the several books that I had dug deeper into than any of the books I taught over the years.


I had no idea about the trivia regarding Don Quixote or Roald Dahl, a writer who I truly like but had no idea regarding the trivia  mentioned here.


This is also the kind of "back story" stuff that I found many students intrigued by as well. It's not quite the same as the historical background stuff we also share. There's something about the "did you know?" impact of author and book back story that has a different engagement factor for kids than the traditional academic back story stuff.


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Karen Chichester's curator insight, April 29, 2013 9:32 AM

Very interesting information. Complete with different backstories. 

Rescooped by Lynnette Van Dyke from Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading!

25 Signs You're Addicted To Books

The first step is admitting it. The second step is to keep right on reading.

Via GoogleLitTrips Reading List
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's curator insight, May 28, 2013 11:22 AM

 Why Scoop an article that i found more annoying than interesting?




But, first a concession. The "voice" of this article is not intended to be the voice of an educator. The intention of this article is not to engage reluctant readers. The intended audience for this article is probably those already engaged in a life-long reading habit. And, my criticism is probably more about the importance of considering one's audience than about the intentions of the author and receptiveness of her audience.



Okay, so why did I find the article annoying?


It wasn't the inclusion of a word too rude to share with students. It's easy enough to begin a scoopit comment with a warning in that regard.


It wasn't the use of the word "addicted" in the title. Though using words like "addicted" and "obsessed" as if they referenced something admirable is annoying to me.


It had more to do with portraying readers...


as weak

primarily women

choosing reading over responsibility

ridiculously emotional

incapable of reading without being emotionally wounded



out of touch


afraid of the real world


lost in the real world



and did I mention snobs?


This is NOT a list of reasons to encourage young people to become readers.


DISCLAIMER: It's not that I can't take a joke or see an attempt to be humorous. But, with few exceptions, I can't help but see most of these as more similar to "dumb blond" jokes or "racist jokes." They do little to counter negative stereotypes.


And defending these self-deprecating attempts at literary humor as "just jokes" seems pretty much as irritating as those who defend racist and sexist jokes as "just jokes."


"Can't you take a joke?"


Not always.


As book lovers, of course, self-deprecating humor of this sort is easy to accept and even find amusing. And, perhaps that is a significant difference between we who are bibliophiles and our students who have not yet discovered adequate reasons to makee a committment to life-long reading.


What percentage of your students would find these "jokes" to be encouraging a love of reading? 


My guess is a higher percentage would be encouraged to ridicule their classmates who do like reading.



 ~ ~




Rescooped by Lynnette Van Dyke from Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading!

If Dr. Seuss books were titled according to their subtexts

If Dr. Seuss books were titled according to their subtexts | AdLit |

(from Buzzfeed)

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GoogleLitTrips Reading List's curator insight, April 6, 2013 9:40 AM

Who didn't love Dr. Seuss?


What a great introduction to an accessible learning experience of "reading between the lines." It's a classic frustration point that all too frequently leads to annoyance and reliance upon a "I'll never get it, but I can learn to fake it Thanks to Spark Notes Plan B" attitude for many students.


Having probably liked Dr. Seuss in childhood and gained a bit more understanding of the world by the time students reach high school, it might be quite a bit easier to only have to stretch one's Vygotsky borders by exploring the real-world references made in these retitled Dr. Seuss books. A bit of understanding of what the titles reference added to an existing recollection of fondness for these classic stories, might provide a pre-engaged interest in rereading the stories with more "grown-up" eyes.


A follow up exercise might be to employ the opposite strategy. Have students start with a different personal favorite childhood story and have them create retitled versions of the covers for those stories. 


Or have them choose a book they more recently enjoyed and have them create a retitled book cover. I would probably ask them to choose a book that they had chosen themselves rather than one that had been required reading.


I think the key is that they start with a book that they read and enjoyed rather than one they did not choose, may have had to struggle through because of a lack of pre-existing interest, challenging vocabulary, or plotline of no particularly attractive nature.


For example, a student may be a skateboarder who happened to read a book about Tony Hawk simply because the student thinks Hawk is pretty cool. That student might in retrospect see that the book might easily be retitled "Perseverance Pays Off" or "Fun Ain't Always Easy And Easy Ain't Always Fun."


It wouldn't need to be a time consuming experience, but maybe a single period early in the semester might be an enjoyable and worthwhile experience.


An alternative followup might be for students to be invited and then scheduled to bring in one or two or more of their favorite childhood books on the same day. And, then students are given a chance to  blind draw one of the books brought in that day. I'd probably have a list of the titles they brought in so that those titles would be unacceptable for this single experience. So if they did happen to blind draw a title that matches one of the books they brought in they would get to draw again until they had drawn a book other than the one they'd brought in. They might then read the book cold and then try to draw a retitled cover.


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