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Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading
An Educator's Reading List of Contemporary Literature, Literacy, and Reading Issues. Visit us at http://www.GoogleLitTrips.org
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Five more Google Lit Trips UPDATES!

Five more Google Lit Trips UPDATES! | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

15 May 2015

 

Today we posted five updated Google Lit Trips including Journey to Topaz, The Kite Runner, Lost! Marching for Freedom and Night

 

This brings the total number of updated Lit Trips to 29 so far this month. 

 

See the complete list of updated Lit Trips at www.GoogleLitTrips.org 

 

IMPORTANT: ALL Google Lit Trips are being updated in anticipation of our imminent transition to our new website.  Older versions may soon not work properly.

 

 ~ GoogleLitTrips.org ~

Google Lit Trips is the flagship project of GLT Global ED, a 501c3 educational nonprofit

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Steinbeck Young Authors :: National Steinbeck Center

Steinbeck Young Authors :: National Steinbeck Center | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
National Steinbeck Center, Salinas, California - Our mission is to tell the
story of John Steinbeck’s rich legacy and to present, create and explore stories of the human
condition.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

10 February 2015

 

It's a two National Steinbeck Center Scoop-it Day!

 

In my previous blog I mentioned that I try to get down to the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas, California a couple of times a year. One of the events I've become a bit of a regular volunteer as a writing coach for is the annual Steinbeck Young Authors Day of Writing. 

 

They are always looking for writing coaches for this event. Thought I'd pass along this information for anyone who might be interested in working with young writers from schools in the area. It's only a couple of hours, and a wonderful opportunity to work with kids, meet the wonderful staff at the Steinbeck Center, and chat with other volunteer coaches all of whom have their own intriguing stories to share.

 

I'll be there. Hope to see some of you as well.

 

And, by the way... If you read my previous blog entry, you'll notice that the Day of Writing is on the Monday following the FREE event celebrating Steinbeck's 130th birthday on Saturday.

 

Now that's a great excuse for a mini-getaway for any Steinbeck fan. 

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED dba Google Lit Trips an educational nonprofit

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Featured Google Lit Trips for Black History Month

Featured Google Lit Trips for Black History Month | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

5 February 2014

Five Google Lit Trips of particular interest as we celebrate Black History month.

 

- Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

- The Slave Dancer by Paula Fox

- Bud Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

- Marching for Freedom by Elizabeth Partridge

- The Watsons Go To Birmingham -1963 by Christoperh Paul Curtis

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED, an educational nonprofit

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13 Literary and Book Related Prints and Posters

13 Literary and Book Related Prints and Posters | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Bookish, Literary, and Book Related Prints and Posters for decoration your house, office, library, and walls.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

25 January 2015

 

I enjoy discovering the sites that provide unique ways to promote a love of reading publicly, whether it is on the walls of a classroom, a library, a young person's bedroom, a family's home, in our wardrobe...anywhere we can proclaim a love of reading publicly.

 

There are many pro-reading posters in this collection however, I must admit that the one featured above spoke to me in ways that the others only did at lesser levels.

 

Unlike others that felt a bit too much like adults trying to tell kids what to think is cool, this one "tells a story" that reminds this viewer, at least, that THESE are the REAL REASONS why reading is a good thing.

 

It reminds us that reading is about being an enjoyable way to engage in the discovery of ideas worth thinking about; thinking about what it means to be a caring or uncaring person. Reading provides an enjoyable way of expanding our receptiveness to revisiting our current understandings of what it means to be a humane being. 

 

In some way, the poster captures for me the magic of the overlapping space in the Venn Diagram of Plot and Theme; that sweet spot where the focus on both is perfect for effective teaching of reading and literature. 

 

I've seen teachers who make faces that silently convey the same repulsion that people's faces make when they have smelled something terrible nearby, when they are actually unhappy with a student's excessive interest in books that appear to be heavy on plot but vapid in theme.

 

And, I've seen students who make the same faces when they feel that a teacher is way too focused on "ruining the story" with excessive analysis of structure and theme in books that have plots for which the student has not yet discovered any way to find any interest at all.

 

In the poster above, we see engaged readers. Period. We are not told by what means these particular readers became engaged readers. It may well be because they have been fortunate to have had parents, teachers, librarians, and/or friends who planted and cultivated the seeds of life-long reading spectacularly. But, the poster's first impression for me is its focus on the rewards of engaged reading.

 

We don't know if the comments were stimulated by an unexpected plot turn or by the contemplation of the motives behind that plot turn. What we do know is there are actively engaged minds in every one the the readers. And that's a good thing.

 

So... let me engage in a bit of excessive thematic and structural analysis.

_____

NOTE: Each poster is linked to a web site where the poster is for sale. I mention this not to encourage you to consider purchasing one of the posters, but rather to point out that you will there be able to see a larger version of the poster. In fact, when you get there, click again on the poster for an even larger view.

_____

 

RE: THE TEXT

"What!": I love the punctuation. A question mark might suggest confusion and a lack of understanding of what just happened while the exclamation mark suggests to me that the reader is fully aware of what just happened and is having both an emotional and intellectual moment of contemplative outrage at what just happened.

 

"Hmm...": Another punctuation observation. I love the ellipsis. "Hmmm" is often used to suggest something like, "Hmm, I just want you to know that I heard you, but do not wish to encourage you to think that I agree with you." Or, it is often used to suggest something like, "Hmm, I hadn't thought about it that way before. I'll have to give that some thought." It is the ellipsis that encourages me to wonder what that readers' take on the particular scene actually was. 

 

"Oh!": I've read so much about the exclamation point being considered by so many to be a crutch for weak writers. The advice against using the exclamation mark generally runs along the lines of suggesting that if a writer has to tell the reader to find the writing shocking then the writing itself is weak. There are occasions where I find this advise true and there are occasions when I find this advise well-intended, but over-reaching and stifling to learners. In this case, remembering that the engagement between individual readers and individual stories is very personal, some readers might be shocked by a particular passage while others might said, "Of course. Who didn't see that coming?" The exclamation point in this poster tells me that this is a reader in the midst of total personal immersion and that she has come across something startling TO HER. These are the moments in any story where we are emotionally and/or intellectually startled by the unexpected. And, the unexpected is frequently the point at which our contemplation of the underlying themes might be "peeking" out between the lines.

 

RE: THE IMAGERY...

Body Language: There may be a parent, teacher, librarian or friend nearby, but if so they have been cropped out of the poster. The focus is on the reader's engagement and we know these readers somehow managed to reach the age they have reached and have not, as too many of our students have, abandoned a personal interest in reading.

 

The reader in the upper left corner is reading in the "default preferred" mode. She is sitting up straight and appears to be engaged and "properly attentive." Fine. If that is a way to read and discover the wonders of reading for her. Great. And, by the way, it may be important to note that she may not be simply representing the "traditional" posture of expected reading body language. She also appears to be representing the faction of readers who are perfectly okay with reading on digital devices.

 

The reader in the upper right corner who may be sitting on the floor, or in a bed, or near a campfire, or....., is obviously engaged. I don't know what she is reading, or why she is reading, but I do know she's intensely engaged.The subtlety of her leaning forward and of her fingers to her lips are indications of a sincere engaged attentiveness. 

 

Several of the readers are in positions not universally recognized as being beneficial to attentive reading. Yet each seems to give "some" clear visual indications of being attentively engaged.

JUST SOME ELEMENTS THAT I FOUND WORTH CONTEMPLATING

The standing reader is reading a newspaper. Why is she standing? Maybe she's on the subway, waiting for a bus, or a table at a table with a line out the door. Who knows, but if so, she's choosing to use that time to read.  

 

The reader in the lower right corner is listening to her iPhone. I remember when the default expectation was to not be listening to music while I was reading. Though I always liked reading, I remember an entire collections of surreptitious (read serious guilt causing) ways I'd discovered to disguise the fact that I had music playing while I did my reading homework. 

 

It wasn't until I was in college that I discovered that I had been essentially using music as a sort of white noise, drowning out the conversations leaking into my reading space from other rooms, or the sounds of kids who were still outside playing loudly, or the burping refrigerator noises, and TV sounds distracting me while I tried to concentrate on doing my homework reading. I did come to understand that music without lyrics made for more effective white noise isolation than music with lyrics. By the way, did you notice that the girl with the earbuds happens to be reading sheet music? Now that just might be a deeper engagement in reading if you ask me.

 

BUT what about the reader who is smoking? I'm kind of hoping her "OH!" exclamation is indicating that she's reading an article about the the dangers of smoking that was somehow able to cut past her inherent resistance to being receptive to revisiting her primary focus upon a perception that smoking is a sign of being cool.

 

Who knows?

 

But one thing is for sure, the poster has done a great job of engaging my interest in keeping an open mind about effective reading and literary analysis education.

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED, an educational nonprofit

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Ebooks: a more civilised way of scribbling in the margins?

Ebooks: a more civilised way of scribbling in the margins? | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
E-readers are reinventing the ways books are read and annotated, writes James Bridle
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

24 January 2015


In the ongoing squabble between paper-based and digital reading, my position has long been that as long as they read, get out of their way. The consequences of having a society of significant numbers of readers who don't deserves much more of our attention. I realize that even this opinion is fraught with opportunities for counter-argument. Some other time for that.


In spite of the fact that just this week I've read multiple conflicting articles reporting "research" proclaiming that either paper or digital reading "has now been proven" to be ineffective or demonstrably more effective than the other, I do have a clear preference for my iPad's annotation resources. 

 

Again, I know the challenges to the benefits of  annotation and marginalia in SCHOOL OWNED resources. But, we also know the challenges involved in getting students to take and then use external notes. Some do it well; many do not and rather than appreciating the potential value in taking external notes  "if they'd only do it,", they often perceive the tediousness and /or difficulty of taking notes into a blanket cause for not liking reading. 

 

A couple of years ago, I was asked by a friend to make a short video he could show teachers who were just about to begin a school-wide transition to integrating iPads into their lesson planning. 

 

I mention that the video was made a couple of years ago because ebooks (and pedagogies) have evolved since the video was made and are even more versatile today than they were at the time.   

 

I decided to focus upon the benefits of ebooks for note taking and marginalia in order for teachers to create their own "teacher's copy" of a book. Teachers have always had permission to highlight and write marginal notes in paper-based books, but I was interested in proving the extra benefits of doing so in ebooks. 

 

You can view that video here: http://vimeo.com/70404496


I should point out that I purposely did not go deep into all of the advantages of iBook notation possibilities, not wanting to overwhelm those who would be viewing the video with a certain pre-existing anxiety over the learning curve for the iPad transition learning curve (and because what I did cover is already a couple of minutes longer than the requested length). Also, note that my reference to being able to email notes is slightly inaccurate. The entire collection of highlights and notes can not be emailed all at once. Clicking on a particular note will go to the specific page where highlighted passage can be selected and then emailed, texted, tweeted, or sent to Facebook.

 

We who teach know that an annotated teacher's copy of a book we're teaching is far more useful to us than a collection of externally maintained notes. The difference is proximity. Our notes are precisely where we need them to be at precisely the moment we need them.

 

In a sense, the rules against writing in paper-based books are similar to the rules that led many of us to believe that the proper way to punctuate book titles WAS to underline them. That was actually never the "really correct way." The proper way to punctuate book titles had been to put them in italic. The underline rule was a requirement by typing technologies which until computers could not do what typesetting technologies had long been able to do. 

 

Similarly, the don't write in the book rule is a requirement of school funding limitations not of book publishing standards for correct use of books.

 

Finally, do you remember reading The Velveteen Rabbit? If so, at the end of the story, do you remember how we could tell that the Velveteen Rabbit had been loved?

 

If you get my point and haven't read Chris Van Allsburg's Bad Day at Riverbend (yes, I recognize the irony of the fact that the free version of Scoop-it does not allow for proper title formatting) then you should check it out. It's a "pre-loved" book even when it's brand new!

 

Don't get me wrong. I do have a modest collection of autographed books that will otherwise remain in pristine condition as long as I own them.


AFTERWORD

A few thoughts regarding situations where students need to do academic reading of literature without being able to highlight and create marginal notes, and thereby find themselves running the obstacle course and too frequently counterproductive effort required  by taking, managing, and studying from external notes.

 

1. Tell them that if they really like highlighting and writing in margins, they are always allowed to "lose" their book. If it means much to them all they need to do is replace the lost book. 

 

2. Don't make them take external notes! I used to keep packets of the smallest post-its available. They are about an inch and a half square. I'd tell the kids who seemed to not be successful with note-taking to try an experiment. Just jot quick notes on post-its and stick them right on the page where the note is appropriate with just a tiny edge of the non-sticky side hanging over the page edge. Then at least the note and the reason for the note are always in the same place. All I needed was for them to remove the post-its before returning the book. This evolved into kids discovering that they could buy these small post-its in packets with multiple pads of different colors, and thereby they could even color-code their notes. For example, Different colored post-its  make it incredibly easy to visually identify notes relating to different themes being tracked while reading. 

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED an educational nonprofit

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Marching for Freedom by Elizabeth Partridge

Marching for Freedom by Elizabeth Partridge | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

18 January 2014
FEATURED LIT TRIP
Marching for Freedom: Walk Together Children and Don't You Grow Weary by Elizabeth Partridge, tells the story of how ordinary kids helped change history. Award-winning author Elizabeth Partridge explores the events at Selma from their point of view, drawing on the vivid recollections of some of those who marched as children.

This was the first Google Lit Trip developed in collaboration with the book’s author. Partridge “appears” in the Lit Trip via special placemarks where she inserts bits of “the stories behind the stories” where she shares some of her insights garnered while researching and writing the story.
 _____
The movie Selma, though controversial, has brought an important historical event back into public discourse. We are proud to include this Google Lit Trip as another look at the events of that march.

 

Can we look at the images of Bloody Sunday so long ago and the headlines today and ignore the unfinished business at hand?

 

Need a reminder? This page gives a brief story about Unarmed people of color killed by police between 1999-2014. How many would you guess were killed in 2014 alone?

 

Count 'em then ask whether the story of the events of Selma deserve a place in your informational reading planning.

 

(http://gawker.com/unarmed-people-of-color-killed-by-police-1999-2014-1666672349)  

 

  ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

 brought to you by GLT Global ED  dba Google Lit Trips an educational nonprofit.

 

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51 Of The Most Beautiful Sentences In Literature

51 Of The Most Beautiful Sentences In Literature | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it

. “She was becoming herself and daily casting aside that fictitious self which we assume like a garment with which to appear before the world.”
—Kate Chopin, “The Awakening”

GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

19 December 2014

 

What's your favorite sentence (anywhere)?

 

Kids quote a lot! Maybe from literature; maybe not. But, they love individual sentences that somehow stick in their minds. And, they use those special sentences repeatedly as a means of expressing "something" that someone else expressed so well in their perception.

 

Where do these sentences come from? A favorite movie, TV character, bumpersticker, poem, song lyric, book, celebrity, teacher, ....

 

Who knows, but wherever a kid is touched by a single sentence, there is a magic worth paying attention to.

 

What if kids were asked to find and document the source for a single sentence that has captured their interest in ways that no other single sentence has captured them?

 

Don't judge the source. Don't judge the kid. Just listen to the honesty even if that honest is actually between the words they share.

 

I'd give it a try just to see what happens.

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED, an educational nonprofit

 

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7 Reasons Why 'Harry Potter' & Lord of the Rings Should Be Required Reading

7 Reasons Why 'Harry Potter' & Lord of the Rings Should Be Required Reading | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Students would be more actively engaged and wouldn't dread coming home to do boring "homework." Instead, they would embark on innumerable journeys at night and come to appreciate the art of storytelling....
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

13 December 2014

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And, if so motivated, while you're at it, you are also quite welcome to support our efforts with a tax-deductible donation of as little as $5.00.

_____

Love the headline and the article even though I tend to be skeptical about claiming any specific book is a 'Must" read for every reader.

 

Mackenzie Patel's seven identified reasons why Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings meet important objectives admirably match my own when criteria for articulating desired outcomes. 

 

Her list may not be a perfect match in that I might put some of her reasons higher on my list, others lower perhaps. And, maybe I might even move one or two of her reasons to the number 11 and 12 positions (figuratively speaking) on my list,  in order to add an item or two to my top ten reasons that did not make Mackenzie's top 10 list. The bottom line is she creates a pretty darn impressive list of desirable outcomes for classroom reading.

 

I must confess that when checking out articles built upon lists, I tend to read the headline, skip the introductory paragraph(s) and jump ahead to the list itself. 

 

Okay, yes, I did that with this article as well. However, after reading Mackenzie's list, I was so impressed that I wanted to find out more about the author and scrolled back to the top of the page.

 

Discovering that Mackenzie is 17 years old, I was compelled to read her introductory paragraphs and I'm glad I did. To use a term Mackenzie herself used in her introductory remarks, I found them "riveting." Why? because she forced me to concede the truth that there is room to question the default reasoning behind many choices we make or are expected to accept in the selection of required reading titles.

 

As teachers of literary reading we tend to come from a point of view heavily influenced by our having gained some scholarly appreciation for literary reading. Mackenzie admits that she is, "...neither an adult nor a seasoned human being with oodles of life experiences.." Nevertheless she is obviously quite bright. Her challenge may well represent an important variable in our considerations for how we build a successful reading program.

 

Personally, I found the most thought-provoking of her entirely thought-provoking introductory remarks, were the 4th and 5th paragraphs. Her pointing to specific titles that she did not find "particularly riveting" (how charmingly polite), points at the elephant in the room. HER list of less riveting titles is HER LIST. Riveting Reading is incredibly personal. The very titles she lists may well have been quite riveting for other students. 

 

In fact, her defense of the Harry Potter series and of Lord of the Flies, may have been titles that other students might have used in their versions of Mackenzie's 4th paragraph as titles that they found "not...particularly riveting."

 

What a predicament we find ourselves in. We want our students to discover many of the values of reading good literature, that Mackenzie discovered while reading Harry Potter and Lord of the Flies. Yet, there is no reason to believe that should those specific titles be moved to the required reading list that they would somehow magically NOT receive the same "not...particularly riveting" critique as her response to Frederick Douglass or Othello. 

 

Though it is unfortunate that Mackenzie uses two titles that might be riveting to many of her classmates, particularly "those of color"  who might find  books aimed at the historical tensions associated with racial relations, she does point at the very dilemma we struggle with in our classrooms. How do we build a reading program that provides each of our students with the kinds of outcomes that Mackenzie articulates while reducing the kinds of issues that she articulates in her fourth paragraph?

 

My concern is that her "solution" as expressed  in her fifth paragraph suggesting that REQUIRING the specific titles that worked so well for her does not ensure that those specific titles would work for the student sitting next to her.

 

But she sure does nail it when she suggests that regardless of whatever titles we use in the classroom, aiming for titles that students themselves find "exciting and relevant" is at the core of a successful reading program. 

 

 

A SLIGHT, BUT ASSOCIATED DIGRESSION

I won't express an opinion upon whether or not required reading has a place in your classroom practice. There are pedagogically sound reasons on both sides of that question. However, though it is an opinion, I would endorse the concept of significant "required reading of personal choice" facets in every classroom. 

 

No, this does not give them permission to read "crap." Just as we would never give a kid credit for reading pornography, we can "corral" their choices in ways that give them a wide range of acceptable choices from which to select titles that have indications of redeeming value. 

 

For example, in the personal reading projects that I incorporated, students could build their projects with any books they wanted to read as long as their reading list fell within at least ONE of the following corrals:

  1. Historical Fiction

  2. Literary Award Winners

  3. Single Author Study

  4. Is or has been a best seller

  5. "other" cultural literature

  6. "personal" cultural literature

  7. Genre-centered literature

  8. Special Interest Fiction

  9. Biography

10. Any combination of the above

11. MY FAVORITE: Build a unified reading project and run it by me. 

 

Why is number 11 my favorite (and generally a standing option for most assignments}? One of the most incredible experiences I witnessed was the project that turned a reluctant high school student into an avid reader was created by a student who absolutely loved baseball. He proposed a project that included five baseball-centric books, two of which were fiction, three were nonfiction. 

 

The number 11 choice also had a couple of really wonderful opportunities. Because the student had the widest range of acceptable choices, I knew the initial motivation was exceptionally strong. So strong in fact, that I was in a great position to negotiate or offer a particularly strong enticement to the student to go "even further" if he or she was interested.

 

"I'll tell you what. I love your concept and am am almost ready to approve it. What do you think about this idea,? We've got a deal if you add one more fiction book to balance out your fiction/nonfiction ratio?" 

 

He grinned and reached out to shake my hand saying, "Mr. Burg, we've got a deal!" I grinned and shook his hand.

 

In the end, he told me that this was the best reading experience he'd ever had. And, to top it off, a couple of years later when this kid graduated, he made a special point of introducing me to his parents who wanted to thank me for "whatever it was that turned (their son), who never liked reading at home or at school into an avid reader."

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED, an educational nonprofit

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'Voice' Isn't the Point of Writing

'Voice' Isn't the Point of Writing | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Whether crafting fiction or how-to manuals, self-expression is a negotiation.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

____________________

If you enjoy this Scoop-it blog, please consider "Favoriting" GLT Global Ed (dba Google Lit Trips) on our eBay Giving Works page at: http://ebay.to/11vhysK

____________________

 

30 November 2014

 

The gauntlet has been thrown down in this article.  Will you accept the challenge? (rhetorically speaking that is.

; -)

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED, an educational nonprofit

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A New Paradigm for Accountability: The Joy of Learning

A New Paradigm for Accountability: The Joy of Learning | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Whatever you call it, Race to the Top has hurt children, demoralized teachers, closed community schools, fragmented communities, increased privatization, and doubled down on testing. But I have an idea for a new accountability system that relies on d...
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

16 November 2014

 

In the Venn Diagram of a circle representing good pedagogy and a second circle representing the impact of attempts to assess the success of existing pedagogies, there are issues that appear to have been thrown into a sort of oubliette.*

 

Whether intended for the betterment of education or for less noble reasons, the question is what is it that is being forgotten and thereby left out of the very important conversation about how to improve education? 

 

Remember that old saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater"?

 

I can't help but wonder whether an application of that wisdom to the Venn diagram would consider assessment to be the baby and existing pedagogical practice the water. Or, whether pedagogical practice is the baby and current assessment is the water.

 

It's a rhetorical question. There is an upside and a downside to both current assessment structures and to current pedagogical practice. 

 

Truthfully, to frame the question such is Jesuitical.** 

 

I'd propose that what is best for educational reform is NOT a black and white issue. To see it as such is simplistic whether one takes the side of any of the article's mentioned attempts to improve education or one takes the side of any of the critics of those attempts to improve education. 

 

I'd prefer to think of the situation as having to bathe two babies who happen to be siblings. What would you consider worth cleansing and worth disposing of in the CURRENT assessment structures baby? And similarly what would you consider worth cleansing and worth disposing of in the current pedagogical practices baby?

 

And, what would be a realistic plan to save the best of both babies while eliminating the dirty waters in which both currently exist that is not a plan merely built upon little more than a Panglossian*** brand of optimism? 

 

What has been thrown into the oubliette are the many forgotten (overlooked) shades of gray that deserve to NOT be forgotten (or summarily dismissed by proponents of either side). 

 

I will leave the question of which baby is "less dirty" than the other. I'll leave it at this; neither is clean enough. Both need serious bathing. But, one is probably dirtier than the other.

 

Annotated ENDNOTES: (or WHY Literary Reading is worthwhile)

 

* My first encounter with the word "OUBLIETTE" came when I first read Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut.


 "An oubliette (from the French oubliette, literally "forgotten place") was a form of dungeon which was accessible only from a hatch in a high ceiling. The word comes from the same root as the French oublier, "to forget", as it was used for those prisoners the captors wished to forget." 

 

** It should be recognized that this definition of a "JESUITICAL ARGUMENT" itself has proponents and opponents. I recognize the controversy. Though in this commentary, I'm referring to a common use of the term that takes the following position.

 

“In order to be successful, the Jesuitical Argument must be  pursued articulately, aggressively and forcefully, but perhaps not always sincerely – indeed, the most effect Jesuitical must at times be cunningly downright deceitful – mixing emotional half-truths and rhetoric into the answer."  

 

*** Thanks to having read Candide by Voltaire I came to understand an important distinction between the optimism of the likes of Ghandi, Martin Luther King jr,, and Mother Theresa and those who simply put on a pair of rose-colored glasses and scorn those who complain and feel no personal obligation to address those complaints

 

PANGLOSSIAN OPTIMISM (see: http://goo.gl/1eL5yo)

 

**** Most people would no doubt(?) be able to construct a fairly accurate understanding of the author's use of "GRADGRIND ACADEMY" without having an awareness of the term's origin. 

 

I'll just suggest that being an English major does provide extremely valuable insights into the extent to which modern issues have existed throughout time.

 

The term actually references Thomas Gradgrind in Hard Times by Charles Dickens. Consider this explanation of a Gradgrind academy from English Literature: A Very Short Introduction, by Jonathan Bate...

_____

"... Gradgrind's academy sought to extirpate children's capacity for wonder, for poetry and imaginary play, in order to prepare them to become factory hands, mechanical cogs in the wheel of Victorian capitalist production. Conversely, the aim of literature teachers in the Leavisite tradition was to create beings of strong feeling and humane understanding. English was often taught with messianic zeal: the study of literature was to be a life-changing and, potentially, a society-changing experience."

_____

 

Who was it who said, "The more things change, the more they remain the same"? 

 

Was that pessimism or a challenge FOR ALL OF US WHO CARE to do better?

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED an educational nonprofit

 

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17 Writers On The Importance Of Reading

17 Writers On The Importance Of Reading | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
"Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them." —Lemony Snicket
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

7 November 2014

 

Oh what a delicious collection of quotes delivered to the mind's table with exquisite presentation.

 

These quotes are large enough to download and share with students. 

 

OR... to have students peruse in search of the single quote that most appeals to them.

 

A tip... tell the kids they can only pick ONE to call their favorite. Why? because it's easy to toss those without appeal. But extremely difficult to toss those with tremendous appeal. 

 

Just tell them the rules are they can ONLY pick one. Why? Because when forced to choose between two quotes (or maybe even three) they are forced into a sort of contemplative mode where they really have to weigh the reasons why both (or each) has such a strong appeal. 

 

And, in doing so, they will leave with an enhanced appreciation for all of the best ones. Rather than merely crossing out all but one and then not really exploring the source of any of the quote's attraction for them.

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED an educational nonprofit.

"We appreciate your tax-deductible donations!"

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Chéri Vausé's curator insight, November 10, 2014 6:08 PM

Reading is essential to writers, and not just for doing research. You can become hackneyed, in a rut, write in directionless formulas if you don't keep up and read someone else's style of prose. Authors, therefore, should read more than readers. Yes, that is exactly what I said. You will never grow as a writer if you don't read. As for reading junk, keep it to a minimum, for that could also keep you from reaching higher with your prose, from challenging you to writer better and better.

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Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson UPDATED!

Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson UPDATED! | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it

Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson added to list of refreshed Lit Trips in preparation for the launch of our updated website.

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Big Changes Coming to Google Lit Trips!

Big Changes Coming to Google Lit Trips! | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it

Very Important Information for ALL Google Lit Trips Users!

GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

20 September 2014

 The good news that I can share is that a completely redesigned and updated website is under development. The anticipated transition date is still undetermined.

 

In preparation for the transition to the new site, we will be revising ALL existing Google Lit Trips over the next several weeks to reflect changes we are making in our media storage location. We will be posting those revisions on the existing site as they are completed so that those using these titles can update to the new versions as soon as they are available.

 

It is IMPORTANT to know that the media in previous versions of existing Google Lit Trips may cease to work properly once the new site is published.

 

You can check the existing website to see an updated list of the new versions as they are published.

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

GLT Global ED aka Google Lit Trips, an educational nonprofit

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GoogleLitTrips Reading List's curator insight, September 20, 2014 5:03 PM

20 September 2014

 The good news that I can share is that a completely redesigned and updated website is under development. The anticipated transition date is still undetermined.

 

In preparation for the transition to the new site, we will be revising ALL existing Google Lit Trips over the next several weeks to reflect changes we are making in our media storage location. We will be posting those revisions on the existing site as they are completed so that those using these titles can update to the new versions as soon as they are available.

 

It is IMPORTANT to know that the media in previous versions of existing Google Lit Trips may cease to work properly once the new site is published.

 

You can check the existing website to see an updated list of the new versions as they are published.

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

GLT Global ED aka Google Lit Trips, an educational nonprofit

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23 Lit Trips Updates in Last 4 Days!

23 Lit Trips Updates in Last 4 Days! | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

7 MAY 2015: If you use any of the Google Lit Trips above, you'll definitely want to download these very recent updates.

 

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GoogleLitTrips Reading List's curator insight, May 7, 3:41 PM

7 May 2015: If you use any of these Google Lit Trips, you'll definitely want to download these recent updates. More on the way!

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Calendar of Events :: National Steinbeck Center

Calendar of Events :: National Steinbeck Center | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
National Steinbeck Center, Salinas, California - Our mission is to tell the
story of John Steinbeck’s rich legacy and to present, create and explore stories of the human
condition.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

10 February 2015

 

This FREE EVENT might be well worth a visit to the National Steinbeck Center if you're anywhere near Salinas, California.

 

I love the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas California.! Just 90 miles away, I make the trip a couple of times a year. And, like to make a mini-getaway out of it. Steinbeck's childhood home is just a couple of blocks away. And, then a nice drive over to Monterey for a trip down Cannery Row. In fact if planned correctly you can have lunch in the Steinbeck home (except Mondays) and visit the Pacific Biological Laboratary where Steinbeck's buddy Ed Ricketts worked while becoming the model for Doc in Cannery Row and Steinbeck's co-author of the Sea of Cortez.

 

~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED, an educational nonprofit

 

 

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Texas Sending Man to Death Chamber on Thursday Based on 'Of Mice and Men'

Texas Sending Man to Death Chamber on Thursday Based on 'Of Mice and Men' | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Invoking Lennie as its benchmark, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals announced rules that fail to protect persons with intellectual disability from execution. Because of these unscientific and fictional standards, Robert Ladd, a man who has an IQ of...
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

29 January 2015

Those who teach Of Mice and Men ought to pause right now and bookmark this article.

 

One of the most effective ways to incorporate informational reading and literary reading includes the classroom conversations where the fiction so closely sends messages that reverberate in the real world as is the case in the parallels between John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men and the real world parallel expressed in this article . 


 Although the article's author centers his attention upon what he points to as an insult to Steinbeck's intentions and I would not avoid considering that point, I would not let that be the "thesis" focus of the class discussion, but rather have that conversation be one of the "topic sentence" foci of a broader discussion.

 

Did you notice that the author gave no details about either Robert Ladd's crime nor details of the "so-called 'Briseno factors'" upon which the appeals court made their ruling?

 

The broader discussion I might aim for would be the concept of social responsibility and whether or not the mentally disabled, at some definable level, can rightfully be held responsible for their actions.

 

If students are willing or capable of really digging into their initial positions on the fates of Lennie Small and Robert Ladd, I might consider "raising the ante" by having them read this article (http://www.ibtimes.com/who-robert-ladd-mentally-disabled-man-faces-death-penalty-after-texas-court-denies-1798554) that gives details about the gruesomeness of the crime(s) committed by Robert Ladd.

 

This article (http://gawker.com/letters-from-death-row-robert-ladd-texas-inmate-99923-1657957647 ;) includes a letter Ladd wrote from prison regarding the case. I can imagine that students might find reasons supporting both sides of the question in the letter.

Finally, if engagement merits, I'd end the discussion with this article (http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/texas-inmate-tied-slayings-set-execution-wednesday-28519993) about another Texas inmate scheduled for execution the day before Ladd, who was given a stay of execution.

.

I suspect there are few readers of Of Mice and Men who do not develop some level of compassion for Lenny even though he is the cause of Curley's wife's death. 

 

I suspect there are few readers of Of Mice and Men who do not develop some level of compassion for Lenny even though he is the cause of Curley's wife's death. I would be intrigued to see if the students justified their positions upon the "deed done," or by their opinions of Curley and/or Curly's wife; or upon any argument that strayed from the central issue of whether or not mentally disabled people can be expected to comprehend their civic responsibilities and act accordingly.

 

Personally, I would try to engage the students in managing their own discussion regarding the fate of Robert Ladd. I'd probably even consider letting them know that I would be refusing to give or even suggest my own thoughts on the matter. And, that I would only ask that they include in their consideration how they might manage to keep the discussion on a civil level; which might be the greatest challenge the students might face.

 

But, being able to be civil while "working on our own development" as responsible citizens is a skill-set that is worth "something" in a society and at a time when the headlines around the globe are overflowing with the dilemmas caused by actions dominated emotional outrage at the actions of those who have the audacity to have differing beliefs, values, and interests.

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED, an educational nonprofit

 

 

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Books | The Guardian

Books | The Guardian | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Latest books news, comment, reviews and analysis from the Guardian
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

24 January 2014

 

Just a quick note. The Book section of The Guardian has recently become one of my "go to" websites for finding interesting articles for the Reading About Reading blog. 

 

It's a nice mix of "just what the Literature-loving" want and articles that might be of particular interest to those of us who promote life-long reading among our students.

 

Well-worth a bookmark.

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED, an educational nonprofit

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10 TED Talks from authors

10 TED Talks from authors | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
These well-known writers weave beautiful words on the page … and on the stage.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

22 January 2015

 

Like many, I'm spending some time trying to catch all the Oscar nominees for best picture.

 

Over many years, I've only been peripherally interested in the Oscars. But, in 2014 I found myself amazed at the quality of that year's nominees. Remembering Dallas Buyers Club,  12 Years a Slave, Philomena, Nebraska, Captain Phillips, The Wolf of Wall Street, and others, I found the quality of storytelling quite impressive. 

_____

A clarification. The rubric behind this blog post is intentionally focused upon the single criteria of "effective storytelling." In film as in print, I feel comfortable with screenwriters and authors who incorporate "poetic license" in their attempts to create a great storyline.

 

My point here being there's some pretty darned good storytelling going on in film these days. 

 

However, unlike 2014, I've not had the opportunity to see most of this year's nominated films. Counting The Imitation Game which I saw yesterday, I've only seen two of the nominated films; the other being The Grand Budapest Hotel. I have several hours of catching up to do to see the rest before the Oscars.

 

And as an aside to this aside, the same is true in television. I've become quite the Binge Watcher for extremely well-written television series that are finding ways to reach the depths of great novels over the course of a single season. 

_____

 

SO WHAT'S MY POINT?

Whether you pride yourself upon the fact that you have seen them all and are ready for the big night and the current and subsequent conversations regarding those films, OR If you're like me and need to catch up on several hours of theatre time in the short time remaining before the big night, I want to suggest ten videos to add to your viewing experience.

 

Yes TEN more videos. But, before you even think (probably too late already) that I must be some sort of nut case, you might be encouraged to keep reading when I tell you that you can watch all ten videos in less time than it takes to watch two of the nominated films.

 

These TED talks by authors are as riveting as the nominated films, at least to those of us who adore "the word." There is only one over 20  

Four are under 15 minutes.

 

Yes these are videos not text. But they are "original sources" as they come directly from the minds of authors. It's a college course in just a couple of hours. 

 

There won't be a test, but my guess is that the first video by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a good place to start. Absolutely one of the best 19 minutes of my professional career. 

 

Okay, I said that there would not be a test. But, I do have one question. If these ten talks were only available in text format, would you have bothered to read them all?

 

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

Brought to you by GLT Global ED dba Google Lit Trips, an educational nonprofit

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25 Christmas presents for booklovers | Scottish Book Trust

25 Christmas presents for booklovers | Scottish Book Trust | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it

Christmas? Hanukkah? Three Birthdays? Anniversary? They're all coming up in the last two weeks of December around my house.

 

Even if you're "only celebrating Christmas" here are some totally great literary presents booklovers will love you for!

GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

19 December 2014

 

I always love checking out these sites. 

 

How cool would a teacher be wearing gift #19?

 

I so wish gift #12 had crossed my path...so many times in the past! 

 

One of my all time favorite gifts was the Huck Finn version of gift #23 that my daughter and son-in-law gave me a couple of years ago.

 

And what's really cool is each of the 25 suggestions links to a different site bursting with other literary gift ideas.

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED, an educational nonprofit.

 

Like what we're doing? You can support us for less than the tip you'd leave at lunch today.  http://ebay.to/11vhysK

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Support Google Lit Trips for as little as $5... and it's tax-deductible too!

Support Google Lit Trips for as little as $5... and it's tax-deductible too! | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

We are 100% volunteer and have delivered over 25,000 Lit Trips supporting reading, literacy, and literature students and educators from more than 140 countries JUST THIS YEAR.

 

It's just two clicks away. http://ebay.to/11vhysK

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It's Giving Tuesday! How far will your small tax-deductible donations reach? This far!

It's Giving Tuesday! How far will your small  tax-deductible donations reach? This far! | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it

Did you know Google Lit Trips (officially GLT Global Ed)

has been 100% volunteer for over seven years? has distributed over 25,000 Lit Trips this year on a budget of less than $2,000?   http://ebay.to/11vhysK

 

GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

2 December 2014

 

It’s Giving Tuesday!

Please consider favoriting us, tweeting, posting to your social networks or even making a small tax-deductible donation to help us continue sharing our resources with teachers, students, and parents around the globe. 

 

Did you know Google Lit Trips (officially GLT Global Ed)

has been 100% volunteer for over seven years? has distributed over 25,000 Lit Trips this year on a budget of less than $2,000? 

 

Just think... a $10 donation could bring the Google Lit Trips resources to over 100 classrooms! Imagine how many thousands of students that represents!

 

 http://ebay.to/11vhysK

 

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How Self-Expression Damaged My Students

How Self-Expression Damaged My Students | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
A former South Bronx teacher recalls how his own idealism kept his class from learning how to write.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

____________________

If you enjoy this Scoop-it blog, please consider "Favoriting" GLT Global Ed (dba Google Lit Trips) on our eBay Giving Works page at: http://ebay.to/11vhysK

____________________

 

30 November 2014

So... I have no idea whether you decided to read the article before reading my commentary or whether you read my comments and then the article. But, I know one thing for sure.

 

There is something to hate about the article for everyone.

 

And, there is a challenge for every teacher of writing to be open-minded in spite of his or her first impression.

 

Though there are other examples earlier in the article, here's a simple test. What is your initial reaction to the following quote?

_____

"... Earlier this year, David Coleman, the principal architect of the widely adopted Common Core Standards, infamously told a group of educators, "As you grow up in this world, you realize people really don't give a shit about what you feel or what you think..."

_____

Your reaction? Are you cheering or expressing chagrin because the Common Core's "principal architect" gave opponents a sound bite to use when criticizing the common core? 

 

Did you notice the ellipsis at the end of the quote above? Here are the following two sentences.

_____

His bluntness made me wince, but his impulse is correct. We have overvalued personal expression..."

_____

 

Personally, I struggled with the author's challenge, but met its demand and have much to think about as a result.

 

It seemed clear to me that I had some very clear differences of opinion with the author. I found serious criticisms of many of the practices that I did (and still do) consider best practices.  

 

YET... there was "something" that kept whispering to me that caused me just a bit of discomfort as the article's author, Robert Pondiscio, built his case. 

 

I had not previously heard the term "Cargo Cult." The authors explanation of the term provided an "ah Ha!" moment that at least to me was worth its weight in gold. 

 

I"m intentionally not commenting on my opinion of the the term so as to not bias your reaction.

 

I will say that in a sense, I've contemplated variations of the implications of the "Cargo Cult" concept as I've made a conscientious attempt to continually refine my personal understandings of best practice over the decades. Those contemplations I believe served me and my students well. 

 

My most recent personal metaphor for the concept has to do with lessons I learned while studying the science (as opposed to the art) of creating better black and white photographs. 

 

I have not read 50 Shades of Gray, but I did study Ansel Adams' Zone system whereby he broke black and white photography into 10 shades of gray. Simply put Black and white photographs are much more  an artistically arranged collection of  controllable shades of gray than they are images that are only black or white.

 

It's an obvious truth about photography in the literal sense. However, as a personal metaphor it's those shades of gray that make the difference between a snapshot and an exquisite final print. Once one accepts the obvious that there are shades of gray; and more than 10 at that, one can adapt that "truth" to one's opinions about "best practice" in the classroom. This is especially if one's opinions have begun to to huddle nearly exclusively towards either the nearly bright whites or nearly complete blacks of an opinion long held without adequate attention being given to revisiting the grayer areas between the black end or the white end of the grayscale. 

 

You may choose to speculate upon what I might be saying between the lines if you wish. But, I do hope that this article stimulates valuable contemplations about your current beliefs about best practice, as it did for me. 

 

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Rare Steinbeck WWII Story Finally Published

Rare Steinbeck WWII Story Finally Published | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
NEW YORK (AP) — In July 1944, Orson Welles wrapped up one of his wartime radio broadcasts with a brief, emotional reading of one of the country's favorite authors, John Steinbeck.

The piece was titled "With Your Wings," an inspiratio...
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

8 November 2014

 

I've been a Steinbeck enthusiast for several years. That enthusiasm has grown over to the last few years as I've developed a relationship with the National Steinbeck Center as a volunteer writing coach for their annual Day of Writing (http://www.steinbeck.org/pages/steinbeck-young-authors).


In fact, I'm hoping that a recent volunteer  project I've been working on via my relationship with Google will be publish soon. That project involves creating a full 360° walking tour of The National Steinbeck Center and another of John Steinbeck's childhood home.


This  article regarding the discovery of a previously unpublished story that had world-wide attention for "moments" when it was originally broadcast on Orson Welles' radio broadcast and then mysteriously disappeared without the proverbial trace should be of significant interest to any Steinbeck reader.


_____

As I read the article, I couldn't help but notice the emphasis upon the intertwined relationship between fiction and nonfiction. Steinbeck's use of fiction to focus "mindful-like attention" on real world issues such as war and race relations, via the engagement factors in which fiction can engage audiences' attention upon those issues is among the most frequently under-valued benefits for society at large (meaning among those who are not the typical literary scholarship types).

 

"Mindful-Like attention" to important society-wide issues seems to be insufficiently encouraged among the masses today as attention to the whole competes with attention to the much smaller self-interest portion of too many people's "attention."  Witness the controversial attention to the 1% who seem to have garnered a particularly disturbing percent of the global wealth and political power.

 

It may be easier for liberals to find a sort of "I told you so" agreement with issues such as social inequality than to find a similar openness to war, which Steinbeck also supported. 

 

The article in referencing the newfound story,thereby may stimulate the truly mindful on both sides of the political spectrum to pause and revisit beliefs that may not have been revisited since their opinions began solidifying.

 

Okay, well, all of this gets me to the sentence that caught my attention. 

_____

"With Your Wings" at first reads like a standard narrative of a veteran's return, a plot used by everyone from Homer to Ernest Hemingway.,,,"

_____


I couldn't help but "almost" pass by that sentence with a sort of "who doesn't know that" sort of "English-majorish" snootiness. But, it led me to recollect Mark Twain's "The War Prayer" (http://warprayer.org)  where the focus is upon soldier off to war and the parades of enthusiasm upon their departure rather than upon their return as is apparently the case in this newly recovered Steinbeck story.

 

Both authors were known for their interest in social issues of the day.

Both gave stirring attention to racial inequality.

And both used the momentum of patriotism-inspired parades celebrating those who fought in wars.

 

Yet, Steinbeck was pro-war while Twain was a deserter who questioned the social pressures of his southern pro-slavery.

 

Though both generally took opposing positions on war, each also found agreement that "war" is not the only battleground to which societies need attend.

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED an educational nonprofit. 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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We All Went on Safari by Laurie Krebs UPDATED!

We All Went on Safari by Laurie Krebs UPDATED! | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it

We All Went on Safari by Laurie Krebs added to list of refreshed Lit Trips in preparation for the launch of our updated website.

 

GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

7 November 2014

 

We All Went on Safari by Laurie Krebs added to list of refreshed Lit Trips in preparation for the launch of our updated website.

 

Google Lit Trips fans using any of the following Lit Trip titles can upgrade now. All previous versions will become obsolete once the new Google Lit Trips website is launched sometime in the next few months.

 

We All Went on Safari by Laurie Krebs

Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Fever 1798 v2 by Laurie Halse Anderson

A Small Dog's Big Life v2 by Irene Kelly

Night by Elie Wiesel

The Slave Dancer v5 by Paula Fox

The Kite Runner v6 by Khaled Hosseini

The Grapes of Wrath v7 by John Steinbeck

Flotsam v3 by David Wiesner

Sam Patch Daredevil Jumper v4 by Julie Cummins

Going Home v3 by Margaret Wild

A Walk in London v4 by Salvatore Rubbino

A Family Apart v5 by Joan Lowery Nixon

Abuela v3 by Arthur Dorros

Big Anthony: His Story v4 by Tomie DePaola

Make Way for Ducklings v4 by Robert McCloskey

Number the Stars v4 by Lois Lowry

By the Great Hornspoon v4 by Sid Fleishman

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The Most Popular Words Used In Classic Books (INFOGRAPHIC)

The Most Popular Words Used In Classic Books (INFOGRAPHIC) | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass has a reputation for championing the individual ("I am large, I contain multitudes"), so it's surprising that the most frequently used word in the poem -- "all" -- applies to the collective or univer...
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

25 October 2014

 

Interesting! Surprisingly, most words used in classic books by 8 authors are single syllable words. 

 

The word cloud above is from 'To the Lighthouse' by Virgina Woolf. I was pleased to see that the word "thought" was used so frequently that it merited large font size in center stage.

 

Works represented include:

'To the Lighthouse' by Virginia Woolf

'The Old Man and the Sea' by Ernest Hemingway

'Pride and Prejudice' by Jane Austen

'Nineteen Eight-Four' by George Orwell

'Metamorphosis' by Franz Kafka

'Frankenstein' by Mary Shelley

'Leaves of Grass' by Walt Whitman

'The Waste Land' by T.S. Eliot

 

hmmm... now how to make an engaging learning experience out of these examples.

 

How about a challenge after reading one of the stories that is essentially a multiple choice quiz (don't think I'd grade it myself) where a selection of 5 or so of the words in the cloud are the choices. 

 

No, this is not a vocabulary lesson as much as it is an exercise in recognizing a bit of the author's style.

 

By the way, the article also includes a link to WordItOut.com where text from Project Gutenberg are used as the data source.

 

Now, a word about Word Clouds...

Do they represent the most important vocabulary or simply the most popular? I'm reminded that "most popular" is not an endorsement. That is unless you actually believe that vanilla IS the best ice cream flavor or Jerry Springer is the most valuable way to spend your TV time.

 

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED an educational nonprofit.

 

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