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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.com
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Worst Wheel Of Fortune Fail Ever

Worst Wheel Of Fortune Fail Ever | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Talk about bad luck.

On "Wheel of Fortune" last week, Indiana University honors student Julian Batts had three chances to solve puzzles -- including one in which every single letter had been turned and all he had to do was correctly rea...
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

14 April 2014

 

Just one $1 million reason to read literature!

 

This is a classic fail well worth sharing with your students!

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.com ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED an educational nonprofit

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Are E-Books Killing Reading For Fun?

Are E-Books Killing Reading For Fun? | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Americans are reading differently than they used to.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

25 January 2014

 

Generally speaking NPR is one of my "GO TO" resources for reliable  information about "anything." So when I saw this headline in my daily search for scoopable online content, I was intrigued. 

 

Though the PEW Research Center report referenced is a pretty serious and deep and somewhat encouraging report  (see: http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2014/E-Reading-Update/Overview.aspx) this six-minute audio seemed to cover the surface, but "failed to support the headline." It did not focus upon the implication of the headline that E-Books ARE killing reading for fun.

 

Actually, I'm trying to be a bit snarky here. The audio is worth listening to. It's the headline that bothers me. We all know that we often scan headlines looking for intriguing articles to read. Some do not create enough traction for us to consider reading, others get us to start but not finish reading, and still others get us to the article that is so intriguing that we read with attentive interest to the end.

 

This morning in my scan for articles, my eye was caught by several headlines and I began to wonder about headlines themselves.

 

A few examples, you can Google them all if any of the tiltes intrigue you...

 

BUT BEFORE you start Googling the titles, Try this.

1. Read the entire list of titles FIRST

2. Being mindful of your own initial reaction to the titles, review the titles and decide which you believe

 - will be articles promoting reading and which will be critical of reading.

 - which will support opinions you already hold and which will challenge your existing opinions

- which you will actually consider Googling so you can read them and which don't even create sufficient curiousity to read

- and finally (rhetorically) which will implant some sense that there really is evidence to support your opinions that you won't read but sub-consciously incorporate as proof that your opinion is justified by some authoritative expertise.

 

THEN read as you wish and when finished, which headlines planted biased opinions that might be dangerous if the article is not read at all or not read attentively. (Was the article WHETHER YOU AGREED WITH IT OR NOT reliant upon cherry-picking the evidence it relied upon for its conclusions? Did the article adequately address any counter-evidence WHETHER YOU AGREED WITH IT OR NOT?)

 

Well, as are all of my "commentary assignments" you may consider them only rhetorical. But, here's the list...

 

 

"Most American adults read a print book in the past year, even as e-reading continues to grow"

"Kids Aren't reading On Tablets"

"The Top 10 Books on Apple's iBooks"

 

"Book-crazy boy, 5, a budding literary critic"

 

"A brief guide to faking your way through literary classics when you haven't actually read them"

"Getting Rid of Books, Making Space for Life"

"Reading Books Is Fundamental"

 

"9 Video Games Based On Classic Literature"

 

"BEHIND TWO GOOD MOVIES, TWO GREAT BOOKS"

 

"CODE IS NOT LITERATURE"

 

"Why It's Important to Keep Reading Books By People Even If They're Monsters"

 

"Is American literature 'massively overrated"?

 

"Fla. Board of Ed weighs changes to Common Core"

 

"5 Questions To Evaluate Curriculum For Rigor"

 

"Holding Teachers Accountable For Decisions They Aren't Allowed to Make"

 

"The Peculiar Underworld of Rare-Book Thieves"

 

 

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.com ~

by GLT GLobal ED (dba Google Lit Trips) a 501c3 tax-exempt educational non profit encouraging learners to "READ THE WOR(L)D"

 

 

 

 

 

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Sweet Integrations

Sweet Integrations | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it

"I used the Lit Trip Big Anthony: His Story so the students could visit the different places in Italy as Big Anthony struggled to find his Strega Nona. The students loved this activity. The students developed a more personal connection with the book."

GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

14 January 2014

 

It's always so nice to see blog posts that endorse the Google Lit Trips project, particularly when they include references  to the student engagement.

 

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.com ~

Google Lit Trips is a legal business name for GLT Global ED, a 501c3 tax-exempt educational nonprofit

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Is there a point in getting an English literature degree? What are the job prospects?

Is there a point in getting an English literature degree? What are the job prospects? | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Answer (1 of 4): Studying at University level to gain a degree is not, contrary to the expectations of many in government, all about getting trained to do a job.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

9 January 2014

 

Assuming you might be an English teacher, how would YOU respond to this question?

How do you think other members of your English Department would respond to this question?

And, how do you think members of your Math, Science, Art, Physical Education, History, and every other department on your campus might respond?

 

I didn't have an issue with the first question? Is there a point in getting an English literature degree? We all know that we need English majors to carry on the important and too often undervalued task of being the primary curricular area where students focus upon not only the scholarly side of literature, but also upon the civilizing influence that reading great literature can bring to the development of one's moral compass regardless of one's career pursuits. 

 

And, that leads me to my concern about the second question, proposed in headline as though it were a fair restatement of the first question. 

 

If the determination of whether or not an English literature degree is worthwhile based solely upon whether or not it positions one well for getting a job, then the implication is that if the answer to the second question is "not very good," then the answer to the first question must be "NO!" By suggesting that the only criteria for choosing a major is that major's job prospects, the implication is that other criteria ought  to be summarily dismissed. 

 

And to assume that pleasure or escape are the only other possible values of literature as a field of study is insulting (or should I say ignorant, short-sighted, naive, or perhaps proof that an informed AND ALSO CIVIL society depends much more upon the civilizing effects that literary themes address than we give it credit for?)

 

Without demeaning the importance of career preparation or information literacy where knowing right answers is profitable; montetarily or  otherwise, I would suggest that Literature more than is the case in most other curricular areas specializes in the equally profitable goal of encouraging students to know the right questions?

 

You know questions like, "Should I take this job offer with an incredible salary if it requires me to use my graphic artist skills to create advertisements for cigarette companies? Should I buy a Hummer for the wonderful testosterone rush and not worry about energy sustainability because, "Hey, I can afford the price of gas no matter how high it gets?"

 

The value of literary study has more to do with the questions for which there are no easy right or wrong answers.

 

If you were to respond to this article asking for your thoughts on whether or not there is a point to getting an English literature degree? (Forget the bias slant of the follow up question) what would you say? Which of the previous responses would you agree with? And, even more challenging, which of the responses that you are not fond of still provide you with reasons to pause and reconsider your own thougths?

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

Google Lit Trips is the fictitious business name for GLT Global ED, a 501c3 tax-exempt educational nonprofit

 

 

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Caperucita Feroz's curator insight, January 10, 2:44 AM

What do you think? Is it useful?

malek's comment, January 13, 5:57 AM
controversial..at least
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IMAGES: 8 Inspiring Author Quote Illustrations

IMAGES: 8 Inspiring Author Quote Illustrations | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
We came across Kate Gavino's super cool Tumblr recently, Last Night's Reading, where she illustrates authors with some of their brilliant quotes said at readings.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

Interesting...

 

I wonder how adapting this concept so that students mirrored this idea using a particularly memorable quote made by a character in the stories they are reading.

 

 ~ http://www.GoogleLitTrips.com ~

Google Lit Trips is the legal fictitious business name for GLT Global ED and educational nonprofit.

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Truth in fiction

Truth in fiction | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
HBS Professor Joseph Badaracco trains students for the complexities of the business world by examining great works of literature.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

YES! "HBS" is that Harvard Business School." A great article about the value of literary reading focusing upon the work of Joseph Badaracco who has sufficient "distance" from the assumed biases that we who teach literature are too often easily dismissed for having.

 

Sometimes we who are the flag-bearers for the value of literary reading are not necessarily the best at articulating that value in the language that can be easily appreciated by others.

 

And when it is those others who are to a large degree responsible for  assessing the value of literary reading and/or who are responsible for attempting to develop appropriate assessment structures for the acheivement of that value, there may be well-intended but short-sighted and thereby detrimental rather than beneficial outcomes.

 

Consider a few excerpts from this article...

 

__________

"There’s a lot more to leadership than streamlining and spreadsheet analyses, Badaracco says. Running an organization, in his view, is about understanding yourself and being open to the perspectives of others in a way that balances different business and ethical interests."

__________

 

If the only data we collect is data that can be crunched in spreadsheets, then what data are we not collecting because it can't be easily collected that would shift the entire outcome generated by the data-analysis we CAN do?

 

Or this passage...

 

__________

“Literature gives students a much more realistic view of what’s involved in leading” than many business books on leadership, said the professor. “Literature lets you see leaders and others from the inside. You share the sense of what they’re thinking and feeling. In real life, you’re usually at some distance and things are prepared, polished. With literature, you can see the whole messy collection of things that happen inside our heads.”

__________

 

What are the variables in business leadership that are just too messy and complex to gather and synthesize? How do we account for the messy in spreadsheets?  We used to call this the margin of error. But, can we really determine the margin of error if the "whole story" has an infinite number of variables, most of which are not universally applicable in any particular data collection, synthesis, and decision making  process?

 

Another?...

 

__________

“Reading in a deep way, and reflecting on the material with others in class, opens students to multiple perspectives on the toughest issues. Badaracco sees literature as a great remedy to a “one-size-fits-all” approach to leading. The multidimensional nature of great works can help leaders enhance self-understanding and open themselves to alternative perspectives and outside-the-box solutions, he says."

 

" 'Business schools don’t do enough to develop reflection,” says Badaracco, “but it’s really hard to do. Real reflection is hard because you need the time and training to do it.' ”

__________

 

Essentially, the point I take from this article is that there is more to a well-developed rubric for decision making than "Is it good for the stockholder's portfolios?"

 

And that business about "Real reflection" being "hard because you need the time and training to do it" is true as far as it goes. Doing hard work well does take time and time is money after all. But, perhaps even harder than doing  real reflection and raising overhead by learning to do it well is facing the complex truths discovered once one has risen to the challenge of having actually done "real reflection."

 

A worthwhile bit of "informational reading."

 

 ~ http://www.GoogleLitTrips.com ~

 

"Google Lit Trips" is the fictitious business name for GLT Global ED an educational nonprofit.

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The Hole in Our Collective Memory: How Copyright Made Mid-Century Books Vanish

The Hole in Our Collective Memory: How Copyright Made Mid-Century Books Vanish | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
A book published during the presidency of Chester A. Arthur has a greater chance of being in print today than one published during the time of Reagan.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

This is fascinating! 

 

An  extensive research study seems to indicate that Copyright laws actually hasten the unavailability of books. Essentially once a book slips from the profitable sales lists, publishers are less likely to invest in keeping it in publication. And, presumably once it is no longer in publication it can slip entirely from the attention of the reading public. That is, until copyright expires eliminating a significant cost of publication. And, then at that point it is more likely that some publisher will publish the book and without the burden of sharing the profit with the author, make enough profit to make it worth publishing.

 

The brief conclusion suggests that,

 

"A book published during the presidency of Chester A. Arthur has a greater chance of being in print today than one published during the time of Reagan.

 

Copyright advocates have long (and successfully) argued that keeping books copyrighted assures that owners can make a profit off their intellectual property, and that that profit incentive will "assure [the books'] availability and adequate distribution." The evidence, it appears, says otherwise."

 

Though there is a sort of "downside of capitalism" argument made here, I can't help but wonder about the impact of digital publishing on this argument. 

 

Wouldn't the cost of publishing be dramatically lessened by eliminating the cost of printing, ink, paper, and distribution, etc.? Of course, along with those eliminated expenses, there is also the elimination of the jobs for lumber jacks, paper manufacturing, truck drivers, warehouse workers, and we all know the tip of that iceberg, the elimination of brick and morter books stores and all of the people who work(ed) in them.

 

Yet that coin has two sides as well. I remember when iTunes came along and it became possible to purchase music over the internet LEGALLY. There are few who did not realize that the music industry was dying because of illegal music download sites. 

 

What music company was willing to invest in the expense of producing "hard product" with all of its related material and labor costs if there was insufficient market to make it a profitable venture? 

 

But digital music made it profitable to make some pretty obscure and not so obscure, but out of print music available once again.

 

To me it was great to be able to buy music, much of which had not been available for decades for reasons quite similar to the author of this article poses.

 

So one of the questions at play may be, "What downside are we willing to accept in exchange for the upside of having access to "the whole story" of literary or musical traditions?

 

More books and music vs fewer jobs generated by the advances of technology and the existence of copyright protections. 

 

Personally I've made a few bucks from copyright protections. Not really a lot, authors get a pretty darn slim piece of the pie. But I did work for three years on that journal writing software while the publisher worked for about four months publishing it.

 

I do believe in copyright protection. It may be that that protection is overly protective. But, most artists and musicians and even actors barely get by. It is only a very few who make the really big bucks.

 

Could this actually be a true no-win situation? Is it really too cost prohibitive to publish if publishers must pay either the author or the labor force and material costs associated with publishing, but can't afford to do both?

 

Dunno. But, the article certainly poses issues I hadn't paid much attention to and that's one reason I'm glad I stumbled across this one.

 

 ~ http://www.GoogleLitTrips.com ~

"Google Lit Trips" is the fictitious business name for GLT Global ED an educational nonprofit.

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Mother’s Day gift ideas for literature’s best and worst moms

Mother’s Day gift ideas for literature’s best and worst moms | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it

"...(literature) ... is liberally strewn with mothers, from the sea nymph Thetis in the Iliad, who likes to follow her son Achilles to work and suggest better approaches (“Stop trying to give me new armor, Mom! This armor is FINE! Okay?”) and Odysseus’s old mother Anticlea, whom he runs into the instant he arrives at the Underworld. (Q: How did Odysseus know he was in Hell? A: He saw his mother.) There’s Grendel’s mother in “Beowulf,” who goes charging out of the swamp to set straight the people who have been mean to her son after he charged into their mead hall wanting to play. Moving forward in literature, there are plenty of mothers in Shakespeare. The closer to the present you get, the easier they become to shop for.

GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

Yes there are certainly many moms in the canon. This charming article ventures to suggest possible Mother's Day gifts for the best and the worst of them.

 

Just as interesting is the opening several paragraphs where the author contemplates what she might give her own mother by listing what might be considered appropriate at different age levels. 

 

I couldn't help but wonder what teachers of students of the various age categories listed think of her appraisal of appropriateness for that group with which they work every day.

 

 

 ~ http://www.GoogleLitTrips.com ~

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Literature Is Hard to Remember—Compared to Facebook - IEEE Spectrum

Literature Is Hard to Remember—Compared to Facebook - IEEE Spectrum | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
And gossip is more memorable than the evening news, according to a new study
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

Okay two points right off the bat.

 

1. I do agree that schools, as is the case in all human endeavors, have room for improvement.

 

2. I really try to look at both sides of an article and try to avoid imposing my opinions on readers of this blog, rather preferring to simply post and comment about articles that might challenge our own existing paradigms in case that might be a viable road to discovering "room for improvement" in our own practice.

 

That being said, I found so much to be annoyed about in this podcast and so little to be encouraged by. So, the best I can do before proceeding is to admit that the following comments might be unfairly biased.

 

Ok...Who says the ease of memorizing is the essential or valued metric in comparing literature to facebook or tweeting?

 

Is that different from "proving" that it's easier to get kids to eat candy than it is to eat vegetables? Or, to sit and play video games than to go outside and play? So what?

 

Of course it's easier to pay attention to what people we agree with say  than to give serious consideration to what those with different opinions say.

 

I suppose it's easier to stay up to the minute on what the Kardashians are doing than what our senators are not doing about gun violence.

 

The path of least resistance requires the least challenge. But, imagine what kind of society we'd have if we determined what we would do based upon what was the easier of two options.

 

Where might we go if we chose not to face difficult challenges in favor of simple, wait, I meant simplistic, solutions to important issues?

 

Oh I don't know... I suppose we'd have serious ongoing and inadequately addressed problems with obesity, or narrow-mindedness, or racism, or poverty, or children's health, or rampant charlatanism; all issues that would continue unabated because they would require long term attentiveness to doing what's right.

 

BUT, does this mean that there's nothing worth considering in this podcast? I was intrigued by the reference to what Ms. Mickes refers to as "mind readiness." And I can't help but wonder how "mind readiness" relates to Vygotsky's "zone of proximal development." 

 

At one level they seem to be very similar concepts in that there is a window of opportunity when thinking about things within our "readiness" zone for receptiveness. Speak to me in Croatian and I won't understand a word you say. Speak to me in Portuguese, and I won't understand a lot of what you say, but because I learned a bit of Spanish, I'll be able to listen for similarities I might notice between Spanish and Portuguese. But, of course that's still more difficult than if I just insisted that everything in the universe came to me in English.

 

I think the essential distinction between Ms Mickes' "mind readiness" concept and Vygotsky's "zone of proximal development" is the lack of attention to the shallowness of the implied suggestion that it's better "JUST because it's easier." Whereas, Vygotsy is suggesting that it's easier to go beyond if the challenge is "just beyond" what is easy. 

 

The telling distinction is Ms. Mickes suggests that a valid proof is the ease of remembering gossip compared with the ease of remembering crafted articulations of important and often challenging issues.

 

If she had mentioned at least in passing that mind readiness provides a window of opportunity for contemplating what we think and care about so that drivel such as the Kardashian affairs and other gossip eventually fade in our world view in favor of mind readiness for more important issues, she might have been more apt to have discovered what Vygotsky discovered long before her. 

 

 

So, a last thought...

Those who have read Daniel Pink's A Whole New Mind or paid attention to Tony Wagner, and Sir Kenneth Robinson might recognize the case being built for the pending doom to professions and jobs that rely upon memorizing. We will never be able to compete with computers whose capability for memorizing is obsoleting memorizing as a valuable job skill. 

 

So, if it is valid to first challenge this podcast's value by challenging the premise of "memorizability" as a point of weakness in reading literature and a point of strength in reading facebook and twitter, then what single premise would you use when comparing the reading of literature to the reading of facebook and twitter?

 

And even more challenging, what value might we actually take in accepting the possibility that ease of memorization might actually increase retention?

 

 ~ http://www.GoogleLitTrips.com ~

 

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Literature class a service alternative for some county offenders - SunGazette.com | News, Sports, Jobs, Community Information - Williamsport-Sun Gazette

Going before a judge in a courtroom with a probation officer by your side generally means that you have offended society and need to pay the price.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

Bravo!

 

Though it was probably not the ability to identify the use of extended metaphor or the ability to select a correct definition for "protagonist" or "iambic pentameter" from a multiple choice list of 4 possible correct answers that changed the lives of these offenders, there is a more difficult to measure, but far more important potential value that results from reading literature.

 

Perhaps we ought not to lose sight of what literature brings to our lives whether we happen to be inclined towards becoming English majors or not.

 

I just wonder how we can best quantify that value. 

 

 

 ~ http://www.GoogleLitTrips.com ~

 

 

 

 

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February 2013 News From California Geographic Alliance

February 2013 News From California Geographic Alliance | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

Just a quickie. Proud to have been asked to write an article for this month's " Geographic Connection" the news letter of the California Geographic Alliance, a member of the National Geographic Network of Aliances for Geographic Education.

 

It's a different take on what I generally speal about when discussing the Google Lit Trips Project. 

 

 

 

 ~ http://www.GoogleLitTrips.com ~

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Seth Dixon's comment, March 16, 2013 4:23 PM
This Alliance coordinator from Rhode Island appreciates you linking in with you local Alliance! I just posted about GLT...it's fantastic!
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TV's Novel Challenge: Literature on the Screen

TV's Novel Challenge: Literature on the Screen | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
The new series Parade's End is testing viewers' appetites for highbrow fare at a time when HBO and other networks are snapping up literary rights.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

I don't know why the thought had never crossed my mind before. One of our favorite past times is to wait until a TV series with big buzz has released the most recent season's episodes on Netflix streaming and then we do a Boardwalk Empire marathon watching the entire series 5-6 episodes at a time over the course of 2-3 days. Though we're always a season behind, the advantages are many. There are no commericials, no worrying about whether or not our schedules clash with the "first run" viewing schedule (yes, we have DVR, though we don't have HBO or other premium stations), and best of all we don't have to wait a week to see the outcome of those "every-episode-has-a-cliff-hanger-ending" endings that have been perfected by the producers of these well-written series. I'm not a fan of TV cliff hanger endings, finding them generally an annoying practice designed not so much to create a "can't-put-it-down" forward momentum as they do in books, but to create some sort of week long addiction-widthdrawal like agitation between fixes. 

 

When chapters in a book end in a cliff-hanger, I want to know! immediately! and I keep reading. No one is withholding the next chapter for a week. Imagine if while reading you weren't allowed to read the next chapter after a cliff-hanging preceding chapter really ramped up your interest in the story's plot line. That's not exciting. It's aggravating. 

 

But, of course with a book, I've paid the full price ahead of time. It's mine. The publishing industry's business plan does not require that I subscribe to the story in order to generate ongoing income for the book's sponsors. The very purpose of cliff-hangers in books is to get us to NOT put the book down, while the same cliff-hangers between episodes of a telvision series are designed to create that addiction draw ensuring the sponsors that I'll be back next week to see their ads or to ensure HBO that I'll continue my Level-300 subscription.

 

It only works for me though because I've never really cared much for how up to date my contributions to "the next day's water cooler conversations"would be. What I've cared about was the depth and breadth and the ins and outs and... well, in the quality of a well-crafted story. You, know, like reading a book you just can't put down.

 

But, not being current at the cooler aside, the story telling in many of the more notable series and mini-series on the cable stations has become pretty darned incredible. And, telling stories that take 8-12 episodes provides a venue for depth and character and theme development that can create a rich experience similar to that of reading a well-written book. These stories become, like books, experiences deep enough to enjoy dwelling within for days.

 

Unlike their predecessors they are more than sophisticated nighttime soap operas because they are, or at least are perceived as, a single story with a continuous plotline and themes that weave themselves through a "longer story."

 

Sure, we each do need to decide where our current story telling comfort boundaries are since many of these series include language of concern and have significantly more graphic sexual or violent content than the traditional network offerings. I can't and don't particularly believe it is my place to impose my viewing or reading tastes upon other adults. I'm happy to share opinions, but because I don't happen to draw my line regarding tolerable violence-levels or other traditionally at-the-edge/over-the-edge" content where others do doesn't mean that my lesser-tolerance for extremely visual violence is "the rubric" by which other adults should determine their interest in a series' value. 

 

So, anyway, my point is that some extremely well-done story telling is happening in television land, much of which is truly competitive in quality to some of the best storytelling in print, paper-based or otherwise. And, now that there is an adequate audience for the well-written visual story teller, we see better and better writers, even many of our revered authors, turning towards that appreciative audience.

 

Is it all great? Of course not. But, the trajectory is clearly on an upward curve worthy of either reconsidering our views about TV drama or at least our keeping one ear tuned to the buzz lest we miss an opportunity to appreciate great story telling presented in a venue for which we may have not recently enough revisited our opinions.

 

Well, I began by directing my comments towards the downside of that forced break in the story as the broadcast scheduled series are released in weekly doses. I'm tuning in to the new paradigm being offered by NetFlix in its first series, Lilyhammer starring Steven van Zandt, famous to some for his role as Silvio Dante in The Sopranos and more famous to others as looooong-time guitar-playing band member alongside Bruce Springsteen all the way back to before the e-street band days.

 

Both Lilyhammer and Netflix's new House of Cards starring Kevin Spacey were released in a new "entire season all at once" paradigm. And viewing them in as small or large a bite as you wish, just as is the case when we read an enthralling book seriously closes the gap between chapter cliff-hangers' "can't put it down" enjoyment and episode cliff-hangers' "forced put it down" annoyance. 

 

I dunno... I love to read. I love to listen to great literature on my iPhone while doing the dreaded yardwork. I just love great story telling. And, there's some pretty great story telling going on out there right now.

 

No, it's not all great, but has it ever been all great or all trash for that matter in any story telling medium?

 

 

 ~ http://www.GoogleLitTrips.com ~

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GERM that kills schools: Pasi Sahlberg at TEDxEast

Activist & Education Director Pasi Sahlberg brings what he has learned from the education system in his native Finland to United States' parents, teachers an...
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

SPOILER ALERT: I recommend this video HIGHLY.

 

That's a spoiler alert? Well sort of. 

 

I wanted to start this entry with two warnings  about the serious challenges I found in watching this talk, but didn't want to scare anyone off. 

 

The first challenge is the speaker's, shall we say, uhm... slow start? He seems a bit uncomfortable, speaks as though he's not sure what he wants to say and doesn't mention the intriguing word "GERM" in the video title until what was probably only a few minutes into the video, but he managed to make it feel as though it were "many" minutes. I got extremely close to clicking the close box.

 

But that word "GERM" kept me tuned in long enough to finally hear him get around to what I had come around to watch. And, it was extremely interesting.

 

He had warmed up, found a comfort zone, sliped in a few funny because I sort of like corny jokes, jokes. 

 

By the time he finished his talk, I couldn not help but think that the case he builds "against" the Global Education Reform Movement merited some significant consideration.

 

Those of us who are proud of the work we've done in pursuit of Education Reform and still believe that there is much more to do than has been done would be well served to to watch, contemplate and wonder where in our efforts the case built in this video fits.

 

 

 ~ http://www.GoogleLitTrips.com ~

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Roving Literary Death Match Aims To Breathe Life Into Literature

Roving Literary Death Match Aims To Breathe Life Into Literature | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Transcript ARUN RATH, HOST: It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath. Picture this, a group of writers - quiet, bookish, solitary
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

7 March 2014

 

What a great, out of the box way to promote literary reading!

Listen to the audio / Read the Transcript. Marinate in the possibilities.

 

And, of course this particular scoop provides an opportunity to revisit other attempts to inspire the masses about the "absolute coolness" of literary reading!

 

For example,...Check out

http://themoth.org

http://storycorps.org 

and of course the tongue in cheek Novel Writing (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogPZ5CY9KoM 

 

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.com ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED an educational nonprofit

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We're Teaching Books That Don't Stack Up

We're Teaching Books That Don't Stack Up | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
All too often it's English teachers who close down teen interest in reading.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

24 January 2014

 (This scooped article was orignally published in 2008)

 

Okay, Gulp!

 

I think I'll begin my comments with one of my favorite Dick Cavett quotes....

 

__________

It's a rare person who wants to hear what he doesn't want to hear.

__________

 

There, I said it. Literature teachers, we may just be a big part of the problem, well intended as we may be.

 

If you don't read the scooped article, or finish my brief comments, I'll include one paragragh from the article worthy of some open-minded collegial contemplation in a pending department meeting...

 

__________

""Butchering." That's what one of my former students, a young man who loves creative writing but rarely gets to do any at school, called English class. He was referring to the endless picking apart of linguistic details that loses teens in a haze of "So what?" The reading quizzes that turn, say, "Hamlet" into a Q&A on facts, symbols and themes. The thesis-driven essay assignments that require students to write about a novel they can't muster any passion for ("The Scarlet Letter" is high on teens' list of most dreaded). I'll never forget what one parent, bemoaning his daughter's aversion to great books after she took AP English Literature, wrote to me: "What I've seen teachers do is take living, breathing works of art and transform them into dessicated lab specimens fit for dissection."

__________

 

(awkward pause)

 

 

 

Yes, we do need to sow the seeds of the next crop of English majors. But, we ought to consider it even more important, since the numbers are so lopsided, to remember that as many as 90% of our students "ain't gonna major in English" and perhaps as many as 50% of our students "ain't gonna read a single piece of fiction" after they are no longer required to do so.

 

I know.

 

I don't particularly want to hear it either.  But "facts is facts." And, if there is any truth in the contentions made in this article that in too many cases we may be killing what we believe we are nourishing we may want to revisit even our own personal favorite lessons.

 

I am not proposing that we "dumb down" but rather that we give some thought to how we might "relevance up" what we do in our literary reading instruction. Anyone who can't imagine how to "relevance up" say a play like Cyrano deBergerac, must surely have forgotten what it felt like to have acne or the intensity of the forces of physical attractivenss at a time in one's life when "inner beauty" is just something that teens' parents say is really important while correcting their children's posture.

 

Yes, of course! That's it. Our students don't particularly want to hear what they don't want to hear either. But, we're the grown ups in the room aren't we? 

 

Of course if taken as a blanket condemnation of how we teach literary reading, then it is a harsh and unfair implication to suggest that none of us do manage to successfully engage the vast majority of our students. But, if we are willing to listen and hear what we may not really want to hear, we may give some readjusted attention to the complaints of those who are brave or annoyed enough to express those complaints. And, if we really do want to hear what we really don't want to hear, then we might also spend significant time listening to the eerie silience of those who "lay low" only pretending to care or to those silent ones who don't even bother to pretend to care while wondering why the clock moves so slowly.

 

We can sometimes too easily explain away the complaints and disengaged silence by believing that "they're just lazy, they spend too much time on facebook, they just don't care, that they just want less challenging work." There certainly are those. But a surprising number of the disengaged don't want less; they want "something" more.

 

It was not too long ago that the battle cry was, "No Child Left Behind!" But, I would propose that perhaps an equally important concern is that when we finish with them, that they do not ride off "into the real world" happy to be finally free to leave some of their teachers behind.

 

Teach to their hearts and their minds will follow.

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.com ~

Google Lit Trips is the fictitious business name for GLT Global ED, a 501c3 tax-exempt educational nonprofit

 

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Shay Davidson's curator insight, January 24, 5:47 PM

Interesting. I'm quite sure people could argue all day about the books kids are forced to read in high school. I only wish that good teachers had a choice in the books they wanted to present to students--and I'd get to pick the good teachers out!

Steffen Sipe's curator insight, January 30, 12:45 AM

sorry....

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The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

Google Lit Trips is proud to announce the addition of the . This Lit Trip was co-developed by Library Media Specialist Anne Brusca, who is also the developer of the popular Google Lit Trip for A Family Apart by Joan Lowery Nixon as well as the Google Lit Trip for Flesh & Blood So Cheap by Albert Marrin and Google Lit Trip founder, Jerome Burg.

 

This Google Lit Trip includes several placemarks mentioned in the diary including placemarks for:

 

Anne Frank's Birthplace containing a link to an interactive Timeline for the Frank family. The Timeline is rich in embedded media related to the Frank family from 1914 through 2012.

 

Anne Frank's Home: Where the Frank family lived prior to moving to the Secret Annex. Flying to this placemark goes directly into Google Earth Streetview" where students can see the very place where the family lived as it looks today. This placemark contains a link to the only known video footage of Anne Frank. Students will see the very window in Street View from which Anne appears in the video.

 

Anne's father's business commonly referred to as the "Anne Frank" Building: This placemark includes an historical aerial photograph with the building in which Otto' Frank's business was located tinted blue. It is easy to see that the Annex which is behind the blue tinted building is not visible from the street.

 

The Secret Annex: This placemark shifts the view to a bird's eye view showing the secret annex behind the street-side building and contains a link to a virtual walk-through tour of the entire Secret Annex. 

 

The Westerbrook Transit Camp: This placemark contains an image of the very hut in which the Frank family stayed while at the Westerbork Transit Camp. It also contains a link to a short video about the the memorial now located on the grounds of the Westerbork Transit Camp and a link to an exquisite photo slide show capturing the "feeling" of the place today as it has been set-aside to remember those who passed through this camp on their way to the unimaginable destinies that lay ahead for them.

 

Auschwitz Concentration Camp: This placemark contains a link to a 2 minute video about a photo book that presents,  "... 31 historical photographs taken by SS men in 1944 depicting the extermination of Jews in the Auschwitz II-Birkenau camp. They were set in contrast with present-day photographs of the same locations...." There is also a link to a website with more information about the Auschwitz Concentration Camp.

 

Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp: This placemark marks the spot in the desolate area where the Bergen-Belsen Concentration once was and where Anne and her sister died.

 

Lest We Forget: This placemark is provides a view of the Yad Vashem 

The Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority
Jerusalem Israel. It also has links to other Holocaust Museums with interactive exhibits and other educational resources.

 

Those educators responsible for addressing Common Core State Standards for both literary reading and Informational reading and particularly those interested in cross-curricular studies will find this a valueable addition to: your students' learning experiences.

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.com ~

Google Lit Trips is the legal Fictitious business name of GLT Global ED, a 501c3 tax-exempt educational nonprofit.

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New science says literary fiction helps us understand one another

New science says literary fiction helps us understand one another | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
“Understanding others’ mental states is a crucial skill that enables the complex social relationships that characterize human societies.” - David Comer Kidd and Emanuele Castano, “Reading Literary ...
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

 

This particular article picks up on one of the more common threads in those commentaries, namely that science is providing data-based evidence of what those of us who love and teach literary fiction have known in their guts for a long time in spite of the fact that so many of our literary friends have articulated that point quite clearly. Atticus Finch said it out loud, "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view...until you climb into his skin and walk around in it."

 

Isn't that a familiar message? How many echoes from great literary fiction come to mind? Until you climb into that old jalopy with Tom Joad and head out for California hoping against hope? Until you get kicked out of the Castle of Thunder-ten-Tronckh as take that bumpy ride with Candide? Or travel alongside Gulliver to insanely unfamiliar places that seem sooo familiar?

 

So as I read this third or fourth followup article to the original research, my question was what does its author Andrea Badgley bring to the conversation. The answer is plenty!

 

For  example, I did not know that "there is an entire journal, Scientific Study of Literature dedicated to pursuit of this research." If you're like me, you'll have to take Badgley's word for it that this journal is of the quality one expects from journals that are peer reviewed since a quick Google search revealed that the journal itself is probably well out of most of our budget limitations.

 

Badgley also references the conversation of how literary fiction relates to  the "Theory of Mind" (ToM) which she defines (quoting from the original study)  as " 'the capacity to identify and understand others' subjective states,' allowing us to detect and infer others' emotions, beliefs, and intentions."  

 

It seems to me that there are several, okay way too many, examples to be found in the black and white polarization of public discourse that has caused extensive gridlocking  of public opinion and government response to public opinion, that too many of us no longer are even capable of detecting and inferring others' emotions, beliefs and intentions well-enough to take those emotions, beliefs, and intentions that are not our own into consideration as sometimes being valid, but diffeent concerns.

 

As a result, compromise has almost become a "dirty word" of sorts. And, "for the common good" has devolved into a tug of war where too many believe and even profess that those "on the opposing side of the rope"  are either idiots or unpatriotic. This black and white "tug of war" does not bode well.

 

So if the Theory of Mind has merit then perhaps literary reading ought to be given an increased presence in the classroom or at the very least, an increased presence in the assessment of literary reading which has been reduced significantly since assessing the "skill set" associated with literary reading is so difficult to accomplish. 

 

Let me pause and clarify that last statement. The ELA Common Core State Standards for literary reading have been quite controversial in that there has been much concern expressed regarding the  PERCEIVED decreasing percentage of literary reading in relationship to informational reading. This is technically a misperception in that the Common Core State Standards suggest that the reading standards are to be applied across the campus so that in effect, the percentages of each type of reading may well be about the same as they have been given the amount of informational reading that has always been done in "other curricular areas."

 

However, that being said, one need only read up on the percentages of assessment questions  for each type of reading on the Smarter Balance tests, particularly in the area of numbers and quality of the literary reading questions, to see that even if the percentages established in the standards are actually reasonable, given the emphasis on the assessment of the standards achievement there are clear indications that smart money would bet that improving informational reading would be a much quicker way to raise a school's performance stats than improving literary reading would.

 

And, history is fairly full of evidence that teaching to the "power standards" (those that are more likely to raise a school's scores) will have a de facto influence on whether or not literary reading continues to receive its due attention at staff and budget meetings. 

 

This brings me to what is, in my mind, the most significant contribution that this article brings to the conversation. That is that although "literary fiction is not (easily) quantifiable or, frankly, definable," what is it that literary fiction brings to the curriculum that separates it from the much less defendable "pop fiction"?

 

What does literary fiction do "for us" that may well be a solid source for developing incredibly critical skill sets in the a flat world so that our students will find themselves better prepared to succeed in a global world if they can work together with people of different "emotions, beliefs, and intentions"  in considerate respectful  (kind) and civilized ways? 

 

The biggest nugget in this goldmine of well-considered ideas for me was the bulleted list that appears about half-way through the article. By listing the distinctions between literary reading and pop literature, it becomes quite clear that the former causes us to exercise our minds in ways that are absolutely critical and yet seriously under appreciated in most classrooms.

 

Finally, the article ends with what is almost a sidetrip into the author's personal regrets for not having been really clear on the value of literary reading while in college where she still thought of reading as primarily a source of great pleasure rather than a pleasurable way of absorbing great wisdom. 

 

I was intrigued by her confession that her choice to pursue what she believed was her passion for science was a bit misdirected. She mistook her passion for learning about science for a passion about doing science. A distinction that a great many people recognize as an important element of the Common Core State Standards in its refocusing attention on assessing what they can do and will able to do with knowledge over merely what knowledge they have accumulated.

 

 I had not previously realized that the slight hesitation I'd felt ever since the concept of encouraging students to pursue their passions became a "THE mantra" thrown around department meeting and educaitonal conference presentations as though it was an unquestionable trump card in educational reform conversations.  

 

Of course, motivation and intellectual engagement is greatly enhanced when students are allowed to pursue their existing perceptions of their "passions." But, the downside as I have always perceived my "slight hesitation" was that truthfully, if I had focused only upon my existing passions during my high school years, I' would probably have wound up in jail rather than in college. It was only by chance that my experience in high school pursuing a relationship with a girl I had never even spoken to who I nevertheless believed I was madly in love with, that got me motivated to talk my way into an advanced English class that I knew she was going to be in. And, it was in that English class where a "god" of a teacher found a way to plant the seed of a new interest that I don't believe I would ever have explored if I hadn't been required to, found a way to engage me in literary reading to such a degree that I chose to completely revise my own understandings of what I really wanted to do with my life as an adult.

 

As a result, much in the same way that the author of this article discovered that some of her early passions turned out to be regrets later in life, I came to actually regret that in my senior yearbook where I was featured as being the male student with the best personality had become a source of embarrassment  as I had by the time the yearbook was distributed,  discovered that much of the personality for which I had been selected for that recognition was based upon my having mastered the art of being a friendly class clown much more interested in the attention  I'd received by my classmates as a result of my sometimes thoughtless sense of what might amuse my classmates.

 

I'll just leave it at that. I live with regrets about the unrecognized cruelty of sexist, racist, and homophobic "I was just joking" humor upon which I too often relied upon to get laughs.

 

So, yes! Encourage a pursuit of existing passion, but enourage a constant contemplation of the depth of understanding of those early passions. And, find engaging ways to help students explore the possibilities that teenage passions may be much less important to them as they transition from teens to actual adults.

 

And, that's where depth of character may rest upon the discovery of one's unrecognized areas of shallowness of character. It's a delicate art this business of ours. It is not easy to make suggestions about refiining one's passions without sounding like we're discouraging them from pursuing those passions.

 

But thankfully, storytelling has long been an engaging and pleasureable way of coaxing ourselves into paying attention to ideas to which we'd not previously given enough thought. 

 

 

25 Nov 2013

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.com ~

Google Lit Trips is the legal fictitious business name for GLT Global ED, an educational nonprofit

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Federal Bureaucrats Declare 'Hunger Games' More Complex Than 'The Grapes of Wrath' - The New Republic

Federal Bureaucrats Declare 'Hunger Games' More Complex Than 'The Grapes of Wrath' - The New Republic | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it

To be fair, both the creators of the Common Core and MetaMetrix admit these standards can’t stand as the final measure of complexity.  

As the Common Core Standards Initiative officially puts it, “until widely available quantitative tools can better account for factors recognized as making such texts challenging, including multiple levels of meaning and mature themes, preference should likely be given to qualitative measures of text complexity when evaluating narrative fiction intended for students in grade 6 and above.” But even here, the final goal is a more complex algorithm; qualitative measurement fills in as a flawed stopgap. 

GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

IS THIS ACCEPTABLE???

 

I did not realize that both the developers of the Common Core AND the Lexile Reading measurement admit that the existing assessment structures upon which much of the Common Core Literary Reading assessment is based, DO NOT adequately account for factors recognized ss making such texts challenging and that QUALITATIVE rather than the the current sorely lacking QUANTITATIVE measures for students in grade 6 and above would be preferred, essentially admitting that the existing literary reading  measurement is a seriously flawed stopgap. 

 

I found it interesting that in the quote from the article above, the author in an "effort to be fair," gave credit to both the creators of the Common Core and to MetaMetrix (developers of the Lexile Measurement) for recognizing that the standards assessment for literary reading can"t stand as a final measure the student's ability to read literary complexity. 

 

What's that old saying? Garbage in Garbage out?

 

Yet, the official position taken in spite of this recognition is that the test does not do the job; that we don't have a test that does the job; so we pretty much have to use a flawed data collection method because collecting data with a significant margin of error until we can do until we figure out how to get good data, is somehow better than collecting  nothing and thereby avoid polluting the data with  misleading results 

 

I would suggest that attempting "to be fair" to those who created the flawed measure and to those who use the flawed data is certainly gracious. However, it ignores the extent to which using a flawed measure to collect flawed data in order to make important decisions about educational reform is BEYOND UNFAIR to parents, students, educators, and taxpayers who are being led to believe that the data collected has value and who will to a large extent, falsely believing they have informed themselves, will vote for or against reforms proposed by legislators who unintentionally or otherwise will misinform, perhaps even stooping to disinform, their constituency regarding their concerns for what must be done to build a better education system.

 

The Humanities are in many ways, not like the sciences and the maths and history or even grammar, vocabulary and text decoding, all of which rely heavily upon knowing facts and having skills. The Humanities focus upon much more difficult to determine progress in assimilating the wisdom of the age and learning the great questions ; the questions that do not have simple right or wrong answers. Why do good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people? What are the motives that cause evil people to take advantage of the gullible, the less fortunate, those least able to protect themselves? What makessome  human beings do inhumane things and others seek to be humane beings?  Why did Atticus Finch not give up when he knew he would lose the case against the obviously innocent Tom Robinson? Why do we scapegoat rather than contemplate our own contribution to what we believe is not good or right?

 

It is not news to those who have reservations about the well-intended but still flaw-heavy Common Core State Standards assessment structures, that  in some areas the margin of error is not acceptable and yet it is being passed off as being "good enough." The comparison is not a new one when the author suggests that, "Lexile scoring is the intellectual equivalent of a thermometer: perfect for cooking turkeys, but not for encouraging moral growth"  which, of course, is the heart of why there is great value in seeking the wisdom for which literary reading is intended. 

 

And it is disengenuous to criticize those with concerns regarding the significant margin of error and subsequent misdirection of focus regarding the importance of literature as mere whining by teachers who don't want to be held accountable or teachers' unions who "are presumed to be the usual suspects for being the cause of the everything that is wrong with public education?"

 

Isn't it disengenuous to believe or pretend to believe that overly simplistic solutions can be passed off as potentially viable simple solutions?  

 

If we are to be fair to all those who want true educational reform, we should certainly be very concerned about the quality of our teachers' efforts and of our students' learning. However, I would suggest for what it's worth, that it be made clear that although some elements of the well-intended efforts of the Common Core State Standards are well-within an acceptable margin of error, at the same time, we ought to be more honest about the serious shortcomings of the existing assessment structures and make it equally clear that some elements have much to address before we can profess that what we truly want to measure is being measured well enough to rely "too heavily" upon. 

 

I am not proposing like many that we "simply"abandon the Common Core Standards and their intentions. That is not a simple solution. It is a simplistic solution. But, I might suggest that we take a cue from our data-obsessed record keeping friends in professional baseball who argue that some recorded performance outcomes ought to include a few asterisks to clearly note the questionable status that may have skewed the reliability of those performance outcomes. Remember Barry Bonds and the rest of the steroid-using athletes who set records that replaced records of predecessors who thought obeying the rules was a baseline for qualifying for being record holders? 

 

This is not to compare cheating to flawed data collection. However, what might be the extended impact of a student who does either exceptionally well or exceptionally poorly on a test that was exceptionally flawed to begin with? Will the false appearance that he or she is or is not ready for college and career cause some who are ready to not be accepted to their college of choice while others who only appear to be ready receive the precious acceptance letters? 

 

Do we really believe we can afford the potential public backlash if, by using flawed measures that produce flawed data that leads to flawed reform that does NOT lead to the desired educational results (again!) and millions of mispent tax dollars? It's a matter of earning the public trust. And we've all seen the results of losing the public trust haven't we?

 

 ~ http://www.GoogleLitTrips.com ~

Google Lit Trips is the legal fictitious business name of GLT Global ED, an educational nonprofit

 

 

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Sleek Sculpture Combines Metal With Pressed Book Pages

Sleek Sculpture Combines Metal With Pressed Book Pages | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Andrew Hayes combines his passion for metal work with a musty lust for pulp-- book pages chopped, twisted, bent, and pressed in bulk.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

Just something incredibly captivating about these. Almost Zen-like contemplations.

 

 ~ http://www.GoogleLitTrips.com ~

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30 Things Librarians Love

30 Things Librarians Love | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

It's not a spoiler alert: But, I was happy to see #30 also made the list!

 

 ~ http://www.GoogleLitTrips.com ~

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To Kill A Mockingbird Author Sues For Rights To Her Book

To Kill A Mockingbird Author Sues For Rights To Her Book | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
harper lee, author of to kill a mockingbird, is suing her literary agent for pocketing royalties and signing the rights to the book over to himself.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

 

Sigh!

What would Atticus Finch do?

 

Though innocent until proven guilty, I certainly hope justice is served.

 

I'd hate to hear that the accusation is true and that Harper Lee lost the case anyway.

 

This saddens me as much as it saddened us all when Atticus lost his case.

 

Why do bad things happen to good people?

 

 ~ http://www.GoogleLitTrips.com ~

 

 

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Motivate struggling readers with joke books, comics and other "junky" reads

Motivate struggling readers with joke books, comics and other "junky" reads | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Dana's simple hack of using humor to dial down reading anxiety for her son Wenxin could apply to any struggling reader.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

Though this article is not terribly deep, it does strike a bit of gold that I've been giving much thought to recently.

 

There is a huge elephant in the literary reading classroom. No, it's not in the desks where the kids who are struggling with basic literacy are sitting. No, it's not in the front rows where the future English majors are sitting. It's right there in the middle of the classroom where those kids who can read, but either have never taken a strong enjoyment from reading or who once enjoyed hearing stories and even reading them by choice have somehow, frequently somewhere during middle school, begun to lose that essential element of literary reading called enjoyment. 

 

The gap between the various levels of enjoyment derived from reading and their enjoyment of reading the kinds of assigned stories for which they have not previously developed much appreciation, combined with the requirement to analyze literary devices, to pass quizzes, and write essays may be a fairly obvious set of circumstances connecting the reading of "good" literature to a gradual, and if truth be told, often steep decline in literary reading.

 

Do we need to "dumb down" expectations for these kids? I don't think so. But, we really ought to keep in mind that if, in our good intentions, we inadvertently kill the enjoyment of just reading a good story about things they like to read about, we may actually be contributing to losing them as life long readers. 

 

As I look back  on my own experiences with learning to appreciate the value of quality I clearly recall that in every instance it was a transitionary process.

 

I loved comic books, Mad Magazine, and junky reads before those interests widened into an appreciation for great satire and great story telling. 

 

I hated Romeo and Juliet as a pimply-faced teen age boy before I came to appreciate Shakespeare. Of course I read R&J as a freshman at a time when romantic love just wasn't anything I was interested in reading about. I never had a girlfriend; never had so much as a sister, a female cousin or even anything like a friendship with a girl that was as rich as my deep friendships with my guy friends.  And, like it or not, I truly believe that Shakespeare's language was a barrier that I just wasn't all that interested in overcoming. The language combined with my lack of having discovered any other reason to read the play pretty much made for a miserable experience.

 

 Ironically, because of my wobbly-at-best connection to my Jewish heritage, and a couple of years of maturity, I found myself much more receptive to the storyline in The Merchant of Venice.

 

It's a pattern that takes some transition time...

 

I also enjoyed junk food before I enjoyed fine food, and long before I appreciated healthy food.

 

I enjoyed the Three Stooges before I enjoyed dramatic films. In fact, I still remember the paradigm expanding impact of seeing The Graduate. Funny and thought-provoking! A perfect bridge.

 

I enjoyed having trendy clothes and cars before I found the shallowness in devoting huge chunks of money and concern to giving a darn about such superficial things.

 

So what's my point? Instilling, nurturing, and encouraging an ongoing LOVE of reading comes before, and perhaps in the long run is even more important than the development of an appreciation for literature. This may be particularly so if the appreciation for literary reading rests upon experiences that are deadly to pre-existing levels of reading enjoyment derived by many of our struggling and reluctant readers. 

 

And, I wouldn't be surprised to find out that like myself, if my pre-existing enjoyment of reading, junky as it might have been is built upon, we just might find that, as was also true in my case, that we might wind up with far more life long readers than we currently do; and perhaps even far more English majors as well.

 

 ~ http://www.GoogleLitTrips.com ~

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The mystery of Scotland's secret sculptor

The mystery of Scotland's secret sculptor | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
In Edinburgh, delicate sculptures made from books have been appearing in cultural establishments across the city.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

I love stories like this.

 

There's actually no in this text story, but click the video for a quite pleasant bibliophilic 4 minutes.

 

There's just something about the spirit of this "mystery" that warms my heart.

 

Enjoy.

 

 

 ~ http://www.GoogleLitTrips.com ~

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IMAGES: 9 Awesome Posters For Book Lovers

IMAGES: 9 Awesome Posters For Book Lovers | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
We love Grant Snider's book, writing, reading themed posters! You can check out the prints to buy here, and check out Snider's other work here.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

Just for fun...

If you're an "experienced" reader as I am, click the full screen button while viewing these pretty funny posters. 

Much more comfortable on the eyes.

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The literary Oscar quiz

The literary Oscar quiz | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
During the Oscars on Sunday, there will be lots of glamour, gold and jewels but very few books. Yet before the stars, the lights, the effects and the costumes, there were words.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

Are you a Lit Luvin' film buff? Give this Oscar quiz. Then make sure you're watching the Oscars with friends who did not spend a college career readying themeselves to even be halfway competitive in Sunday night's casual Oscar commentary trivia competition.

 

It was a good year for literature. At least, if Hollywood's chase the money modus operendi is any indicator. Though I don't consider myself a film buff by any means and am more often disappointed in film adaptations of great literature than not,  I happened to see quite a few of the films nominated for this year's Oscar Best Movie category. And, I must admit that the film industry's bet on great storylines has led to some pretty impressive visual storytelling efforts.

 

And, although I realize, having been on both sides of the issue at various times in my teaching career, that tthe pull towards judging film adaptations by the rubric of the original text has left many scornful of film adaptations, they do lead thousands of people who hadn't studied the original texts back to their bookstores to read great literature that had escaped their to do lists until the adaptation sparked an unprecedented interest. 

 

So, take the quiz, enjoy the advantage you have because of your passion for great storytelling, and practice the casual tone necessary for dropping in an offhand comment or ten among your Oscar watching companions. You know, "Wouldn't it be wonderful if the best movie was given to the story written by a former English teacher?"

 

Say is casually, stick it into the conversation early, and neglect to mention which of the nominated films it was that you're referencing almost as though you didn't realize that people would need to told which one it was.

 

 

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