Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading
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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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13 Cognitive Biases That Really Screw Things Up For You | The Huffington Post

13 Cognitive Biases That Really Screw Things Up For You | The Huffington Post | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:
11 December 2016

How does one teach informational reading in times when the soon to be most powerful person in the world is waging a full-scale war on trust in information?

Regardless of our personal beliefs, when contemplating the quality of our current public discourse, it is clear that too much of what is believed is not to be believed. 

 Again, refining our informational reading skills in times when mistrust in information itself is alarmingly rampant is more important than ever, while simultaneously also being perceived as being irrelevant by even those who might be expected to be models of respect for rational thinking.

That aside, I found this list of easy to understand explanations for identifying thinking patterns that may be based upon unrecognized and unquestioned default baseline biases fascinating. 

 I am reminded of the quote on the banner above my black, then green, then white board for nearly 30 years.
 __________ 
 "We look at the world and see what we have learned to believe is there." ~Aaron Siskind
 __________

 I think Siskind was accurate whether or not "what we have learned to believe is there" is well founded or not.  

I remember being taught a basic list of logical fallacies. (A downloadable poster can be found at: https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/poster

Ad hominem? tu quoque?  anecdotal? begging the question? false cause? 

(Wow! seen any of these recently?) 

 Yet, at the time, like many "late bloomers," I was a bit of a know it all. Well, to be more accurate I was convinced that I knew enough about things that I had already determined to be important and had already mastered the art of ignorantly giving no credence to what I eventually came to appreciate was much more important than being a class clown or learning all I could about girls from James Bond. 

 Studying that list written in its scholarly academic language was more boring than engaging. 

 Yet, in reading this scooped article on cognitive biases, written in real world English and in a fashion that is easily personalized rather than easily dismissed, I could not help but wonder if it might be a much more engaging way to invite students to give some serious thought to the impact of their own un recognized personal biases. 

 In class I would have students read this article once as individuals with instructions to see if they could cite examples in the real world where they've seen any examples of each identified  type of the bias. 

Then I'd have them share their examples in small groups for a few minutes minutes discuss for example these examples from the article...  

  __________ 
"5. Confirmation bias. Confirmation bias is the tendency to seek out information that supports our pre-existing beliefs. In other words, we form an opinion first and then seek out evidence to back it up, rather than basing our opinions on facts." __________ 

Whether we  are, for example, either conservative or progressive in our political leanings, isn't it true that we are sometimes or generally or most often immediately more receptive to information or news that falls in line with our own pre-existing beliefs and less receptive even immediately skeptical of information or  news that challenges our own pre-existing beliefs? 

How much openness did our recent public discourse appeal to pre-existing biases and how much openness did that public discourse encourage an honest consideration of the importance of reconsideration of our own pre-existing points of view? 

Ever give students an essay assignment that was supposed to encourage them to research the pros and cons of a particular opinion only to have them begin with a pre-existing opinion and then merely spend the rest of their effort cherry picking arguments that supported that opinion? 

Do we emphasize enough the importance of what amounts to a requirement to include a concession paragraph where, students are forced to concede that there actually are opinions that are both contrary to their own yet worth considering nevertheless? 

 A related bias gets a bit close to home for some educators. I recently had the "opportunity" to witness an example of this one...
__________  
9. The halo effect. The halo effect occurs when someone creates a strong first impression and that impression sticks. This is extremely noticeable in grading. For example, often teachers grade a student’s first paper, and if it’s good, are prone to continue giving them high marks on future papers even if their performance doesn’t warrant it. The same thing happens at work and in personal relationships."
__________

There are 13 Cognitive Biases in this article. Each provides simple examples that can be bridges to anyone's personal experiences. 

Dunno, might just stick more easily than trying to figure out if I might be guilty of "tu quoque" thinking. And, for the record, if you happened to pay any attention to our recent political campaign, You probably saw, whether you fell for it or not, hundreds of examples of "tu quoque" thinking.

If only I could believe that it wasn't intentional. 

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



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Is “Screen Time” Dangerous for Children?

Is “Screen Time” Dangerous for Children? | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
A child psychologist—and grandmother—says such fears are overblown.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:
25 November 2016

Am I the only Literary Reading educator who has become a cheerleader for the importance of Informational Reading? Of course not. For this reason I found this article fascinating on multiple fronts. 

I remember one of the best lessons I learned about effective interviewing questions while teaching journalism.. "Avoid phrasing questions that can be answers "Yes" or "No." Instead, attempt to phrase questions that require an informed explanation. The same general rule also applies to the kinds of questions we ask when attempting to stimulate a contemplative, higher level class discussion. 

The phrasing of the headline for this article, which by the way, may not have been written by the article's author, runs the danger of reducing contemplation to a simplistic "either / or" in spite of the quite apparent complexity of the issue in question. "Yes" or "No" is a conclusion to be drawn ONLY after "Pros" or "Cons" have been considered. 

Okay. I know. There are forms of debate that begin with a statement to which debating teams take either an affirmative or or negative position and then argue their respective points of view. This is not unlike the Thesis Statement first then defense via Topic Sentences supported by evidence structure commonly taught in high school. It works when actual consideration of the pros and cons have been given due diligence. But, we all know the extent to which existing personal opinion can, and often does, short-circuit the due diligence ending up with attempts that choose a thesis prior to the due diligence and then defending the thesis via cherry picking supporting evidence and avoiding opposing evidence more than building an informed thesis after completing a balanced consideration.

The headline aside, this article nailed some of the best arguments to consider rather than merely turning up the volume on existing inadequately considered canned cherry picking and avoidance of sufficient depth of consideration of all the evidence.

Just a few of my favorite lines...

"My own childhood was dominated by a powerful device that used an optical interface to transport the user to an alternate reality. I spent most of my waking hours in its grip, oblivious of the world around me. The device was, of course, the book."

I love the intentional misdirection. From the beginning of the quote until the kicker last sentence, I was thinking TV.  I smiled at having been caught off guard. Happy to see the article turning in favor of books over screens. This is true even though personally, I lean toward book text viewed on a screen for the most part. 

Yeah accurate representations of books in any delivery system are fine with me. And, I believe literary books are a direct route to the wisdom of the ages that seem to get short-circuited in the simplistic tug-of-war between Literary Reading and Informational Reading.

And then the author threw me another curve ball, speaking the author's affection for books...

"As far as I can tell, this early immersion didn’t hamper my development, but it did leave me with some illusions—my idea of romantic love surely came from novels."

Ooh. ouch! 

So, where's she going with this? Is she really trashing books so that she can declare screen time the victor? 

Consider this quote from the article...

"The American Academy of Pediatrics used to recommend strict restrictions on screen exposure. Last year, the organization examined the relevant science more thoroughly, and, as a result, changed its recommendations."

Actually a quite clever set for killing the question favor of real question...

"The new guidelines emphasize that what matters is content and context, what children watch and with whom. Each child, after all, will have some hundred thousand hours of conscious experience before turning sixteen. Those hours can be like the marvellous ones that Augie and I spent together bee-watching [videos], or they can be violent or mindless—and that’s true whether those hours are occupied by apps or TV or books or just by talk."

Hoping to tease readers into reading the actual article, I'm choosing to purposely not address the author's last two paragraphs. I'll just say that the conclusion tosses the simplistic "Yes" or "No" in favor of the much more important consideration of "premature speculation."

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

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Rap Theatre for Lit Lovers! | Filmed live at the Public Theater, NY

Filmed LIVE at the PUBLIC THEATER, NY on September 5th, 2016 BARS Created by Rafael Casal & Daveed Diggs MEDLEY Directed by Carlos Lopez Estrad
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:
15 November 2016

Wow! Wow! Wow!!!

I remember the buzz when Baz Luhrmann's 1996 radical interpretation of Romeo and Juliet starring Leonardo DiCaprio rocked English department meetings like a Tsunami. Blasphemy or Genius? My department nearly came to blows. 

Okay, I made that part up. But there were those who were aghast and those who were ecstatic.

Let's start here. Have you "Gone Ga Ga" over Hamilton?

Do you by chance teach any of the title listed below? If so you might want to take a look at this video.


__________
BIG TIP FOR WATCHING if you're not particularly receptive to rap. Below the video and below the photograph of Rafael Casal, click the "•••More" link then the transcript link. Don't click the CC (closed caption) link. Rap is apparently way to fast for the Closed Caption to work. 

My preference is to watch the video and occasionally scroll down the the transcript. This is not just a rap album; it's an incredible theatre experience.
__________

The House on Mango Street
 • 1984
 • Pride and Prejudice
• Things Fall Apart
• Frankenstein
• Death of a Salesman
• Beloved
• Lord of the Flies
• Native Son
• The Catcher in the Rye
• Autobiography of Malcolm X
• The Alchemist 
• The Great Gatsby

Like rap or not. or like me, I don't really have an opinion about rap because getting up to speed on rap as good or bad as it might be, just hasn't (or should I say "hadn't") risen high enough on my bucket list yet to form a thoughtful opinion..

But, this video, has certainly sent rap racing towards the upper levels of my bucket list. This video is beyond remarkable. The first thoughts I had were a recollection of my core vision when teaching literature. I wanted my students to think about how I felt the first time Shakespeare was "taught at me."

That thought, "What's this old story got to do with anything I care about?" Though now embarrassed to confess it. This wasn't an expression of curiosity. In this late bloomer's pre-bloomer days, it was more of a rational for not caring; for dismissing any further interest in finding out if it actually might have something to do with anything I cared about. 

Whether you become aghast or ecstatic, what if it reaches right to the center of what your students, or some of your students, care much about? Wouldn't that be cool?

 ~ GoogleLitTrips.org ~
brought to you by GLT Global ED | Google Lit Trips, an educational nonprofit
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A Long Walk to Water Google Lit Trip Now Available

A Long Walk to Water Google Lit Trip Now Available | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Google Lit Trips, educational nonprofit, award winning, educational technology, place based storytelling, reading about reading
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:
18 October 2016

GLT Global ED | Google Lit Trips is happy to announce  the publication of our 83rd Google Lit Trip. 

"The New York Times bestseller A Long Walk to Water begins as two stories, told in alternating sections, about two eleven-year-olds in Sudan, a girl in 2008 and a boy in 1985. The girl, Nya, is fetching water from a pond that is two hours' walk from her home: she makes two trips to the pond every day. The boy, Salva, becomes one of the "lost boys" of Sudan, refugees who cover the African continent on foot as they search for their families and for a safe place to stay. Enduring every hardship from loneliness to attack by armed rebels to contact with killer lions and crocodiles, Salva is a survivor, and his story goes on to intersect with Nya's in an astonishing and moving way."
– Goodreads

This Lit Trip was developed as a collaboration between Maryan Ryan and Google Lit Trips founder Jerome Burg.

~ www,GoogleLitTrips.org ~
Brought to you by GLT Global ED | Google Lit Trips a 501c3 educational nonprofit

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File:Cognitive Bias Codex - 180+ biases, designed by John Manoogian III (jm3).jpg - Wikimedia Commons

File:Cognitive Bias Codex - 180+ biases, designed by John Manoogian III (jm3).jpg - Wikimedia Commons | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:
3 October 2016

Well, I've never scooped a graphic from Wikipedia before. But, this chart is INCREDIBLE. 

Continuing with my concerns for polishing our students' skill sets for effective processing and analysis of informational reading  and listening, I came across this incredible chart that breaks down the complex nature of the sources of our biases into recognizable influences upon our thought processes each with concise descriptions of the fallacious thinking pattern associated with those biases.

I'd suggest starting from the outer ring where four essential categories where biases can be developed are identified. Moving towards the center, each section on the next ring offers a subset of possible reasons why we might have a potential bias within that category. Moving deeper into the graphic toward the graphic of a brain, specific causes of biases associated with each bias subset are listed.

For example:

(Outer Ring) Too Much Information > (Subset) We notice flaws in others more easily than we notice flaws in ourselves > (offers three possible bias causes) Bias blindspots OR Naive cynicism OR Naive realism.

Some of the inner most ring offers possible challenges to existing vocabulary for students (i.e., confabulation, functional fixedness, etc.). Therefore, it would be a good idea to not expect students to be able to connect to each and every item at the inner most ring. However, there are certainly plenty of concepts at that inner most ring that are within grasp or reach of most students.   

However, students can go to the actual original Wikipedia page (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cognitive_biases) for an extended explanation of those more challenging terms. For example, the term "Band Wagon Effect" is explained as "The tendency to do (or believe) things because many other people do (or believe) the same."

BIG TIP FOR VIEWING CHART: Click the chart to enlarge image. Then click it again to "magnify" the chart to the most readable size.

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August 2016: Pokémon Go in the classroom

August 2016: Pokémon Go in the classroom | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
"...have [students] create a “Google Pokemon Go Trip”. Students ... can share their journeys with others. To learn how to start this process, instructions for the Google Lit Trips project will help you out!"
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:
17 August 2016

One of the many great honors / pleasures of my experience with Google Lit Trips has been to extent to which the Google Lit Trips project has inspired other real world learning experiences. RealWorldMath.org being among the many. 

Today I was pretty amused to find that the Google Lit Trips concept is being suggested as a model for converting Pokémon Go into a real world learning experience. 

I have to admit that my experience with Pokémon Go is little more than noticing that it is a world-wide craze that has been the butt of a lot of lemming jokes. 

Yet, discovering this Discovery Education article reminded me of my life-long attraction to the joys and discoveries resulting from divergent thinking when it comes to lesson planning.

So... I am hoping that anyone picking up on the suggestion of trying to blend Pokémon Go with the Google Lit Trips concept will consider sharing the experience and outcomes with me at: Jerome@GoogleLitTrips.org.

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Why Actors With Disabilities Need To Be Part Of The Diversity Discussion

Why Actors With Disabilities Need To Be Part Of The Diversity Discussion | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Actor Danny Woodburn ("Seinfeld," Watchmen") says it's time to break the stigma through storytelling.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:
30 July 2016

A very interesting talk about how storytelling can bring much better understanding of people with disabilities to the "able-bodied."  

I continue to believe that storytelling brings a realness to its audience that fleshes out the humanity of its audience in ways that informational reading alone generally can not. 

Perhaps it is because storytelling brings both our minds and our hearts closer to "being with" the people who inhabit the stories. Whereas by design and with good reason, informational reading tends to intentionally maintain an emotional distance.

Both provide access to deeper understandings of that for which our existing understanding has less depth. I do not argue one over the other. The question here however, is which is more effective at capturing our interest, activating our caring, and motivating us to act?

brought to you by GLT Global ED / Google Lit Trips an educational nonprofit
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It’s Finally Time To Stop Correcting People’s Grammar, Linguist Says

It’s Finally Time To Stop Correcting People’s Grammar, Linguist Says | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
"Language -- which all human societies have in immense grammatical complexity -- is far more interesting than pedantry."
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:
2 July 2016

Wondering to what extent this article will be applauded or roundly abhorred by the professional ELA community. 

Try this quote from the article  while wearing a blood pressure cuff...

_____
(referring to author Oliver Kamm) 

"A recovering pedant himself, he now speaks for the boldest form of descriptivism, arguing that if humans use a word outside of its traditional meaning, the new, creative use is now valid, simply by virtue of having been used at all. So, “literally” can mean “figuratively,” and “irregardless” can mean “regardless.” Adverbs — probably the mostly hotly debated part of speech — are welcome in Kamm’s world, as are split infinitives and sentences that start with “and.”
____

Is your reaction to the previous quote influenced at all by this quote, also from author Oliver Kamm...

_____
"... I think language tuition is better focused on the need to express yourself to the right audience. Linguists refer to “register” — the different styles and ranges of formality we adopt for particular audiences. That’s not all there is to effective writing and speaking but it’s not stressed enough in usage guides."
_____

The essential understanding that one's audience ought to strongly influence the level of the "properness" of one's speech and writing does seem to be fading at a disturbing rate.

Yet, simultaneously, for example, the demonization of the term "political correctness;" too often code for old fashioned sexism, racism, xenophobia, and so many other forms of adamant ignorance all too common even at  the highest levels of public discourse has become seriously worrisome.


 ~ GoogleLitTrips.org ~
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Google Lit Trips: Books Come Alive | Sweet Integrations

Google Lit Trips: Books Come Alive | Sweet Integrations | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Make your books come alive with Google Lit Trips. Your students will love visiting all the locations mentioned in your book.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:
17 June 2016

I am so happy to have decided to spend my retirement after nearly 40 years teaching, by supporting educators, teachers, and students from around the world.

Articles such as this truly warm my heart.

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Lights, Cameras, Teach! Movie Making as a Lesson Planning Strategy

Lights, Cameras, Teach! Movie Making as a Lesson Planning Strategy | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Check out these seven ideas for bringing the creative juices of movie making into your teaching practice.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:
11 May 2016

Those of us who love stories, whether they are presented to us on stages, on pages, screens whether in theaters or on mobile devices, in whatever medium, will recognize the value add that this article can bring to the way we design the student interface with great literature.

It's not merely "having fun" on the assumption that having fun, in and of itself, engages while enhancing attention to the actual relevance of a story's themes. It's more of a precision design of the learning activities. 

Those who tell stories via movies have refined and deep levels their efforts to fully engage us. They embed us into their storytelling.

I couldn't help but think that suggestions 3, 4, 5, and 6 in particular, spoke to elements that are at the core of the design of Google Lit Trips.


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400 Times William Shakespeare Totally Blew Our Minds

400 Times William Shakespeare Totally Blew Our Minds | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
The Bard's been dead 400 years, and he's still killing it.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:
28 April 2016

I'll let the Bard speak for himself and limit my commentary to:
1. He spoke for all of us

2. He touched on a few subjects you might want to preview before sharing with students

3. Best book on Shakespeare in my mind is Bill Bryson's Shakespeare: The World as Stage an intriguing collection of stories about what we know and don't really know about Shakespeare.

And (I'm so excited) Bill Bryson was recently announced as being one of next year's speakers at the Oakland Speakers Series. Whoo hoo!

Another semi-off the subject bit of Shakespeariana.
Here in California earthquake country, the local Shakespeare outdoor Shakespeare theatre is lovingly referred to as 
Cal Shakes! (and it does!)

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LeeMitchell's curator insight, April 29, 2016 6:10 PM
Why is this news?  Because it's Shakespeare!
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The nit-picking glory of The New Yorker's Comma Queen

The nit-picking glory of The New Yorker's Comma Queen | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
"Copy editing for The New Yorker is like playing shortstop for a Major League Baseball team -- every little movement gets picked over by the critics," says Mary Norris, who has played the position for more than thirty years. In that time, she's gotten a reputation for sternness and for being a "comma maniac," but this is unfounded, she says. Above all, her work is aimed at one thing: making authors look good. Explore The New Yorker's distinctive style with the person who knows it best in this charming talk.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:
16 April 2016

I found this Ted Talk by a copy editor for the New Yorker fascinating on a number of accounts. 

1. She does not take herself too seriously (whew!)
2. She takes her job incredibly seriously (love that too!)
3. She makes it clear that even the best writers may not be experts at grammar and/or usage.
4. There is room for differences of opinions regarding best grammar and/or usage

And, all of this from a copy editor for the New Yorker; certainly a publication with impressive "creds!"

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New Google Lit Trip Published!

New Google Lit Trip Published! | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Google Lit Trips, educational nonprofit, award winning, educational technology, place based storytelling, reading about reading
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:
11 April 2016

Announcing the publication of a brand new Google Lit Trip for The Lamp, the Ice, and the Boat Called Fish by Jaqueline Briggs Martin. 

Set in the Arctic Circle, this book is based on a true story of the last Voyage of the Karluk, Aleutian for "fish." The Karluk and its crew were joined by an Iñupiaq family and their two young daughters. Through the Iñupaiq family we learn much about the culture of the Inuit people. But, along the way, the Karluk runs into serious trouble and we find ourselves learning about an important event in history as we hope for the survival of the crew and its passengers. In this Google Lit Trip we have blended media and information about Iñupiaq culture and the actual historical events of the story.

You might want to bring a Parka along on this Lit Trip!

Also in celebration of National Poetry month we're pointing visitors towards a very interesting student developed Lit Trip feature 15 of her favorite poets. Locations represent the poets' birthplaces. Includes audio links to the student reading a favorite poem by each poet.

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Classic Books Yanked From Virginia County Schools After Parent Complaint

Classic Books Yanked From Virginia County Schools After Parent Complaint | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
In a divided time, can we afford to read books like "Huck Finn" -- or can we afford not to?
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:
2 December 2018

Yes, Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird  are among the most banned books in schools and have been for decades. 

Well, here's an A+ book report any student capable of critical thinking could write about each of these stories.

"BLACK LIVES MATTER TOO!!!"

Both authors bravely confronted and attempted to expose the facts that LIKE IN OUR OWN TIMES, Blacks have suffered too much sh-- , racism, and inequality from too many in the dominant culture. 

Both authors created stories that put the sins of racism front and center and truthfully in our faces. And, each chose children as the witnesses and recorders of those horrific sins. 

Some somehow believe that our children should hate the book when the point of each story is to expose hatred.

Both Huck Finn and Scout Finch and all of our children must sooner, rather than later, come to understand the harsh realities of racism's indefensible victimization of innocents. 

Both books are generally taught in high school. By that age, aren't students old enough to begin learning such lessons? If not, when will they be?

If we believe that high school students are not old enough to begin facing the harsh reality of life and believe banning these books somehow protects them from facing those harsh realities of racism, when will they be ready to accept their adult responsibility of  confronting our unfinished business of pursuing Liberty and Justice FOR ALL?

Each novel has only one primary black character; Jim in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Robinson in To Kill A Mockingbird are victims and powerless to do anything about their victimization because they lived in times when there was still work to be done to ensure that all citizens have the right to expect life, liberty, and JUSTICE FOR ALL.

Final Exam Question:
After reading The Adventures in Huckleberry Finn and To Kill A Mockingbird, explain your level of empathy for Jim, Huck, and how that empathy might be expressed best given today's news.

 ~ www,GoogleLitTrips.org ~
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25 More Outstanding Podcasts for Readers

25 More Outstanding Podcasts for Readers | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Last year I highlighted 25 of the best podcasts for readers. Here are 25 more outstanding podcasts for book lovers!
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:
17 November 2016

This is a followup article to the first 25 Outstanding Podcasts for Readers that can be found here: https://bookriot.com/2015/11/25/25-outstanding-podcasts-readers/


Try this...

Have Tinitus? Listen to a literary podcast as you go to sleep.

Too many commercials on your morning drive to school? Listen to a literary podcast and arrive at school smiling.

Build listening to literary podcasts into your students' options as individuals or small group activity. There are so many similar podcasts promoting a love of literature that students can personalize their listening AND get credit for it.

Several focus upon author interviews. Why not have students do Author Reports consisting of reporting on the experience of choosing an author focused podcast and then having read a story of their own choice by that author.


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Awful Titles Famous Authors Almost Gave Their Novels

Awful Titles Famous Authors Almost Gave Their Novels | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Even the greatest writers fall prey to "I don't know what to call this" syndrome.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:
27 October 2016

Just a quick scoop of an interesting look at author's early thoughts about titles for books eventually were published under different names.

Might be of interest when discussing titles for essays or the power of rough drafts in general.

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Bob Dylan Wins Nobel Prize, Redefining Boundaries of Literature

Bob Dylan Wins Nobel Prize, Redefining Boundaries of Literature | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
The singer and songwriter was recognized for “new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.”
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:
14 October 2016

Fifty years ago, December 5, 1965 to be exact, Bob Dylan changed my life forever. Actually, the credit should go to Mr. Ferdie Kay, my senior English teacher at James Logan High School in Union City, CA. It was Mr. Kay who decided to begin his poetry unit by taking the class on a field trip to Berkeley California to see Bob Dylan in concert. 

Dylan was a bit of an odd duck in the current music scene. He wasn't rock 'n roll, wasn't exactly folk, had what was considered a terrible singing voice, and sang songs with nearly unintelligible lyrics. At least they seemed unintelligible to this late bloomer who never surfed, but was more attracted to the Beach Boys nevertheless. 

Yet, I had a peripheral interest in Peter Paul and Mary as well as Joan Baez. Mostly because of their "pleasant" voices and accessible and meaningful lyrics.

Dylan on the other hand seemed to pander to no one. His audience needed to ponder his words and forgive his voice. 

The concert was on a Sunday night, the next day in class Mr. Kay had a life changing lesson plan. We dissected one of Dylan's songs and it was the first time I remember ever feeling as though I actually began to see the "writing between the lines" that so many previous English teachers had expected me to see. He didn't tell us what to see, but rather guided us to discover what was there to consider and to begin to see the bridge between Dylan's lyrics and our own life experiences. It was exhilarating. 

By the end of the week Mr. Kay challenged us to find that exhilaration while exploring T. S. Eliot. And, we did. Mr. Kay had brought Dylan to us instead of the traditional approach of attempting to bring us to the authors who often lived in different times, different cultures, and who wrote in a version of English that just didn't quite generate a sense that their work was worth the effort. But, again, I was a "late bloomer." I was still in the cocoon of self centered "me-ness." But, Mr. Kay and Bob Dylan mark the moment when I began the long process of escaping that cocoon.

By June 1966 I'd made up my mind to become an English teacher just like Mr. Kay. I even grew a beard just like Mr. Kay's that I've worn ever since. My own career as an English teacher spanned 4 decades; a career dedicated to being the kind of teacher for my students that Mr. Kay had been for his.

Congratulations Bob Dylan. You've made millions differences to millions of people.
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Powerful Drawings Show What It Feels Like To Be Lost In A Book

Powerful Drawings Show What It Feels Like To Be Lost In A Book | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Korean artist Jungho Lee reminds us that reading a book is the best adventure.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:
20 September 2016

How cool are these? Like all great books these images reward those who take a second or third look.

There's more there there.

 ~ www.GoogleLit Trips.org ~
brought to you by GLT Global ED / Google Lit Trips an educational nonprofit
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Google Lit Trips - Combining Literature and Geography

Google Lit Trips - Combining Literature and Geography | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Imagine bringing the locations of stories to life for your students. With the help of Google Lit Trips, you can! This free resource gets kids excited!
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:
11 August 2016

Always a treat and an honor to wake up and find a kind mention of the Google Lit Trips project among my Google Alerts.

brought to you by GLT Global ED / Google Lit Trips an educational nonprofit
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Every Book Referenced On Season 4 Of "Orange Is The New Black"

Every Book Referenced On Season 4 Of "Orange Is The New Black" | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Orange Is the New Black book club, anyone?..
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:
18 July 2016

I count myself as a fan of Orange is the New Black. Like many important issues it brought to our attention some of the most difficult issues not only within our prison systems, but also in the world at large.

Yes there were many very rough to face scenes. But Not turning away from that which we are uncomfortable being encouraged to consider is sometimes what it takes to face the truth that there is still much work to be done.

So, having noticed that many of the characters spent time reading, but the titles of their books flashed by too quickly to catch, I was happy to see that a complete list was provided for each episode of Season 4.

Haven't read many, but several were close to my heart including but not limited to Rainer Maria Rilke's Letter to a Young Poet, Ian Flemming's Casino Royale and Goldfinger (remembering fondly the master high school teacher who said I could read Ian Flemming for a personal reading projects as long as I read them all! My first author study and it was an eye opening experience), Chimamanda Ngozi's Americana;  L. Frank Baum's (the real) The Wizard of Oz, and of course Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird. 

brought to you by GLT Global ED / Google Lit Trips

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Want More Dates? Survey Says You Should Read More Books

Want More Dates? Survey Says You Should Read More Books | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
#Truth.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:
21 June 2016

Yep! And there's even an App for that!

What are you doing for your first day's lesson in your literature class?

I might well be starting with this INFORMATIONAL READING article. 

My favorite line? 

"The findings aren’t all that surprising, considering a 2014 Pew Research study that showed millennials — the generation most likely to be using dating apps — are actually more likely to have read a book in the past year than folks from other generations. While the narrative may be that books need saving, it would seem that the pastime is alive as ever."


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New Google Lit Trip! Until the Last Spike, Journal of Sean Sullivan...

New Google Lit Trip! Until the Last Spike, Journal of Sean Sullivan... | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Google Lit Trips, educational nonprofit, award winning, educational technology, place based storytelling, reading about reading
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:
17 May 2016

Announcing the publication of a brand new Google Lit Trip for Until the Last Spike, the Journal of Sean Sullivan, a Transcontinental Railroad Worker, Nebraska and Points West, 1867 by William Durbin. 

 "Until the Last Spike, The Journal of Sean Sullivan, is about a fictional character named Sean Sullivan and his journey working on the Transcontinental Railroad. It's August 1867 and Sean has just arrived from Chicago, planning to work with his father on the Transcontinental Railroad... Sean discovers the rough and rowdy world of the towns that seem to sprout up from nowhere along the railroad's path over the prairie...Through Sean's eyes, the history of this era and the magnitude of his and his fellow workers' achievements come alive." – Goodreads


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Wonderfully Weird & Ingenious Medieval Books

Wonderfully Weird & Ingenious Medieval Books | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Leiden University book historian Erik Kwakkel describes his tumblr site as follows: 'I post images from medieval books.' In the words of Samuel L. Jackson on the immortal Snakes on a Plane, you either want to see that, or you don't.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:
2 May 2016

Wow Again! Another scoop that is just too cool. Great examples of very unusual books. Be sure to click the links within the site to see a wide variety of other very cool books, most from medieval times.

brought to you by GLT Global ED dba Google Lit Trips an educational nonprofit
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Lego Marks Anniversary Of Shakespeare's Death In Typically Awesome Way

Lego Marks Anniversary Of Shakespeare's Death In Typically Awesome Way | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
The Danish company used stop motion animation to recreate the Bard's most iconic scenes.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:
22 April 2016

This is pretty darned cool! Gotta watch the video and then watch it again, and again, and, well as cool as it is you've probably got chores to get to sometime today.

Happy B-Day to "Shaka-spee-air-ray." 

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

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Shakespeare First Folio discovered on Scottish island - BBC News

Shakespeare First Folio discovered on Scottish island - BBC News | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Oxford University academics discover a first collected edition of Shakespeare's plays in a Scottish stately home.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:
12 April 2016

All I can say is "I'll be darned." As an English major this is of MAJOR interest.

To students not inclined to become English majors, perhaps the interest, if any is modest.

But to those of us who care as deeply as we do it is "blow your mind" exciting that such discoveries are still to be hoped for.

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GoogleLitTrips Reading List's curator insight, April 12, 2016 10:09 PM
12 April 2016

All I can say is "I'll be darned." As an English major this is of MAJOR interest.

To students not inclined to become English majors, perhaps the interest, if any is modest.

But to those of us who care as deeply as we do it is "blow your mind" exciting that such discoveries are still to be hoped for.


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