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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Historical Fiction Gets No Respect -- Here's Why It Should

Historical Fiction Gets No Respect -- Here's Why It Should | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Katy Simpson Smith, author of the new novel 'Free Men,' on the joys and frustrations of exploring the past.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:
1 April 2016

Yesterday I scooped an article entitled "Fiction v nonfiction – English literature's made-up divide." In my comments, while recognizing some of the benefits, I expressed concerns about the downside of genre classifications in the classroom.

When I came across this article, it seemed perfect follow-up evidence that genre classifications can have deleterious  impact upon readers by passing on the de facto bias of literary scholarship to students who may not be on track to become Literature majors. 

A question arose in my mind...
If we who teach literature teachers were evaluated upon the following two criteria, would we consider our efforts successful?
1. What percentage of our students grow up to be Literature teachers, scholars, or some kind of literati-type?
2. What percentage of our students become completely turned off as life-long readers specifically because of the esoteric nature of our efforts to have them read literature like scholars do?

Of, course the fallacy of my reducing the assessment of our efforts to these two categories, overlooks what we hope is still a significantly large portion of our students; that group that does not grow up to be literature scholars, but does gain a depth of appreciation for what they do read that does motivate them to become lifelong readers. 

That concession being made, ironically, I am reminded of Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States, a powerful attack on established tendency of curricula in universities that tends to pass on the biases of historical events taught in schools, from generation to generation, rather than to encourage a reconsideration of those often un-reconsidered biases to see if perhaps Custer was not so much of a hero as we had previously taught our students that he had been.

Transitioning the thought to the literary arts, we have made progress in reconsidering the long held biases that previously held reign in literary curricula. Consider the reduction in assumption that the "Dead White Poets" were worth more than women writers, writers of color, and cross-cultural global writers. 

But, to see educators still passing on biases implying or outright accusing genres such as science fiction, historical fiction, YA lit, as being "entirely" second rate at best by some sort of "default fault" is doing not only harm to our students who we hope to become life-long readers regardless of their eventual career decisions, but ironically even to those we hope will choose to become bearers of the literary torch who I personally, would hope would not enter future classroom, noses aloft, telling students that what they like to read is essentially trash or unworthy just because "those types" of books have always been under appreciated by too many university curricula planners.

Let us not throw a "one-size-fits-all" blanket of condemnation over historical fiction, science, fiction, YA and any other "genres" who have been so condemned. 

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


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Lynnette Van Dyke's curator insight, April 1, 2016 8:32 PM
1 April 2016

Yesterday I scooped an article entitled "Fiction v nonfiction – English literature's made-up divide." In my comments, while recognizing some of the benefits, I expressed concerns about the downside of genre classifications in the classroom.

When I came across this article, it seemed perfect follow-up evidence that genre classifications can have deleterious  impact upon readers by passing on the de facto bias of literary scholarship to students who may not be on track to become Literature majors. 

A question arose in my mind...
If we who teach literature teachers were evaluated upon the following two criteria, would we consider our efforts successful?
1. What percentage of our students grow up to be Literature teachers, scholars, or some kind of literati-type?
2. What percentage of our students become completely turned off as life-long readers specifically because of the esoteric nature of our efforts to have them read literature like scholars do?

Of, course the fallacy of my reducing the assessment of our efforts to these two categories, overlooks what we hope is still a significantly large portion of our students; that group that does not grow up to be literature scholars, but does gain a depth of appreciation for what they do read that does motivate them to become lifelong readers. 

That concession being made, ironically, I am reminded of Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States, a powerful attack on established tendency of curricula in universities that tends to pass on the biases of historical events taught in schools, from generation to generation, rather than to encourage a reconsideration of those often un-reconsidered biases to see if perhaps Custer was not so much of a hero as we had previously taught our students that he had been.

Transitioning the thought to the literary arts, we have made progress in reconsidering the long held biases that previously held reign in literary curricula. Consider the reduction in assumption that the "Dead White Poets" were worth more than women writers, writers of color, and cross-cultural global writers. 

But, to see educators still passing on biases implying or outright accusing genres such as science fiction, historical fiction, YA lit, as being "entirely" second rate at best by some sort of "default fault" is doing not only harm to our students who we hope to become life-long readers regardless of their eventual career decisions, but ironically even to those we hope will choose to become bearers of the literary torch who I personally, would hope would not enter future classroom, noses aloft, telling students that what they like to read is essentially trash or unworthy just because "those types" of books have always been under appreciated by too many university curricula planners.

Let us not throw a "one-size-fits-all" blanket of condemnation over historical fiction, science, fiction, YA and any other "genres" who have been so condemned. 

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


Melanie Hundley's curator insight, April 3, 2016 9:05 AM
1 April 2016

Yesterday I scooped an article entitled "Fiction v nonfiction – English literature's made-up divide." In my comments, while recognizing some of the benefits, I expressed concerns about the downside of genre classifications in the classroom.

When I came across this article, it seemed perfect follow-up evidence that genre classifications can have deleterious  impact upon readers by passing on the de facto bias of literary scholarship to students who may not be on track to become Literature majors. 

A question arose in my mind...
If we who teach literature teachers were evaluated upon the following two criteria, would we consider our efforts successful?
1. What percentage of our students grow up to be Literature teachers, scholars, or some kind of literati-type?
2. What percentage of our students become completely turned off as life-long readers specifically because of the esoteric nature of our efforts to have them read literature like scholars do?

Of, course the fallacy of my reducing the assessment of our efforts to these two categories, overlooks what we hope is still a significantly large portion of our students; that group that does not grow up to be literature scholars, but does gain a depth of appreciation for what they do read that does motivate them to become lifelong readers. 

That concession being made, ironically, I am reminded of Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States, a powerful attack on established tendency of curricula in universities that tends to pass on the biases of historical events taught in schools, from generation to generation, rather than to encourage a reconsideration of those often un-reconsidered biases to see if perhaps Custer was not so much of a hero as we had previously taught our students that he had been.

Transitioning the thought to the literary arts, we have made progress in reconsidering the long held biases that previously held reign in literary curricula. Consider the reduction in assumption that the "Dead White Poets" were worth more than women writers, writers of color, and cross-cultural global writers. 

But, to see educators still passing on biases implying or outright accusing genres such as science fiction, historical fiction, YA lit, as being "entirely" second rate at best by some sort of "default fault" is doing not only harm to our students who we hope to become life-long readers regardless of their eventual career decisions, but ironically even to those we hope will choose to become bearers of the literary torch who I personally, would hope would not enter future classroom, noses aloft, telling students that what they like to read is essentially trash or unworthy just because "those types" of books have always been under appreciated by too many university curricula planners.

Let us not throw a "one-size-fits-all" blanket of condemnation over historical fiction, science, fiction, YA and any other "genres" who have been so condemned. 

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


Luke Padilla's curator insight, April 4, 2016 1:38 PM
1 April 2016

Yesterday I scooped an article entitled "Fiction v nonfiction – English literature's made-up divide." In my comments, while recognizing some of the benefits, I expressed concerns about the downside of genre classifications in the classroom.

When I came across this article, it seemed perfect follow-up evidence that genre classifications can have deleterious  impact upon readers by passing on the de facto bias of literary scholarship to students who may not be on track to become Literature majors. 

A question arose in my mind...
If we who teach literature teachers were evaluated upon the following two criteria, would we consider our efforts successful?
1. What percentage of our students grow up to be Literature teachers, scholars, or some kind of literati-type?
2. What percentage of our students become completely turned off as life-long readers specifically because of the esoteric nature of our efforts to have them read literature like scholars do?

Of, course the fallacy of my reducing the assessment of our efforts to these two categories, overlooks what we hope is still a significantly large portion of our students; that group that does not grow up to be literature scholars, but does gain a depth of appreciation for what they do read that does motivate them to become lifelong readers. 

That concession being made, ironically, I am reminded of Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States, a powerful attack on established tendency of curricula in universities that tends to pass on the biases of historical events taught in schools, from generation to generation, rather than to encourage a reconsideration of those often un-reconsidered biases to see if perhaps Custer was not so much of a hero as we had previously taught our students that he had been.

Transitioning the thought to the literary arts, we have made progress in reconsidering the long held biases that previously held reign in literary curricula. Consider the reduction in assumption that the "Dead White Poets" were worth more than women writers, writers of color, and cross-cultural global writers. 

But, to see educators still passing on biases implying or outright accusing genres such as science fiction, historical fiction, YA lit, as being "entirely" second rate at best by some sort of "default fault" is doing not only harm to our students who we hope to become life-long readers regardless of their eventual career decisions, but ironically even to those we hope will choose to become bearers of the literary torch who I personally, would hope would not enter future classroom, noses aloft, telling students that what they like to read is essentially trash or unworthy just because "those types" of books have always been under appreciated by too many university curricula planners.

Let us not throw a "one-size-fits-all" blanket of condemnation over historical fiction, science, fiction, YA and any other "genres" who have been so condemned. 

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


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Literature, empathy and the moral imagination

Great works of literature are often love-letters to the form itself, but moral philosophy has rarely taken story-telling seriously. The work of Martha Nussbaum shows that the novel is key to social justice, through the role that reading plays in developing our moral imagination
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:
31 March 2016

Regular readers of this scoop.it collection know that I have often scooped article specifically addressing the positive impact of literary reading. The role of literature's influence on the development of empathy is one of the more commonly referenced benefits. When I saw the title of this particular article, I was captivated by the term "the moral imagination." The role of the development of one's "moral compass" is also often referenced, but the term "moral imagination" had not to my recollection previously come to my attention. And, I was immediately intrigued.

WOW! The discovery of this article proved itself serendipitous at virtually every turn. It is not a long article and worthy of a slow and contemplative consideration. 

My advise? Don't skim. Take your time. It's a treasure chest of of a defense of literature's value to humanity.

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

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Fiction v nonfiction – English literature's made-up divide

Fiction v nonfiction – English literature's made-up divide | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Some cultures do not distinguish between fiction and nonfiction – and instead talk of ‘stories’. Is that a barrier to English-language writers and publishers? Or should they just learn to enjoy telling tales?
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:
31 March 2016

I found this article fascinating in that I had no idea that in multiple cultures there is no distinction between fiction and nonfiction. 

A confession. Though somewhat useful when meandering around the library or bookstore without a  particular title in mind, just because I felt like picking up a book or two to read, I've had doubts about the importance of tagging books by their genre or categorization labels. 

It started with a teacher who criticized me because I confessed on the first day of class that I was an Ian Fleming fan have read more than one, but not many more than one James Bond book. Fleming was essentially the first author of whom I had read multiple novels. It was subconscious at best, but becoming an author fan took me to another level of literary appreciation. It was no longer merely a good plot that determined my interest. I realized that authors have distinctive styles and themes. Fleming took me to a new level of appreciate for reading. That teacher pushed that new level into the closet by telling me that Flemings was trash.

Ironically, though I secretly kept reading Flemings, I carried a bit of shame in the possibility of being caught reading trash. And, because of that it was many years before I even gave science fiction a chance, given that it too was often deemed unworthy of being called literature. 

But, about the distinction between fiction and nonfiction. I have learned quite a lot of facts from nonfiction and quite a lot of TRUTHS from fiction. But, I've always been just a bit leery about the gap between a books full of facts and the interpretations of those facts being suggested by their authors. I am not a conspiracist who assumes that nonfiction is probably unreliable. But, when I was a kid, my history book told me that George Custer was an American hero. When I was a young teacher visiting friends in Virginia I was shown their daughter's Virginia History book  that claimed there was no Civil War (it was a disturbance between the states) and that the South had won it because it was the south that had the courage to first cease hostilities.

Is it a fair question to wonder whether there isn't some degree of bias cherry picking in all history books? Or, can we really say that nonfiction by definition should be accepted as telling 
"the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth"?

(odd transition) When I taught journalism, there were rules. Opinion went on the editorial page. News went on the news pages. Both were considered nonfiction. The distinction being that Editorials allowed for cherry picking facts and a certain level of questionable yet often loud self-righteousness.

Those rules seem to have relaxed a bit "if you really want to know the truth" as Donald Trump might suggest when he refers to "Obamacare" as a "complete disaster."

Yet, flipping the coin raises the question of what are sometimes referred to as the "eternal truths" expressed in fiction. Voltaire, Twain, Orwell, Vonnegut and so many others put the costume of fiction on their articulations of "the way it is."

brought to you by GLT Global ED dba Google Lit Trips an educational nonprofit
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Google Lit Trips: Reading and Writing - Simplek12

Google Lit Trips: Reading and Writing - Simplek12 | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Google Lit Trips is a resource that allows teachers to show their students the real world locations of their favorite stories and characters.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:
30 March 2016

Always nice to discover unsolicited support for the Google Lit Trips project.
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Lynnette Van Dyke's curator insight, March 30, 2016 8:09 PM
30 March 2016

Always nice to discover unsolicited support for the Google Lit Trips project.
Rescooped by GoogleLitTrips Reading List from Reading About Reading
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Students as Explorers: Using Google Earth with Literature

Students as Explorers: Using Google Earth with Literature | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
How to use Google Earth to make literature relevant for students.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:
3 March 2016

Happy to announce the publication of my blog post for  Education Week at the invitation Heather Singmaster of the Asia Society.

Register at http://www.googlelittrips.org for quick and easy access to our library of Google Lit Trips.

Reminder, Google Lit Trips resources are free.
However, you are always welcome to  to support our efforts and express your appreciation with a paypal donation. 

Short paypal URL: https://goo.gl/XtUvrc

brought to you by GLT Global ED an educational nonprofit also known as Google Lit Trips.
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GoogleLitTrips Reading List's curator insight, March 3, 2016 3:20 PM
3 March 2016

Happy to announce the publication of my blog post for  Education Week at the invitation Heather Singmaster of the Asia Society.

Register at http://www.googlelittrips.org for quick and easy access to our library of Google Lit Trips.

Reminder, Google Lit Trips resources are free.
However, you are always welcome to  to support our efforts and express your appreciation with a paypal donation. 

Short paypal URL: https://goo.gl/XtUvrc

brought to you by GLT Global ED an educational nonprofit also known as Google Lit Trips.
Tannis Niziol's curator insight, March 14, 2016 4:22 PM
3 March 2016
 
Happy to announce the publication of my blog post for  Education Week at the invitation Heather Singmaster of the Asia Society.
 
Register at http://www.googlelittrips.org for quick and easy access to our library of Google Lit Trips.
 
Reminder, Google Lit Trips resources are free.
However, you are always welcome to  to support our efforts and express your appreciation with a paypal donation. 
 
Short paypal URL: https://goo.gl/XtUvrc
 
brought to you by GLT Global ED an educational nonprofit also known as Google Lit Trips.
Lynnette Van Dyke's curator insight, March 26, 2016 7:14 AM
3 March 2016

Happy to announce the publication of my blog post for  Education Week at the invitation Heather Singmaster of the Asia Society.

Register at http://www.googlelittrips.org for quick and easy access to our library of Google Lit Trips.

Reminder, Google Lit Trips resources are free.
However, you are always welcome to  to support our efforts and express your appreciation with a paypal donation. 

Short paypal URL: https://goo.gl/XtUvrc

brought to you by GLT Global ED an educational nonprofit also known as Google Lit Trips.
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NEW! The Catcher in the Rye Google Lit Trip

NEW! The Catcher in the Rye Google Lit Trip | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it

We're celebrating the publication of the Google Lit Trip for The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

26 January 2016

 

        "Gin a body meet a body, comin thro' the rye, 
            Gin a body kiss a body, need a body cry; 
              Ilka body has a body, ne'er a ane hae I; 
      But a' the lads they loe me, and what the waur am I.
 

Only hours after the celebration of Robert Burns Night (http://goo.gl/5RRb7B), we are proud to announce the publication of the long awaited Google Lit Trip for The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger!

 

If you haven't yet, it would be a great time to visit our newly redesigned website. Same URL GoogleLitTrips.org 

 

The other good news? We've added a one-time member registration so you won't have to fill out the download survey every time you download a resource.

 

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED dba Google Lit Trips a 501c3 educational nonprofit

 

 

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Adriana Zoder's curator insight, March 25, 2016 6:43 AM

26 January 2016

 

        "Gin a body meet a body, comin thro' the rye, 
            Gin a body kiss a body, need a body cry; 
              Ilka body has a body, ne'er a ane hae I; 
      But a' the lads they loe me, and what the waur am I.
 

Only hours after the celebration of Robert Burns Night (http://goo.gl/5RRb7B), we are proud to announce the publication of the long awaited Google Lit Trip for The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger!

 

If you haven't yet, it would be a great time to visit our newly redesigned website. Same URL GoogleLitTrips.org 

 

The other good news? We've added a one-time member registration so you won't have to fill out the download survey every time you download a resource.

 

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED dba Google Lit Trips a 501c3 educational nonprofit

 

 

Lynnette Van Dyke's curator insight, March 26, 2016 7:14 AM

26 January 2016

 

        "Gin a body meet a body, comin thro' the rye, 
            Gin a body kiss a body, need a body cry; 
              Ilka body has a body, ne'er a ane hae I; 
      But a' the lads they loe me, and what the waur am I.
 

Only hours after the celebration of Robert Burns Night (http://goo.gl/5RRb7B), we are proud to announce the publication of the long awaited Google Lit Trip for The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger!

 

If you haven't yet, it would be a great time to visit our newly redesigned website. Same URL GoogleLitTrips.org 

 

The other good news? We've added a one-time member registration so you won't have to fill out the download survey every time you download a resource.

 

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED dba Google Lit Trips a 501c3 educational nonprofit

 

 

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32-Second Video of a Hardback in a University’s Rare Books Collection Goes Viral — See What’s ‘Hidden’ in Its Pages

32-Second Video of a Hardback in a University’s Rare Books Collection Goes Viral — See What’s ‘Hidden’ in Its Pages | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Look at this book. Seems like just an old-fashioned hardback with gilt pages, right? If you were to shift the closed pages of the book just so, you'd see ... well, take a look at the video posted by Cornell University Library's Rare Books...
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

2 December 2015

 

This is so cool. I won't spoil the surprise. Let's just say great books held treasures to be discovered. In these rare cases, the treasure is hidden in the gold.

 

TEASE: Notice the 32 second video has had over 5 MILLION views!

 

But, don't miss the video lower on the page. It's a historical gem. 

Wouldn't I love to have one of these in my collection! 

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

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

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Welcome to the New Google Lit Trips Website!

Welcome to the New Google Lit Trips Website! | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it

"We hope you like our new look. The "new and improved" website streamlines navigation, introduces a one-time Member Registration, and provides faster and easier access to our resources."

GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

16 November 2015

After nine glorious years, the Google Lit Trips website has finally been completely redesigned and updated. We're still the same people, and we're introducing several new features and resources.

 

A one-time initial member registration replaces the annoying download survey we asked for every time people wanted to download a lit trip. Once registered, subsequent downloads will only require the title desired and a confirming email address. Submitting a Lit Trip request triggers an immediate email with direct automatic downloads for the requested resources.

 

We're also looking to expand our "Literary Locations" projects whereby people can explore a Literary Location near them and build a virtual visit to share with others who may not have nearby access to those locations. Think iconic book stores. Think author homes. Think literary public statuary and sculptures. Think any place that celebrates the literary experience.

 

Check out the 360° 3D walking tour of the Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site featured on our new home page.

 

We're looking to expand the Google Lit(erature) Trip concept to parallel personal stories in our  new "Our Own Stories" section. Think personal narratives of place-based experiences that changed our lives. 

 

By the way, don't be afraid of the section labeled GLT Store. We're still not expecting people to pay for our resources. We do however, hope to encourage many of you to consider supporting our work with a modest or maybe not so modest tax-deductible donation. We are making an amplified appeal for donations to those who  are accessing the lit trips for larger distribution (beyond use by a single classroom). We're 100% volunteer. All generated funds go towards defraying the costs associated with development, maintenance, and distribution of our resources.
 

There is a lot on the horizon. Join us in sharing the journeys of our lifetimes.

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

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

 

more...
Lynnette Van Dyke's curator insight, March 26, 2016 7:14 AM

16 November 2015

After nine glorious years, the Google Lit Trips website has finally been completely redesigned and updated. We're still the same people, and we're introducing several new features and resources.

 

A one-time initial member registration replaces the annoying download survey we asked for every time people wanted to download a lit trip. Once registered, subsequent downloads will only require the title desired and a confirming email address. Submitting a Lit Trip request triggers an immediate email with direct automatic downloads for the requested resources.

 

We're also looking to expand our "Literary Locations" projects whereby people can explore a Literary Location near them and build a virtual visit to share with others who may not have nearby access to those locations. Think iconic book stores. Think author homes. Think literary public statuary and sculptures. Think any place that celebrates the literary experience.

 

Check out the 360° 3D walking tour of the Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site featured on our new home page.

 

We're looking to expand the Google Lit(erature) Trip concept to parallel personal stories in our  new "Our Own Stories" section. Think personal narratives of place-based experiences that changed our lives. 

 

By the way, don't be afraid of the section labeled GLT Store. We're still not expecting people to pay for our resources. We do however, hope to encourage many of you to consider supporting our work with a modest or maybe not so modest tax-deductible donation. We are making an amplified appeal for donations to those who  are accessing the lit trips for larger distribution (beyond use by a single classroom). We're 100% volunteer. All generated funds go towards defraying the costs associated with development, maintenance, and distribution of our resources.
 

There is a lot on the horizon. Join us in sharing the journeys of our lifetimes.

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

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

 

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Please, no more brainstorm sessions. This is how innovation really works.

Please, no more brainstorm sessions. This is how innovation really works. | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

17 November 2015

 

I''ve always been a fan of  the following Dick Cavett quote...

 

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


Given the popularity of brainstorming in classroom practice, I can't help but wonder what proponents of classroom brainstorming make of this article.


If I might, I'd suggest that while reading the article use the informational reading skills you might be teaching. Aside from verifying the credentials and of the author, or should I say in addition to verifying the credentials of the author, I would ask myself the following three questions while reading:


1. What elements of the article do I absolutely agree with?

2. What elements of the article do I absolutely disagree with?

3. What elements of the article make points that cause me to at least pause to re-consider or refine my existing opinions on the subject?

 

I can't help but think that if we are serious about teaching both creative thinking and critical thinking, that we make certain we are asking our students to go beyond the first two questions above. If our students do not proceed to questions three, then we are enabling cherry picking as a means of defending the status quo of  both our existing opinions for as well as our existing opinions of the ideas opposing our own. 

Dare I say that we need only pay attention to the level of cross-idea evaluation that is being avoided in the public discourse during our current campaign season where candidates from both parties and from within a party can be attacked as having taken a position previously that they now do not hold.

The attack is that they are flip-flopping and are pandering to the polls.

 

The defense is that they are evolving as they continually reconsider their opinions in light of new information.

 

Dick Cavett had it right in my mind. I want to be receptive to at least considering elements of opposing arguments that might give me pause. 

In my mind, that's a requirement of truly "critical thinking."

 

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

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

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Lynnette Van Dyke's curator insight, March 26, 2016 7:15 AM

17 November 2015

 

I''ve always been a fan of  the following Dick Cavett quote...

 

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


Given the popularity of brainstorming in classroom practice, I can't help but wonder what proponents of classroom brainstorming make of this article.


If I might, I'd suggest that while reading the article use the informational reading skills you might be teaching. Aside from verifying the credentials and of the author, or should I say in addition to verifying the credentials of the author, I would ask myself the following three questions while reading:


1. What elements of the article do I absolutely agree with?

2. What elements of the article do I absolutely disagree with?

3. What elements of the article make points that cause me to at least pause to re-consider or refine my existing opinions on the subject?

 

I can't help but think that if we are serious about teaching both creative thinking and critical thinking, that we make certain we are asking our students to go beyond the first two questions above. If our students do not proceed to questions three, then we are enabling cherry picking as a means of defending the status quo of  both our existing opinions for as well as our existing opinions of the ideas opposing our own. 

Dare I say that we need only pay attention to the level of cross-idea evaluation that is being avoided in the public discourse during our current campaign season where candidates from both parties and from within a party can be attacked as having taken a position previously that they now do not hold.

The attack is that they are flip-flopping and are pandering to the polls.

 

The defense is that they are evolving as they continually reconsider their opinions in light of new information.

 

Dick Cavett had it right in my mind. I want to be receptive to at least considering elements of opposing arguments that might give me pause. 

In my mind, that's a requirement of truly "critical thinking."

 

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

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

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EdTechTeam Global Summits featuring Google for Education

We invite you to join us for the EdTechTeam Marin County Summit Featuring Google for Education
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

12 October 2015

 

Google Lit Trips Founder Jerome Burg will be presenting Place-Based Storytelling with Google's TourBuilder and Intro to Google Lit Trips (Level 1) at the EdTechTeam Marin County Summit at Tamalpais High School Marin, CA on October 18.

 

The Place-Based Storytelling with Google's TourBuilder will focus upon our efforts to expand the Google Lit Trips vision to the telling of our own stories and other place-based stories from across the curriculum.

 

Hoping to see Google Lit Trips fans in attendance.

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

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Incredible Literary Jack O'Lanterns

Incredible Literary Jack O'Lanterns | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
What's better than jack o'lanterns? Bookish ones, of course! Check out these incredible literary jack o'lanterns!
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

10 October 2015

 

For the love of books! Wow!

 

Which is your favorite? Have to admit I was blown away by all of these. But, truthfully, can you believe the The Wizard of Oz jack o'lantern????

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

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Google Doodles

Google Doodles | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
See more doodles at google.com/doodles!
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

8 September 2015

 

Another International Literacy Day Scoop-it.

You've probably noticed that Google often features a notable historical or cultural event with special Google Doodles on their search page. They've often turned their attention to featuring author birthdays. These Doodles are often quite clever. I am very fond of the Google Doodle about John Steinbeck. Thinking this might be a great idea for a possible scoop for International Literacy Day, I went to www.google.com/doodles and used the sites search box to search for "authors."  

 

Check out this archive of Google Doodles dedicated to authors. Clicking on any Doodle takes you to an enlarged version of the Doodle and to the article published at the time about the author.

 

By the way, did you know that clicking on any Google Doodle celebrating anything takes you to a page of search results specific to the featured event?

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

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

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Lynnette Van Dyke's curator insight, March 26, 2016 7:16 AM

8 September 2015

 

Another International Literacy Day Scoop-it.

You've probably noticed that Google often features a notable historical or cultural event with special Google Doodles on their search page. They've often turned their attention to featuring author birthdays. These Doodles are often quite clever. I am very fond of the Google Doodle about John Steinbeck. Thinking this might be a great idea for a possible scoop for International Literacy Day, I went to www.google.com/doodles and used the sites search box to search for "authors."  

 

Check out this archive of Google Doodles dedicated to authors. Clicking on any Doodle takes you to an enlarged version of the Doodle and to the article published at the time about the author.

 

By the way, did you know that clicking on any Google Doodle celebrating anything takes you to a page of search results specific to the featured event?

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

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

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13 People Who Are Definitely Reading Books, Not Just Posing For A Painting

13 People Who Are Definitely Reading Books, Not Just Posing For A Painting | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
"Quick, everyone, the painter's here. Read feverishly!"
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

16 September 2015

 

WARNING: Do not share with students without reading my commentary.

 

How do I describe the "frame" around this collection of incredibly intriguing paintings of people reading? First speak positively. The headline caught my eye and I have to admit that each painting does seem to capture a intensely engaged readers reading or attempting to read in spite of other potential distractions.

 

Fortunately I scrolled past brief bits of text to see all 13 of the paintings; my first thoughts being that these images would make a wonderfully uplifting topic for this scoop-it commentary. For those who do contemplate each image, enjoy.

 

However, upon reaching the last image, I noticed that, as is often the case with Huff Post, the article was followed by a slide show. entitled "Art History's Most Erotic Artworks." 

 

I won't venture any opinions about the role of erotic art in art history. My first thought had nothing to do with that controversial discussion. My first thought was, "Darn, how do I share the wonderful images of engaged reading with my followers, most of whom are teachers looking for wonderful reading-related scoop-it articles that might be valuable to share with their students.

 

There is however no controversy over the appropriateness of. of sharing the URL for this article with students given the extremely explicit nature of a few of the Erotic Artworks in the slide show. 

 

Then thinking, that if I did decide to scoop the article, it would definitely require a mention of the juxtaposition of such a wonderful collection of images of engaged reading with a slide show that would have parents and a good number of students marching for the principal's office demanding the firing of "the kind of teacher who would send students to a webpage with such a slide show." And, I'm pretty certain those parents and students might use an adjective a bit more explicit that "Erotic Artwork" to describe the "offense."

 

Yet, I stumbled around trying to decide how I might recommend the engaged reading painting that "so capture" the beauty of being absolutely captivated by the reading experience..

 

I put that aside, thinking that maybe I should read the text between the paintings that I had originally skipped over. Maybe, some inspirational text alongside the inspirational paintings would provide inspiration of some sort to encourage those who love reading to view the paintings "in spite of" the unfortunate juxtaposition of the paintings of engaged readers with the "Erotic Artwork" slideshow.

 

To my dismay, the text turned out to be a rather pathetic attempt to be amusing by making inanely juvenile "jokes" about the paintings; a second unfortunate juxtaposition. The text, like the slide show, left me saddened. 

 

Now what to do? The paintings are so interesting, so uplifting, so beautiful... what to do?

 

In weighing the benefits of the engaged reading paintings, in my mind are so worth sharing compared with the annoyance of the article's silly attempt to be funny and the sharing of the awkwardly uncomfortable juxtaposition of the "Erotic Artwork" that I chose to respect my audience's ability to overlook any discomfort they may experience.

 

If I have erred in this decision, forgive me. Personally, I'm choosing to download the engaged reading images to disengage them from the issues associated with the text and the "erotic artwork" slide show, so that I can revisit their wonderfulness without having to revisit the "frame" within which they were published.

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

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The NRA Finally Makes Fairy Tales Child-Friendly By Adding Guns

The NRA Finally Makes Fairy Tales Child-Friendly By Adding Guns | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Valuable life lesson: Guns prevent stranger danger, being eaten by witches, and bloodshed. Er ... what?
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:
1 April 2016

I can only hope this is an April Fools (unfunny) "joke." However, given the current (lack of) "quality" in public discourse regarding gun rights and other controversial topics where difference of opinion are often expressed more in volume than in substance, it is hard to tell whether or not this is actually a joke or not.

Whether or not this is an actual true article, for those fighting the tug of war between the importance of literary reading vs informational reading, remember we need not look far to see that there is much important work to be done in improving our understanding of the value and importance of each.

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Flurries Unlimited's curator insight, April 1, 2016 4:37 PM
1 April 2016
 
I can only hope this is an April Fools (unfunny) "joke." However, given the current (lack of) "quality" in public discourse regarding gun rights and other controversial topics where difference of opinion are often expressed more in volume than in substance, it is hard to tell whether or not this is actually a joke or not.
 
Whether or not this is an actual true article, for those fighting the tug of war between the importance of literary reading vs informational reading, remember we need not look far to see that there is much important work to be done in improving our understanding of the value and importance of each.
 
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The Interactivity Center

The Interactivity Center | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
The Interactivity Center
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:
31 March 2016

Proud to be among education world's recommendations in The Interactivity Center that features  collaborative projects, virtual field trips, educational games, and other interactive activities.

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20 Bands Named After Classic Literature

20 Bands Named After Classic Literature | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:
31 March 2016

As they say "Hope Springs Eternal." The literary influence of literature in popular music is a good sign. Okay, I was only aware of a small number of these bands. But truthfully that enhances my joy in that I am happy to see that much of the contemporary music scene with which I have limited experience is populated by musicians finding inspiration in the reading.

Though the article contains "only" 20 Bands Named After Classic Literature," (some of which may or may not qualify under a strict definition of "Classic") don't miss reading many additional literary titles added to the list in the comment section.

It just feels good that classic or otherwise, reading has a place of honor among those bringing music to their many fans.

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Why You May Be Seeing Stacks Of Books All Over NYC

Why You May Be Seeing Stacks Of Books All Over NYC | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
“The people who’ve taken part in the project are now connected to me in this weird [but good] way."
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:
30 March 2016

I've always been intrigued by conceptual art. Stacks of books left, beautifully photographed and .... and what?

What became of them? 

"Shaheryar Malik has left stacks of books from his own library at popular destinations all over New York City. He doesn’t stick around to see if anyone takes one of his books, nor does he re-visit his stacks. Instead he leaves a bookmark with his email address printed on it inside each book, in the hopes that he’ll hear back from whomever decided to pick that book up."

So many stories and the unknown stories of what became of those stories. How many lives did each story live? And how many lives were touched in how many ways? 

Had you come across one of these remarkable stacks, what do you imagine you might have done? 

Gosh, I sure do love a great mystery!

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Harper Lee, Author of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ Dies at 89

Harper Lee, Author of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ Dies at 89 | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Ms. Lee’s novel about racial injustice in a small Alabama town became one of the most beloved and most taught works of fiction ever written by an American.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

19 February 2016

 

Perhaps the source of many of the most moving moments in my entire teaching career. 

 

Enough said. May she rest in peace and her legacy rest upon the greatness of To Kill A Mockingbird.

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

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Lynnette Van Dyke's curator insight, March 26, 2016 7:13 AM

19 February 2016

 

Perhaps the source of many of the most moving moments in my entire teaching career. 

 

Enough said. May she rest in peace and her legacy rest upon the greatness of To Kill A Mockingbird.

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

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High School Removes ‘Huckleberry Finn’ Over Portrayal Of Blacks

High School Removes ‘Huckleberry Finn’ Over Portrayal Of Blacks | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Racial slurs in Mark Twain's 1885 classic are said to make some students uncomfortable.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

14 December 2015

 

WHY??? Officially because Mark Twain's insistence upon using the N-word "makes some students uncomfortable."

 

My question and challenge is, "Why isn't The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn taught in every single high school?"  Why in the world would I take that position? 

 

Because "Black Lives Matter too!"

 

What??? Consider...
Ever notice that the only "good" character from beginning to end is Jim, the runaway slave?

 

Ever notice that pretty much everyone else in the story is white and each for a variety of reasons represents the hurt caused to blacks by their unquestioned assumptions that slavery is perfectly acceptable? 

 

Ever notice that Mark Twain creates an episodic tale that includes the obvious evil behaviors of those who would in one way or another profit from slavery?

 

Ever notice that even the characters who are considered "good people" within their society do not question their acceptance of the preachers and judges who use the Bible and the law to justify slavery?

 

Ever notice that Huck is the only white person in the story who becomes uncomfortable with the way Jim is treated?

 

Ever wonder why the book ends with Huck recognizing that he "can't go back" to the brand of "black lives don't matter" civilization that he knows Aunt Sally will attempt to impose on him?

 

Ever notice that Mark Twain was a southern writer who wrote a story about the vices and follies of the slave holding south? 

 

Ever notice that everything Mark Twain wrote after Huck Finn was calling into question the wisdom and virtue of the wide variety of behaviors that were common among those who assume without doubt that they have privilege beyond those they assume do not?

 

Ever notice that The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn could not have  been written as an anti-slavery novel. It wasn't published until nearly a quarter of a century after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. 

 

___________

 

I believe Mark Twain's intentions were sharply focused upon the vices and follies NOT addressed by the Emancipation Proclamation. That residual ugliness descended from 200 years of treating blacks as though their lives did not "really" matter even a quarter of a century after the end of slavery. And, any student who pays any attention today to how we still live in a world, both beyond and within, our borders where there is much work to be done in addressing the 21st century parallels to the vices and follies Mark Twain "put in our faces" will know that The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn may never have been more relevant than it is today.  

 

Black, Muslim, LGBT lives matter every bit as much as all lives. And, any one treating ANY group, muslim, LGBT, police, gun owners, liberals, and conservatives included, as though the bad represent the whole, is part of a very serious and inadequately attended to problem. 

 

Could it be possible that Twain was using the N-word to intentionally disturb those readers who either see themselves as treating blacks in ways very similar to the despicable characters in his story AND/OR to disturb those readers who who are fed up with being victimized.

 

Finally, a request to those who do teach The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

 

Please do not make excuses for Mark Twain's use of the N-word by "explaining" that we can't blame Twain since this was a commonly used word when Twain was writing. It was not the commonly used word by the "wise and/or virtuous." 

 

Maybe, just maybe, Twain's whole point was to  intentionally disturb the ignorant and/or evil who continued, nearly a quarter of a century after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. to use the despicable word and to behave in the despicable ways as those who Twain criticizes had done. 

 

There's still work to be done. What 21st century Informational Reading might be a perfect match for proving that there is still work to be done.


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Does Anne Frank Copyright Extension Rewrite History?

Does Anne Frank Copyright Extension Rewrite History? | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
The foundation that holds the copyright to The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank plans to add her father as a co-author to extend the term of copyright.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

20 November 2015

 

There is something terribly sad about this article. In my oft-odd way of thinking, I am reminded of the recent publication of Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee's apparent very rough draft for To Kill A Mockingbird. 

The "connection" that comes to mind revolves around the damage that can be done to a book when some historical tidbit becomes sensationalized in ways that threaten the author's reputation.

 

In the case of Harper Lee, the publication of Go Set A Watchman, even in pre-publication, immediately became sensationalized pointing all attention to the possibility that Atticus Finch was actually a racist and that Harper Lee could also be a very mediocre writer. While at the same time playing down the more important serious questions about whether Harper Collins had actually secured the rights to publish Go Set A Watchman. It is not difficult to become suspicious that Harper Collins' decision to consider very thin evidence "proof enough" that Harper Lee somehow, maybe in a sort of way, was probably okay, with the publication. Potential damage to Harper Lee's literary reputation and to the reputation of one of literature's greatest protagonists be damned. There's profit to be made in publishing Go Set a Watchman. 

 

Harper Lee, like virtually all published authors, had taken the advise of a professional editor, and recognized that serious revision was in order, leading to the much improved To Kill A Mockingbird. And, I suspect like virtually all published authors, she kept the first draft of her first novel as a personal keepsake. 

 

As to The Diaries of a Young Girl, the idea of changing the authorship to include Otto Frank as a co-author raises concerns and suspicions that threaten the importance of having Anne Frank's tragic story available to touch our hearts and to influence our moral compasses. 

 

The article points at two sad possibilities that may become the focal point of sensationalistic misdirection. The first being that the primary purpose of changing the authorship might be to work around copyright laws that would put the work into the public domain. The second being that there is something disreputable about the possibility that Otto Frank acted as an editor for the diary. There are acceptable defenses in both cases.

 

In the first case, particularly since the diary is a work relating to the horrors of the Holocaust, the end of copyright protection puts the work in the hands of Holocaust deniers who have ceaselessly taken every opportunity to spread their vile intentions. We can be sure they will be loud and unreliable in their exploitation of the end of copyright protection.

 

In the second case, changing of the authorship to include Otto Frank as a co-author shifts his role from having a degree of acceptibility as an editor to what the anti-factual haters can sensationalize as being proof of the story being little more than a deceitful fabrication; discrediting the essential truth of the story.

 

Did Anne Frank actually write the diary with intentions to publish? That may be unlikely. She was a young girl keeping a diary. Had she survived would the diary have taken on an importance that might have led her to polish the story a bit, perhaps with an editor? I would like to think so. Can Otto Frank be faulted for recognizing the importance of the content of his daughter's diary? I don't think so. 

I do not know how much liberty Otto Frank took when editing the diary. I do not know to what degree he trimmed or enhanced the story. I do know that the essential narrative has served humanity in very important ways. 

 

The questions raised in this article are fair. Are there ulterior motives at play? However there are responsibilities associated with raising those questions lest in pursuit of answers run the risk, exemplified by the article's title, of misdirecting attention towards what can be sensationalized as sharing negative assumptions similar to  the distortion of the historical record often associated with the code phrase "revisionist history." 

If we care, we must be careful. 

 

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Lynnette Van Dyke's curator insight, March 26, 2016 7:15 AM

20 November 2015

 

There is something terribly sad about this article. In my oft-odd way of thinking, I am reminded of the recent publication of Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee's apparent very rough draft for To Kill A Mockingbird. 

The "connection" that comes to mind revolves around the damage that can be done to a book when some historical tidbit becomes sensationalized in ways that threaten the author's reputation.

 

In the case of Harper Lee, the publication of Go Set A Watchman, even in pre-publication, immediately became sensationalized pointing all attention to the possibility that Atticus Finch was actually a racist and that Harper Lee could also be a very mediocre writer. While at the same time playing down the more important serious questions about whether Harper Collins had actually secured the rights to publish Go Set A Watchman. It is not difficult to become suspicious that Harper Collins' decision to consider very thin evidence "proof enough" that Harper Lee somehow, maybe in a sort of way, was probably okay, with the publication. Potential damage to Harper Lee's literary reputation and to the reputation of one of literature's greatest protagonists be damned. There's profit to be made in publishing Go Set a Watchman. 

 

Harper Lee, like virtually all published authors, had taken the advise of a professional editor, and recognized that serious revision was in order, leading to the much improved To Kill A Mockingbird. And, I suspect like virtually all published authors, she kept the first draft of her first novel as a personal keepsake. 

 

As to The Diaries of a Young Girl, the idea of changing the authorship to include Otto Frank as a co-author raises concerns and suspicions that threaten the importance of having Anne Frank's tragic story available to touch our hearts and to influence our moral compasses. 

 

The article points at two sad possibilities that may become the focal point of sensationalistic misdirection. The first being that the primary purpose of changing the authorship might be to work around copyright laws that would put the work into the public domain. The second being that there is something disreputable about the possibility that Otto Frank acted as an editor for the diary. There are acceptable defenses in both cases.

 

In the first case, particularly since the diary is a work relating to the horrors of the Holocaust, the end of copyright protection puts the work in the hands of Holocaust deniers who have ceaselessly taken every opportunity to spread their vile intentions. We can be sure they will be loud and unreliable in their exploitation of the end of copyright protection.

 

In the second case, changing of the authorship to include Otto Frank as a co-author shifts his role from having a degree of acceptibility as an editor to what the anti-factual haters can sensationalize as being proof of the story being little more than a deceitful fabrication; discrediting the essential truth of the story.

 

Did Anne Frank actually write the diary with intentions to publish? That may be unlikely. She was a young girl keeping a diary. Had she survived would the diary have taken on an importance that might have led her to polish the story a bit, perhaps with an editor? I would like to think so. Can Otto Frank be faulted for recognizing the importance of the content of his daughter's diary? I don't think so. 

I do not know how much liberty Otto Frank took when editing the diary. I do not know to what degree he trimmed or enhanced the story. I do know that the essential narrative has served humanity in very important ways. 

 

The questions raised in this article are fair. Are there ulterior motives at play? However there are responsibilities associated with raising those questions lest in pursuit of answers run the risk, exemplified by the article's title, of misdirecting attention towards what can be sensationalized as sharing negative assumptions similar to  the distortion of the historical record often associated with the code phrase "revisionist history." 

If we care, we must be careful. 

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

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Rare Kurt Vonnegut Interview from 1970

Rare Kurt Vonnegut Interview from 1970 | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Watch Vonnegut talk to a class at NYU at his family life, writing, man-eating lampreys, and the Big Space Fuck. Vintage Vonnegut.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

 

Call it serendipity. I was not destined to become an English teacher until I was a senior in high school. I've written about Mr. Kay, my senior English teacher often as he was the teacher who turned my head around on the power of literature. I won't go into that again here. Suffice it to say that starting his poetry unit with a field trip to see Bob Dylan in Berkeley CA which led to a receptiveness to the possibilities of giving the likes of e.e.cummings, Woody Guthrie, T. S. Eliot, and a few others I rather quickly began to let go of the fortress of resistance to all those "old dead white guys" that had been given too large a role in the curriculum in previous English classes. 

 

Ironically I was actually a pretty enthusiastic reader in my youth. It wasn't that I didn't enjoy reading; as in Mad Magazine, World Almanac, every James Bond novel (in the days when they were all written by Ian Fleming), and baseball biographies. I just couldn't find a way, primarily because I wasn't looking, to give Shakespeare, Stephen Crane, and Homer a chance. Well, I sort of was intrigued by Edgar Allan Poe, even though he had been introduced as not really being all the well respected among literary scholars.

 

In my first year of college, along came a teacher who introduced us to Voltaire, Kafka, and Kurt Vonnegut. Holy Mackerel! Who knew there were authors like these who actually were respected by English teachers? 

 

So when my search for an article to scoop today led me to this search result, I jumped to see it.

"Watch A Rare, Hilarious Kurt Vonnegut Lecture"

One think led to another and I tracked down this goldmine of interesting Vonnegut information; much of which was new information to me, despite the fact that I had taken a deep dive into Vonnegut's background over the 30+ years that I had taught Cat's Cradle in one of the very few Satire courses offered anywhere. 

 

At the time I discovered Vonnegut actually wasn't necessarily considered a "respected" writer by the  mainstream literati. He was thought of by many as a sort of an odd-ball science fiction writer who'd captured a huge college readership. I often wonder what trajectory my career options might have taken had I not discovered Vonnegut when I did. And, over the many years that I shared Cat's Cradle with students, I have long lost count of the number of students who have and continue to touch base with me via various social media, who have taken it upon themselves to let me know how much they were positively affected by having read Vonnegut, Voltaire, Swift, and Orwell in their Satire class. 

One lesson I've learned is that only teaching literature that has "stood the test of time" is perhaps well-intended if the goal of teaching literature is to generate English majors. However, turning one's nose up at authors who break the mold as Vonnegut had done does a great disservice when the goal is either to promote a life long reading habit among those who may not major in English or those who would have been turned off at the thought of considering becoming English majors had they only been given opportunities to study the dead white guys.

 

I can't help but wonder who the Vonnegut's of today might be whose work would have reached many students in the way Vonnegut reached me who are being overlooked for having brought incredible but paradigm shifting impact to contemporary literature. 

 

Don't be mistaken, I do believe in the classics. But, discovering their wisdom was, in my case, a matter of working from my zone of proximal development towards the great literatures that were beyond my zone of proximal development at the time. Asking students to begin "way back then" hoping that they'll all be ready to be receptive is fraught with potential disappointment for those of us hoping to keep the flame of literary wisdom alive.

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

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

 

 

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Lynnette Van Dyke's curator insight, March 26, 2016 7:16 AM

 

Call it serendipity. I was not destined to become an English teacher until I was a senior in high school. I've written about Mr. Kay, my senior English teacher often as he was the teacher who turned my head around on the power of literature. I won't go into that again here. Suffice it to say that starting his poetry unit with a field trip to see Bob Dylan in Berkeley CA which led to a receptiveness to the possibilities of giving the likes of e.e.cummings, Woody Guthrie, T. S. Eliot, and a few others I rather quickly began to let go of the fortress of resistance to all those "old dead white guys" that had been given too large a role in the curriculum in previous English classes. 

 

Ironically I was actually a pretty enthusiastic reader in my youth. It wasn't that I didn't enjoy reading; as in Mad Magazine, World Almanac, every James Bond novel (in the days when they were all written by Ian Fleming), and baseball biographies. I just couldn't find a way, primarily because I wasn't looking, to give Shakespeare, Stephen Crane, and Homer a chance. Well, I sort of was intrigued by Edgar Allan Poe, even though he had been introduced as not really being all the well respected among literary scholars.

 

In my first year of college, along came a teacher who introduced us to Voltaire, Kafka, and Kurt Vonnegut. Holy Mackerel! Who knew there were authors like these who actually were respected by English teachers? 

 

So when my search for an article to scoop today led me to this search result, I jumped to see it.

"Watch A Rare, Hilarious Kurt Vonnegut Lecture"

One think led to another and I tracked down this goldmine of interesting Vonnegut information; much of which was new information to me, despite the fact that I had taken a deep dive into Vonnegut's background over the 30+ years that I had taught Cat's Cradle in one of the very few Satire courses offered anywhere. 

 

At the time I discovered Vonnegut actually wasn't necessarily considered a "respected" writer by the  mainstream literati. He was thought of by many as a sort of an odd-ball science fiction writer who'd captured a huge college readership. I often wonder what trajectory my career options might have taken had I not discovered Vonnegut when I did. And, over the many years that I shared Cat's Cradle with students, I have long lost count of the number of students who have and continue to touch base with me via various social media, who have taken it upon themselves to let me know how much they were positively affected by having read Vonnegut, Voltaire, Swift, and Orwell in their Satire class. 

One lesson I've learned is that only teaching literature that has "stood the test of time" is perhaps well-intended if the goal of teaching literature is to generate English majors. However, turning one's nose up at authors who break the mold as Vonnegut had done does a great disservice when the goal is either to promote a life long reading habit among those who may not major in English or those who would have been turned off at the thought of considering becoming English majors had they only been given opportunities to study the dead white guys.

 

I can't help but wonder who the Vonnegut's of today might be whose work would have reached many students in the way Vonnegut reached me who are being overlooked for having brought incredible but paradigm shifting impact to contemporary literature. 

 

Don't be mistaken, I do believe in the classics. But, discovering their wisdom was, in my case, a matter of working from my zone of proximal development towards the great literatures that were beyond my zone of proximal development at the time. Asking students to begin "way back then" hoping that they'll all be ready to be receptive is fraught with potential disappointment for those of us hoping to keep the flame of literary wisdom alive.

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

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

 

 

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A 3D Walking Tour of the Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site

A 3D Walking Tour of  the Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it

Take a Virtual Field Trip to the Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site

GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

10 November 2015

 

We’re taking our Literary Locations Lit Trip concept to a whole new level with the publication of our walking tour of Eugene O’Neill’s Tao House in Danville, California. The tour has been constructed from 43 constellation photographs taken throughout the home and around the property.

 

What makes these 360° spherical images unique is that while “virtually standing” in any of the locations where the constellation images were captured, you can look in any direction by simply dragging the image on your screen in any direction. You can look up to see the sky; down to see the earth, and anywhere to your left, right, ahead or behind you.

 

The images are “linked together” in such a way that by clicking the screen in the direction you’d like to move, you can virtually walk from one constellation to the next as thought you were moving through the house and around the grounds seeing the site as if you were actually there.

 

By clicking the title or image at the top of this entry, you will be taken to the Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site Place page in Google Maps. On the left will be the image of Eugene O’Neill’s writing desk. Further down are three smaller thumbnail images.

 

Clicking the image labeled “Street View” takes you to an exterior view of the home. Simply drag the screen in any direction to “look around.” Hovering your mouse in the image reveals arrows indicating directions of the next image. Clicking the screen  moves to the next view. Keep clicking and you will eventually enter the home where you can continue to walk around the entire first floor.

 

Clicking the  “See Inside” thumbnail takes you directly to the second story room where Eugene O’Neill wrote several of his most famous works. While on the second story you can explore the rest of the second floor. 

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

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

 

 

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13 Creepy Bits of Bookish Trivia

13 Creepy Bits of Bookish Trivia | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Get in the Halloween mood with some creepy bookish trivia.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

12 October 2015

 

Creepy Indeed! Perhaps it is no coincidence that there are 13 Creepy Bits of Bookish Trivia.

 

Though obviously Halloween inspired, you won't get past Number 2 without understanding why there is good reason to check the suitability of sharing with younger children.

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

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

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The Amazing Way Teens Are Protesting A New Dress Code Policy

The Amazing Way Teens Are Protesting A New Dress Code Policy | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it

On Sept. 23, [student Reese] Fischer wrote an Instagram post explaining the issues with the new code, and suggesting a way for students to show their opposition to it. Inspired by The Scarlet Letter, she encouraged students who were against the new code to incorporate a red "A" or the phrase "not 'A' distraction" into their outfits the next day.

GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

3 October 2015

 

An interesting predicament. Dress Code enforcement vs The Scarlet Letter.

 

To be clear, the protest at the heart of this article is NOT a protest against the school dress code but rather against the specific means by which the dress code is implemented.

 

Following the quote above, Fischer subsequently posted the following:

"The dress code is important as it promotes a comfortable and professional learning environment," Fischer wrote in a subsequent Instagram post. "However, there is nothing comfortable or professional about being told you're 'asking for it' or 'selling yourself in the wrong way' or being told your body is 'gross.'"

 

What is interesting it is a heartening to know that the protesters found "real world relevance" in The Scarlet Letter.

 

Wouldn't it be intriguing to have high school students consider  whether how one dresses is a legitimate issue of "public decency" and if so, is public humiliation an effective deterrent?

 

OR, whether how one dresses is an issue of "freedom of expression" and if so, are there good reasons to limit the kinds of clothing worn at school?

 

It's a topic that teens would have strong connections to. 

 

So, possible reasons to bookmark this article...

1. A great "into" activity prior to reading The Scarlet Letter

 

2. After reading The Scarlet Letter, have students discuss the pros and cons of Dress Codes and the reasons and ways they are enforced.

 

3. Have students select a position that they would choose to defend IF THEY were assigned an essay. Then tell them that they don't have to write the essay. They just have to write a concession paragraph demonstrating that they have given serious consideration to the best arguments put forward by those who would defend the opposite position from the one they would have defended had the essay actually been assigned.

 

 

 ~ GoogleLitTrips.org ~

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

 

 

 

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What is BookBub - BookBub

What is BookBub - BookBub | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Get free and bargain bestsellers for Kindle, Nook, and more. Sign up for free today, and start reading instantly!
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

8 September 2015

 

Was getting ready to search for Scoop-it article to celebrate International Literacy Day, and serendipity struck when I ran across the BookBub site. Great concept. They don't sell anything. They focus upon identifying various eBook sellers who are offering extreme discounts of books on a limited-time basis. Sort of a Groupon for eReaders. 

Publishers give away or drastically reduce prices hoping to introduce readers to some of their authors' works. Yes. There's an entire section dedicated to limited-time offerings for free books.

 

What I like is the initial survey of one's reading interests that is used to refine deals being offered to your general reading taste. Though at any time you can also peruse categories beyond your specified interests.

You can identify your preferred retailers from Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, and Kobo.

 

 Seems to me that any literacy/literature/history/... well any educators with access to tablets would be interested in generating a library of interesting titles. Any parents interested in making certain their kids always had the chance to read based upon engaged interests, would do well to consider setting up some parameters within which their kids could have nearly free range to build a personal library. 

 

It would certainly be easy enough for parents to buy some pre-paid cards so their kids could shop BookBub deals. 

 

And just for you teachers... They have a BookBub Blog which happens to be featuring a post named, "7 Fictional Teachers from Literature That Continue to Inspire" (http://media.bookbub.com)

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

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

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