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 https://www.GoogleLitTrips.org
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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

 

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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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13 Poetry Collections For People Who Think They Don't Like Poetry

13 Poetry Collections For People Who Think They Don't Like Poetry | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
When I was first asked to make a list of poetry collections for people who think they don't like poetry, my first thought was, "Well, isn't that just about everyone?" Not quite--I do have nearly 2,000 friends on Facebook, of whom the majori...
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

2 April 2014

It's no secret that poetry's audience is,... well,...you know, um, let's just say small. There were few teachers in my own education who managed to crack my own resistant wall to poetry; at least the poetry that they felt had to be read in the obstacle course of crossing the diploma line.

 

I'm not saying that I welcomed the opportunity to become enlightened by the, whatever it was that poetry brought to one's quality of life. Truthfully, my personal appraisal of poetry as a way to expend one's remaining minutes of existence wasn't worth listening to.

 

But immaturity and adamant ignorance, high volume buffoonery absolute confidence that popularity gained via a sort of daring, yet charming class clownishness are real variables affecting one's young judgment in many cases.

 

Poetry may have been ready for me to wake up. But, I just wasn't ready to wake up for poetry.

 

That is until  in the meanderings of my day to day obliviousness I was found myself occasionally  in the right place at the right time with a good reason to let my guard down. 

 

Do I regret my Metrophobic resistance? I don't know. There are so many roads taken and not taken; perhaps as many missed opportunities as those that were serendipitous.

 

__________

OKAY, my relationship with poetry aside, I must admit that I'm a big fan of digression ala Holden Caufield chapter 24. While writing that last paragraph, the original phrasing in the first sentence was "Do I regret my poetry-phobic resistance?" And, then I thought, "Geez, probably most people reading this are English teachers, maybe I shouldn't embarrass myself anymore than I do anyway and check to see if there actually is a fear of poetry phobia." So, off on a serendipitous digression I went. Not only is there a word, "metro phobia," but the first website I went to (http://phobias.about.com/od/phobiaslist/a/metrophobia.htm) had this to say about it in it's opening paragraph.

 

"Metrophobia, or the fear of poetry, is surprisingly common. Many people first develop this phobia in school, when overzealous teachers encourage them to rank poems according to artificial scales, break them down and search for esoteric meanings. Others simply feel that poetry is somehow “beyond” them, belonging only to the realm of the pretentious and highly educated."

 

Something to think about as we do our best to promote  Poetry month.

__________

 

And with that digression the intended trajectory of these comments shifted....

 

What if I revisited my own perceptions of my early lack of interest in poetry based upon that first paragraph about Metrophobia quoted above.Maybe, I had actually liked poetry given my fairly early enjoyment of Dr. Seuss (except for the inevitable scary pages). Maybe I found those early and risqué encounters with limericks quite interesting. Maybe it was that Pelican poem my father taught me....You know the one that goes...

 

A wonderful bird is the pelican,

His bill will hold more than his belican

He can take in his beak

Enough food for a week

But I'm damned if I see how the helican!

 

Oh it was my dad telling me a funny poem that actually used references to the words "damn" and "hell." And, it was so clever in rhyming "pelican" with "belly can" and "hell it can." 

 

Long before the phrase even existed, this brand of "out of the box thinking" captivated my imagination.

 

And maybe it was the assumption of accepted practice in teaching literary analysis, like frog dissection, was the obvious way to get kids to appreciate poetry rather than one very effective way to take the inherent wonderfulness out of poetry and kill it as dead as that frog we were dissecting in biology class.

 

But, as I look back on my own oscillating interest in poetry, there are recollections (some perhaps embarrassing others not) of key experiences that brought me out of the fog where instant rejection reigned supreme. And, the list made it very clear to me that everyone's journey to literary appreciation varies. What "did it" for me was a unique experience. The specific literary pieces that worked for me worked because of a complex interaction between the works themselves, the readiness I  had for being receptive, the influences of my own personal experiences' and perceptions of those experiences on my zone of proximal development and the artistry of those educators, friends, and real or imagined girl friends.

 

For what it's worth... among the most paradigm-altering experiences with poetry in my own journey were the following:

The Beatles' Eleanor Rigby

John Denver

Bob Dylan

Woody Guthrie

e.e.cummings

Shel Silverstein

Dr. Seuss

Joe Cocker's You are so Beautiful

"Stories and Prose Poems" by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Langston Hughes' "Harlem" (A Dream Deferred)

LeRoi Jones (I don't even remember the specific poem, but I do remember that it slammed up against the wall and made me think about things)

Gordon Parks

Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken

and even Rod McKuen

 

And, now, curiously, I find myself remembering more and more as I look for a spot to stop adding to the list. But, you can probably see what I'm seeing.

 

It was the 60's  And, I'm convinced that it was because the bridge between where I was and the poetry I"m remembering was a short bridge. I found that bridge "crossable." And, I found that in crossing that bridge, that nearby slightly longer bridges were more interesting than I'd previously thought they might be. 

 

e.e. cummings, Shel Silverstein, Dr. Seuss, limericks, and that Pelican poem my dad used to ask me if I'd ever heard every time we saw a pelican and I asked my own children every time we saw a pelican.all intrigued me in their "at the edge" of word play and out of the box thinking.

 

Bob Dylan and Arlo Guthrie led me to Woody Guthrie, Alan Lomax, and T.S.Eliot. Mark Twain's War Prayer.

 

But, the question is, "Is my particular journey from poetry-resistant to poetry-interest a prescription as in here-are-the-poems-that-got-me-so-they're-the-poems-I-should-teach?"

 

Of course not. But, they do suggest that for many, the journey to appreciation for the unappreciative might have some remarkable similarities to my journey if we find a way to begin with lyrics, and poetry, and word play, and childhood memories and experiences to which they already have a welcoming receptiveness.

 

And, what I can say is that although I am not a believer in the infallibility of data-driven decision making, I can't help but suggest that IF POETRY is worth teaching, then the data seems to be indicating that we are having a disturbingly low success rate for our efforts in promoting poetry as a welcome addition to our students' life-long reading practice.

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.com ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED, an educational nonprofit

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Olivia Sica's curator insight, October 31, 2014 11:47 AM

If you think you don't like poetry... 

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Books | The Guardian

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

24 January 2014

 

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

 

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

 

Well-worth a bookmark.

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED, an educational nonprofit

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Google Lit Trips: Celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Google Lit Trips: Celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
“But, how do you know if an ending is truly good for the characters unless you traveled
with them through every page?
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

22 January 2014

Imagine my surprise when Kristen Pavese, author of this article begins by responding to the quote  above from Shannon Hale's Midnight in Austenland with...

 

__________

"If only the character in Shannon Hale's novel had heard about Google Lit Trips, she would have known that this is in fact, possible!. Google Lit Trips is a free resource that allows readers to virtually follow the journey of literary characters via Google Earth...These pre-created trips place readers inside the story so they can see for themselves the path that characters have followed and experience the sights they have seen. Pop-up windows at each location provide the reader with different resources that stimulate higher level reading skills - discussion starters, links for further information, videos, etc. These resources bring about a fuller understanding of the text while establishing real world connections the reader can learn about for himself."

__________

 

Pavese,  then points to the Google Lit Trip for Elizabeth Partridge's "Marching for Freedom" as an example that might be quite appropriate in light of our remembrance of the life of Martin Luther King jr. 

 

__________

"The site offers a pre-created trip for "Marching for Freedom" by Elizabeth Partridge. Partridge tells the true story of the children who chose to join Dr. King on the march from Selma to Washington during the Civil Rights Movement in 1965. The trip outlines the 5 day march, giving students a visualization of the path the participants took, where they stopped, and what happened on each day. The pop-ups provide videos that make students feel as if they went on the march themselves – including speeches by MLK and LBJ, as well as a video of the actual marching. Among other things, the pop-ups also include links to documents that will give the readers background information (like the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and MLK’s principles of non-violence), discussion questions, and notes from the author."

__________

 

I must say that when Elizabeth Partridge contacted me to suggest that perhaps the book she was about to publish might make a good Lit Trip, I was stunned to say the least. An actual author contacting me?? Wow! The Google Lit Trips project had reached beyond any expectations I'd ever had for the project.

 

And, in collaborating with Elizabeth in the months before the publication of her book, the entire title being, Marching For Freedom: Walk Together Children, and Don't You Grow Weary," I found myself up close and personal with a portion of the Civil Rights story that I had not been deeply aware of although I had been convinced that I had known quite a bit about Civil Rights Movement. 

 

When we stumbled across actual video clips of the march posted on YouTube, I was more than intrigued by the mysterious description of the footage reading...

 

__________

"A powerful and recently rediscovered film made during the 1965 Selma to Montgomery march for voting rights. Stefan Sharff's intimate documentary reflects his youthful work in the montage style under the great Russian filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein. The film features moving spirituals. Marchers include Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife Coretta Scott King."

__________

 

It was nearly impossible for me to believe that in 2009 there was film to be "rediscovered." And then I noticed that the footage had been posted by "YouTube user: BTSharf, the son of the film's director.and one of the film's cameramen. 

 

I contacted  Mr. Sharf: in pursuit of permission to include the footage in the Marching for Freedom Lit Trip. I received this reply...

 

__________

"Re: requesting permission to use videos 09/08/09

You certainly have permission to embed this video. We would appreciate it. This is a document that should be seen, the more traffic the better.

Send me a link.

Billy "

__________

 

As we continued to work on the Marching for Freedom Lit Trip, being able to take the journey of the march and learning more about the "back story" than I had managed to gather even in my own fairly deep following of the actual events in the news, magazines, and television reports at the time of the march, and at the same time learning much more about the Elizabeth Partridge's back story personal journey in researching the "stories behind the story" of the march, it became clearer than ever that creating learning experiences that somehow virtualize the experience of traveling alongside the characters and people in their own life journeys had a way of personalizing the learning  experience that is much more engaging and therefore much more informative than can be acheived when the "story" is reduced to the pages alloted for such historically momentous events in history books, or in newscasts, and magazine articles. 

 

There is a kind of access to the truth of the "character of the characters"  as well as the "character of the people" if we are able to "travel with them" as author Shannon Hale points out in the quote from her book used by Pavese as a starting point for her article.

 

And I realized that whether one is reading fiction, historical fiction or non-fiction, there is a bringing together in the same space of the reader and the events portrayed, that is essentially a virtual travel along. And, this engagement makes it possible to not only "know" the events, but to actually "feel" the events, to empathize with the conditions and motivations and dilemmas of choice faced by the characters and people as if we were there walking right along side them.

 

When Elizabeth and I reached the end of the development of the Marching for Freedom Lit Trip, where we took the reader to "virtually witness" the incredible speech given by Martin Luther King Jr. at the Alabama State Capitol,  only one block beyond Martin Luther King's Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, we found a video clip from that lesser known, speech, but perhaps at least as eloquent, as the "I Have a Dream" speech.

 

Martin Luther King Jr, did not actually name his speeches, but this one is sometimes known as the "How Long? Not Long!" speech. As we brought readers through Elizabeth's retelling of the story while taking them on the long march both in text and in the virtual reality of Google Earth, the video clip is viewed within the context of having "virtually marched alongside" the marchers after multiple failed attempts to begin, having "virtually been there with the marchers" as they were beaten on one attempt to cross the imfamous Pettus Bridge, having marched in peace as helicopters buzzed above and various "law enforecement troops "protected and intimidated" the marchers, having faced the possible dangers ahead as they passed through some of the most notoriously violent and racist areas along the way,  having walked past the actual church where Martin Luther King jr was and had been the pastor for 20 years, in a sense having reached the end of the march "virtually exhausted" yet proud of surviving the intimidation and fears, and challenges of the march as though we had been there, it became clear that we were experiencing that speech from within a very different context than when we only read the speech from within the context of the very few pages devoted to the entire Civil Rights Movement in history books or the few days devoted to the entire Civil Rights Movement  in history classroom lectures and discussions where hundreds of years of history must be taught and learned in the matter of one or two semesters,, or from within the context of our livingrooms watching three-minute annual newscasts including only the briefest of video excerpts of original coverage of the entire Civil Rights Movement on Martin Luther King Day or from within the context of the recognition that preparing for the all important "test  on Chapter ____" in the history text is too often perceived as being the primary value of the brief encounter with importance of information about the Civil Rights Movement.

 

I can't help but also mention that building a Lit Trip is a journey in itself. As Elizabeth and I worked on the "Marching for Freedom" Lit Trip, she shared her behind the scenes stories that she discovered on her research journey that took her to places between and beyond Selma and Montgomery as she interviewed many of the actual participants to discover their individual and shared back stories. In sharing those with me and with her readers, I was not only reminded of my clear recollection of the events as I knew them, but I also learned how little I really knew about a subject I thought I'd paid particularly close attention to at the time. 

 

Ironically, though President Johnson's greatest legacy may have been his signing of the Civil Rights Bill Act of 1964, I had not seen anything beyond the sound bites of his incredible speech at the time. I realized after seeing that entire speech, that my opinion of President Johnson had been based too heavily upon my concerns that he "was no Jack Kennedy, that he was a hardball politician who appeared to be quite at ease employing tactics I perceived as having questionable ethics as well as questionable motives in order to get what he wanted, and that he was unable or perhaps less interested in resolving the Vietnam war conflict that he had inherited from multiple previous presidents;  an earily familiar sounding predicament today.

 

And while working with Elizabeth and discovering President Johnson's speech in its entirety, I came to realize that in my youth I had not allowed these very negative perceptions of President Johnson to be tempered at least a bit by the side he showed in the Civil Rights work he helped bring to fruition.

 

In discovering the entire version of his speech online, I came to realize that as a president from the south where remnants of the influence of pro-segregationist Dixicrat party still held signficant sway in the Democratic party, Johnson's speech represented not just a expression of Democratic support for the Civil Rights Movement, but also an act of extreme political and personal courage.

 

In conclusion, Shannon Hale, speaking no doubt of other matters, nailed a truth about "knowing." We can not know the truth about characters and the universal truths they represent about humanity in the "real world" until we travel with them through their journeys, at least as much as we can in the course of becoming aware of what it is to become not merely human beings but also humane beings. And, in the case of the Civil Rights Movement as well as perhaps all human activity, it is equaly important walk in the shoes of others through both fictionand nonfiction in order to discover what the forces are behind those who become inhumane beings.

 

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.com ~

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

 

 

 

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Sunflower Foundation's curator insight, January 22, 2014 8:07 PM

How great it this. I think being able to follow characters on their journey would be awesome. But I love fantasy, so unless the author provides maps I guess I am still stuck.