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In Search of the Novel:Teacher-TalkNovel

Subject: Re: Frankenstein--for what ability & Avoiding Plagiarism

From: Julie Hoffman (hoffmanj@basd.k12.pa.us)
Date: Tue Mar 28 2000 - 09:30:22 EST


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on 3/24/00 10:09 AM, gcor at gcor@jersey.net wrote:

>
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> This is a good question. I, too, am interested in this DRP reading
> index, and how it is determined. When I taught Frankenstein last
> semester to students that have minimal experience with reading, I
> noticed the number of archaic words in the text. I made lists of these
> words from each chapter, the students made lists of words, too, that
> they found difficult to understand, and defined them, and then created
> voacabulary collages to begin to show what they had learned about words
> and their connections to images today. They explained the collages to
> other class members.
>
> Aside from the vocabulary, the students had difficulty understanding the
> shifting point of view of the story. Remember now these students in
> their first year at college had little exposure to reading classics in
> high school and theygenerally dislike reading for pleasure. I remember
> the day we discussed how the story started to be told by the Creature
> rather than by Frankenstein. Students could not believe that a novel
> could shift perspective; also, they held a strong media image of the
> monster and the name Frankenstein, so it was difficult for them to break
> this connection. Also, studdents told me that they had never read a
> story for symbolic meaning. These students had not taken AP courses in
> high school and had minimal exposure to reading a book closely by asking
> questions about its author's life, by connecting questions about life to
> the events in the plot, or by beginningto question the historical
> context for the book.
>
> I think this book could provide a fantastic framework for an
> interdisciplinary class of history, political science, philosophy,
> science, and literature. The book is complicated but very exciting.
>
> To avoid plagiarism, I had them engage in a six week "I-Search" paper
> project related to the novel, they completed study-guide questions that
> I created, they designed vocabulary collages for words that they
> identified as hard to understand, they completed questions that they
> answered in realtion to the inquiry that they were following. At the
> end of thie six weeks, students discussed what they learned through this
> process of asking a question about the novel.
>
> Truly,
> Gail
>
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>
> Dr. Gail S. Corso
> Associate Professor of Communication Arts
> Coordinator of Writing
> Neumann College
> Aston, PA 19014-1298
>
> gcorso@neumann.edu
> 610-558-5515
>
> Julia Shugert wrote:
>
>> How do you determine DRP (Degrees of Reading Power)?
>
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> This is a good question. I, too, am interested in this DRP reading index,
> and how it is determined.&nbsp;&nbsp; When I taught <i>Frankenstein</i>
> last semester to students that have minimal experience with reading, I
> noticed the number of archaic words in the text.&nbsp;&nbsp; I made lists
> of these words from each chapter, the students made lists of words, too,&nbsp;
> that they found difficult to understand, and defined them, and then created
> voacabulary collages to begin to show what they had learned about words
> and their connections to images today.&nbsp; They explained the collages
> to other class members.
> <p>Aside from the vocabulary, the students had difficulty understanding
> the shifting point of view of the story. Remember now these students in
> their first year at college had little exposure to reading classics in
> high school and theygenerally dislike reading for pleasure.&nbsp;&nbsp;
> I remember the day we discussed how the story started to be told by the
> Creature rather than by Frankenstein.&nbsp; Students could not believe
> that a novel could shift perspective; also, they held a strong media image
> of the monster and the name Frankenstein, so it was difficult for them
> to break this connection.&nbsp; Also, studdents told me that they had never
> read a story for symbolic meaning.&nbsp; These students had not taken AP
> courses in high school and had minimal exposure to reading a book closely
> by asking questions about its author's life, by connecting questions about
> life to the events in the plot, or by beginningto question the historical
> context for the book.
> <p>I think this book could provide a fantastic framework for an
> interdisciplinary
> class of history, political science, philosophy, science, and
> literature.&nbsp;
> The book is complicated but very exciting.
> <p>To avoid plagiarism, I had them engage in a six week "I-Search" paper
> project related to the novel, they completed study-guide questions that
> I created, they designed vocabulary collages for words that they identified
> as hard to understand, they completed questions that they answered in realtion
> to the inquiry that they were following.&nbsp; At the end of thie six weeks,
> students discussed what they learned through this process of asking a question
> about the novel.
> <p>Truly,
> <br>Gail
> <p>~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> <p>Dr. Gail S. Corso
> <br>Associate Professor of Communication Arts
> <br>Coordinator of Writing
> <br>Neumann College
> <br>Aston, PA 19014-1298
> <p>gcorso@neumann.edu
> <br>610-558-5515
> <p>Julia Shugert wrote:
> <blockquote TYPE=CITE>How do you determine DRP (Degrees of Reading
> Power)?</blockquote>
> </html>
>
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>
Gail,
What good ideas for lower level performers. I, too, work with this level of
student but at a much younger age (high school sophomores). Your techniques
could be applied to the novels that I have my students read. Most of my
students are not readers but they are very interested in ideas and
discussion. We have become detectives searching for evidence to support our
opinions. We have used tiny post-it notes to mark places in the text they
want to remember. This helps them "bond" with the text and gets them into
the habit of actually having supporting information to present along with an
opinion. The students have had great discussions using this technique and
have "caught" me when I present information that may be incorrect.

Julie Hoffman


 

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