Was: a defense, of sorts, of HP, now plot and student reactions

jstallcup at juno.com jstallcup at juno.com
Sun Feb 22 23:29:41 EST 2004


Robyn said:  > I tend to take a different approach to the same problem; I
deliberately start with stories that have little in the way of plot.
(E.g. "Araby" -- boy has crush on girl and ends up not doing anything
about it.) In this case, here we are with 75 minutes to fill and plot has
taken 2 of those minutes, so  they have to find something else to talk
about.
> 

Funny!  Much the same thing happens with picture books.  In fact, my
favorite moment that usually happens in the first week of class:

Jackie:  Blah, blah blah... You will be writing journal entries of two
pages per book.  blah blah blah
Student, now scared, raises hand tentatively: But... how can we write TWO
WHOLE PAGES about a picture book?

I mean, I can see it from their point of view:  the plot would take just
about two sentences to tell for most of the books we look at, and "what
else is there to talk about?" they wonder.  But, I tell them, when I'm
done with you, you will be able to write TWO WHOLE PAGES--and more--about
a single page in a picture book!  

Caught up in a fit of hyperbole one day, I told a class that I could talk
for 20 minutes just about the title page of Rosie's Walk.  Of course,
they challenged me to do it--and I think I managed it--or at least, I
talked long enough to make them beg me to move on to the actual story!  I
discovered lots of things about that page that I hadn't realized before. 
it was fun.

Actually, a bigger problem for my students is convincing them that plot
summary is not plot analysis.  

No ObDJW that I can think of, sadly...

Jackie
--
To unsubscribe, email dwj-request at suberic.net with the body "unsubscribe".
Visit the archives at http://suberic.net/dwj/list/



More information about the Dwj mailing list