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A View of Reading–As Theater

This morning’s NPR piece on Gatz caught my attention, more because of its look at the reading experience than because I crave more exposure to The Great Gatsby.  I’m so intrigued by the idea of the actor reading the book onstage and the characters developing out of his reading!  It sounds like a performance version of what goes on inside a good reader’s head.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about reading in relation to my Junior American Lit classes.  We’ve been focusing on the development of the short story genre in the context of American Romanticism.  I handed out a couple of Romantic short stories, and we stepped through them as a class.  Now the students get to choose (individually) one more story to read.  They’re using etexts, which gives the option of laptop, Kindle, Nook, i-Pad, or paper formats.  I’m taking this chance to try reading moderate length texts on my i-Pad. 

Because annotation is a requirement, most students are using paper–at least this time.  It’s a new year, though, and they’re anxious about grades and the famed “Junior Year Workload.”  Moreover, I’m still new to them, and they need some time to get comfortable with my style, expectations, etc.  I’m already changing up the assessment for this unit; it won’t be an individual essay, but a collective wiki project.  Perhaps a little later in the year will be a better time to experiment with digital texts.  It’s hard for me to imagine that there will be many paper books in these students’ futures, and I want them to leave high school  feeling like participants, not bystanders, in the revolution!

All of that aside, I’m dying to see Gatz!  Wonder if Thanksgiving weekend would be possible?  It seems selfish to take that much time away from family activities, but how could I see it any other time?

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Bobbie
    October 5, 2010 at 11:08 am

    I’m already changing up the assessment for this unit; it won’t be an individual essay, but a collective wiki project.

    Is there a rubric for this project? I want to think about how we are “really” using technology before I attend the World View Conference. Maybe you could show me the class moodle site so I can envision how this wiki works!~

    Is there the possibility of going to NYC on a Sunday, catching the 2pm show of Gatz and departing late the same day? That would be memorable and exhausting.

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