After reading Ellen Hopkins poem "Manifesto," we freewrote focusing on certain themes. I choose to focus on religion. Hopkins wrote this poem after a middle school canceled her talk about her books which describe her daughter's addiction to crystal meth.
I like that Hopkins says "the father who opens his arms to all." Much of the book banning is done by religious groups who think the message is corrupt. But I think writing is a gift given by God. If He didn't want us to share it, he wouldn't have given us the ability. We can often learn so much more from the "bad" stories than the "good." Ignoring the problems and differences won't make them go away, like Hopkins says. It's better in my opinion for children to experience things in books.
Given key words of a story, we were told to write a short story containing all the phrases given. (I did not have time to include them all.)
It was 6:00 am and I didn't want to get up. I blindly hit my alarm clock, hoping to somehow press the snooze button. I snoozed for 15 minutes, but it felt like 15 seconds. I climbed out of bed and hurried into the shower.
Questions about the short story "The Monkey Garden" based on the title.
Are the characters monkeys?
Is it a garden full of monkeys?
Maybe the monkeys tend the garden.
Fantasy or realistic fiction?
After reading, we were asked to freewrite again.
The narrator and her friends create a fantasy world out of the overgrown garden. The descriptions of it made me think of Alice in Wonderland. The narrator shows she is stuck in childhood when she cannot cope with Sally kissing the boys.
Today in class we discussed inquiry based learning from chapter one of Jeffery Wilhelm's book Engaging Readers and Writers with Inquiry. Jen Brady gave a lesson over the chapter in which we read the poem "Pink" by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater. The poem asks what would happen if people changed colors based on their food. We freewrote about this question in class.
I think we that we would be the colors of grains because a lot of people (in the US at least) eat a lot of carbs. I wonder if we would be able to tell where people are from by their color. Would we stay the color of what we ate most or change throughout the day? Would kids be different from adults because they tend to eat more junk food? What about foods that are more than one color? Would becoming food-colored eliminate discrimination based on race?
On Wednesday, my classmate Brie Emerson presented a lesson on critical questions, which were described in chapter one of Jim Burke's book, What's the Big Idea. To get us thinking of critical questions, Brie gave each of us a six word story and asked us to freewrite about it.
"Please, this is everything, I swear." Orson Scott Card
This has a desperate, pleading note. I can imagine someone saying this to a robber or perhaps a lover who thinks he/she is not giving enough. I imagine the scene in "Batman Begins" when Bruce Wayne's parents are killed. The person is obviously trying to protect themself and/or others. Would this story more likely be about robbery or a bad relationship? Robbery would make more sense, but relationship would be interesting too. (Short story prompt?) Who is the speaker trying to protect? What, if anything, do they gain by begging? What does "everything" refer to?
For this freewriting, we were asked to reflect on some aspect in the whole process of drawing, writing, and posting our deep maps to Blackboard. I chose to write about posting my deep map to Blackboard so my classmates could comment on it.
Even though I haven't had very much difficultly with Blackboard, I didn't like posting the deep map online. The last time I checked, I didn't receive any comments from classmates on mine, which is a problem we talked about during class. I feel online is too impersonal. I get more out of editing face-to-face. Also, we didn't have a chance to edit our papers after receiving comments. It's hard to key in on specific things online as well. Since you can't write on the physical paper, you have to quote or generalize. I just feel it's more trouble than it's worth. People don't try as hard online I think. They are not forced to confront the paper head on so they say useless things like "it was great!" instead of actually helping.
These are my thoughts on my Deep Map assignment. Please follow this link to view that project.
Circle--Students are connected to me. Interests--books, Harry Potter, Doctor Who, Lord of the Rings, so on. Help me have something in common with students. Writing, creativity. Very verbal person--writing is great outlet for my creativity. Home. StL area. Made me who I am. Family is very important. Grandpa first to support me in teaching. Heart--very caring emotional person. Always wanted to do something to help people. Harry Potter started it all. Fanfiction. Love of reading. Always have a book. Fantasy, sci fy, romance--FICTION.
This section of my Discovery Notebook is dedicated to the freewriting assignments Dr. English has us write in class. Often, they will be reflections of what we have covered during the week in class. Please keep in mind that because this is freewriting, my thoughts may be incomplete and/or scattered.