Some ideas for 1101 assignments….

This is all very preliminary and stream of consciousness in a way:

For the Rhetorical/Genre Analysis unit, I think I might approach this differently than I did this time for 1121. One possibility would be to have a overarching topic/theme/problem/issue and from there, choose several different genres to read and respond to that all incorporate this topic/theme (I did of course do some of this now/with my 1121 class…). Students would be asked to consider how different genres discuss and present the theme/topic, etc. Through this comparative lens, students would learn about the various rhetorical strategies and the basic terms and concepts that are integral to rhetoric/the rhetorical situation. For example: one might choose the topic of technology’s impact on our lives and then several different genres that somehow address this concern—a dystopian short story, an article from a newspaper, a guidebook about a particular type of technology/device, a researched essay about technology, interview with a scholar of/in tech, etc.

Another idea: emerging from the literacy narratives/literacy unit, students could be asked to think about how reading is impacted when we are asked to read different genres or read in different genres. So, the goal here might be to think about different ways of reading, reflecting on reading, thinking about strategies, connections between reading and writing, and using work with a variety of genres to think about/discuss/explore these questions. This link between the literacy unit and genre analysis unit would allow the class to explore how different types of texts/genres/languages ask us to use or “require” different kinds of reading….This might also be a way to consider discourse and discourse communities—what kind of knowledge, background might a reader have to have to read certain texts for example—this might be a useful question too for students’ reading practices—what kinds of knowledge might they want to form, what kinds of questions might they need to ask when encountering certain types of texts….

For the genre project:

Students could choose a theme/topic/problem that they would like to research and then compare how several different genres explore or address the topic. They might be asked to consider the kinds of solutions to issues or conflicts that certain genres offer. Students can also choose one (or more) genre to model staying focused on this theme/problem/topic—ie–they can come up with an argument about the theme/topic and express their own ideas through one or more genres that they would like to model. This would thus involve analysis and research.

Another option would be to simply have each student choose a genre that they are most interested in. This can stem from discussions of discourse communities or from their own individual experiences/communities that they are a part of/identify with, etc. Students can research the origin of the genre, its significance, one or more individuals associated with the genre, the message/content, style, etc. Then as a second step, students can be asked to model the genre. If 1101 is more focused on the self rather than community (I know that that had been mentioned), they could even be asked to write about themselves or their own experiences in the model text. It might be interesting to see how using a genre of one’s choice can be a way to explore one’s own identity, tying the project to this (potential) focus on the self….

2 thoughts on “Some ideas for 1101 assignments….

  1. Carrie Hall

    I love the idea of having students reflect upon how they read differently in different genres. One of the things about reading instruction/ learning to read is that, of course, there is no ONE way to read. I had to tell my students the other day that they read all the time, on their phones– articles on Buzzfeed. They said, “that counts?’ I said, “that counts.”

  2. Jackie Blain

    I almost forgot about this activity I used to do, which plays off what you and Carrie are saying about students reflecting on how they read in different situations. I have them create a grid, with three columns: what, where, how. Then they fill it in with whatever they like, and then we share. I’ve had “text book, in the cafeteria because it’s so loud I can’t go to sleep, very slowly!” Sort of like Clue. My favorite was “romance novel, in the bathtub after my kids are asleep, deeply and with candles.” Thanks for reminding me, Leigh!

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