Hello, friends! Oh, how we have missed you!
Allison and I are still in the midst of finishing our new book on teaching analytical writing, but we couldn’t resist a quick check-in with you to share some of what we have been up to!
Yesterday we had the great fun of doing an hour of virtual professional development via Google Hangout with a department of teachers from Farmington High School who are searching for better, deeper, more meaningful ways to engage their students in writing literary analysis.
We all know that traditional, academic literary analysis — the kind of 5-paragraph themes you and I wrote in high school — don’t really work. Students hate writing them. We hate reading them. At best, students have successfully followed a formula that has allowed them to regurgitate what they have heard and discussed in class. At worst, students limp through the motions, inserting ideas pilfered from Spark Notes and badly-written Internet essays.
So, that doesn’t work. What does?
As in all writing, students’ process and writing products must be authentic if we are going to get buy in and engagement. Here are just three reasons that the literary analysis writing we teach and students create must be authentic: Continue reading