Next up is the Roxanne French.
The Graphic Map: Analyzing Literature & Writing Off the Page
She uses the Graphic Map to help students break out of standard academic reading and writing. She’s going to talk about a lesson she does during the second week of school. She begins by having us close our eyes and listen while she reads from Jane Eyre, a book she stole from her older sister back when Roxanne was a young child. Who doesn’t love being read to? She talks about how she had to push herself to read the complex material. “This is real reading,” she says. Now, what do we remember about our own experiences falling in love with books for the first time?
Quickwrite1: What book turned the corner for me? Brainstorm the titles.
That is really the be all / end all for me. Infinite Jest as ur-text. This is not news for anyone who knows me. It’s all I talked about for a good, I don’t know, five years or so.
We then talk about our first books. This is awesome. I love hearing people’s book titles and their explanations.
Quickwrite2: Why was the book special?
Infinite Jest opened me up to a universe that I thought mirrored my own. The characters in the book suffered from the same problems I suffered from. They described things in the way I wish I describe them – the way I describe them in my head when no one is listening. It spoke to me about issues that would become the defining topics of my life: addiction, depression, entertainment, empathy, survival, existence. David Foster Wallace also single-handedly convinced me to love literature. I finally participated in the transformational process that reading can be. Realizing that I wasn’t alone.
The A.P. Graphic Map
-interprets a favorite book
-multi-media or multi-modal format
-visual 2/3 dimensional m ap
-uses colors, symbols, and words
-creates a unified statement
-helps students to synthesize and organize details
She shows off some of the amazing graphic map assignments made by her students.
She discusses being an artist with preternatural talent vs. being a maker, using found objects. What we have here is an impressive assessment of a student’s ability to connect with and analyze a book in a creative format. What is important in this book? What are the elements? Plot? Symbols? Motif? Use them with themes, historical eras, book protagonists/antagonists. Extensions galore!