11/17 Book Talks & Calendars

Today I’ll give you your new calendar (from now until Winter Break). You’ll see that we’re kind of inserting our memoir unit before we watch our School Stories film just because of the book schedule. Weird, but workable.

So far this year, we’ve been working on our First Four Critical Reading Skills:

  1. Reading for Detail
  2. Reading for Symbol
  3. Reading for Memory
  4. Reading for Pattern

While reading memoir, we’re going to add a new critical reading skill: Reading Like a Writer.

In a nutshell, this means that we’re reading memoir and memoir excerpts to learn HOW to write memoir (which will be your Task 3).

To help you get a sense of what Reading like a Writer means, I’ve given you two short readings:

  • An essay called Straight Through the Heart by Dean Bakopoulos, the author of My American Unhappiness
  • A chapter (the first chapter “Close Reading”) from Francine Prose’s  Reading Like a Writer

Please read these two short pieces for tomorrow. In your lab book, respond to this prompt:

According to these writers, what does it mean to “read like a writer?” What are the characteristics of reading like a writer? How does our reading change or morph when we approach a text as a writer rather than simply as a reader?

And what do you think about reading this way? Do you expect it will be comfortable or uncomfortable? Is there anything particularly attractive about it or anything particularly intimidating about it?



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