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Encouraging Analytical Reading and Writing Through Narrative

Use Ted Talks and the NPR “This I believe…” website to illustrate the power of transmedia narrative and encourage analytical reading and writing in the classroom.

Allison DeVaney

on 6 February 2013

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Transcript of Encouraging Analytical Reading and Writing Through Narrative

The Power of Transmedia Narrative to Encourage Rhetorical Reading and Writing Stories are like an intricately woven tapestry stitching together what we learn, how we learn it, and how we live. If we view reading and writing as a dialogue, then it is crucial we invite students to explore a range of media to both encounter other narratives and share their own.

Students must first be able to visualize how their ideas can be applied in a broader context in order to generate a rhetorical understanding of a learned concept. Modeling a Powerful Narrative Storyteller and educator Awele Makeba combines performing arts and history to tell a powerful story from the American civil rights movement for Ted Talks (http://www.ted.com/talks) Edward Murrow's
Introduction to the Original This I Believe
http://thisibelieve.org/essay/16844/ Connecting the Narrative across Media Platforms
This I believe.....
http://thisibelieve.org/ Rhetorical Reading Questions (i.e. What students should be asking themselves before, during and after the reading process.) Who is Edward Murrow?
Why do you think he launched the This I Believe radio show?
What is Murrow's message?
Who is Murrow's audience?
How is the timing of the essay's publication relevant to the issues discussed in the article?
How are the issues Murrow faces in the 1950's similar to those we face today? Synthesizing the Information to
Create A Deeper Understanding Next, we will deepen our engagement with the narrative by writing our own "This I Believe" narrative. Our narrative will help provide a springboard for students to share their ideas about their core beliefs. Your overarching question is: "What are my core beliefs?"

Think about your creed or system of beliefs, opinions, and principles. What core values guide you in your daily life? What kind of change would you like to see at home, school, in the workplace, and in your community? A classroom built on problem-posing and inquiry invites students to question themselves, each other, and the world around them. As a result, students are empowered to view their education and world through a critical lens and not just “fit in” and accept their world as it is, but learn to take action and become part of a more global conversation. Immersing Students in Narrative Skim Murrow's essay and look for repeated words and phrases. Next, listen to the author’s unique voice in the actual broadcast. What experiences have shaped his life? How does he respond physically or emotionally to these experiences? Keep in mind; this essay was originally broadcast in 1951. Is this apparent in his language? Is his topic relevant? What is his point? Why did he write this essay? What is his message? Narrative provides a springboard to share our ideas and lives. When readers analyze text rhetorically, they look at what an author is communicating, the purpose of their communication and engage in a dialogue between the author and themselves providing important insights about how language works across many contexts.

Narrative then becomes a tool to build the metacognitive awareness necessary to critically analyze text and discover our own personal truth by interacting with other individuals within a discourse community. I keep the video I produced in the resource section of my course website for students to view throughout the school year along with an example of my own "This I Believe" essay as a model for students.

Let's make a video!

Please go to: http://animoto.com/

Click on: Sign up free

Next go to: Do you have a promo code and put in the code -- Continuing the Narrative
Using Animoto What teaching theories guide your practice? What is pedagogically important to you? If stories are our legacy, what do you want your legacy to communicate? When students look back at their time in your classroom, what do you want them to remember?

Begin your narrative with, "This I believe......

Think about your teaching philosophy. Is your classroom a more student-centered, democratic forum? Do you teach along with your students treating them like partners? Are you flexible in your teaching approach? Do you take risks when working with students and embrace new instructional approaches?


Does a more teacher led or directive approach work better for you? Do you view yourself as more of a facilitator or leader in the classroom? Are you a teacher who focuses more on disseminating information and less on student generated knowledge? Or do you toggle between a teacher-centered and a student-facilitated classroom? Building Your Narrative Being able to see one’s own text and the texts of others as discourse acts – rather than bodies of facts and information – is desirable, useful, and important for reading and writing of all kinds.” Haas & Flower The Act of Reading and Writing When looking at the reading process, it is important to consider how meaning is constructed from the text. I see reading as a process much like writing. It is a messy, recursive endeavor where understanding comes from connecting information we are processing by tapping into prior knowledge, our personal beliefs, and life experiences.

When we read rhetorically, we make predictions and establish a reading purpose which encourages us to step in closer and share someone else’s ideas and perspective. Rhetorical readers view reading as a dialogue between themselves and the author. They question who the author is, the meaning and purpose of the text, the audience, and how the language is used to influence us. The Finished Product What is the gist of Makeba's

What does Makeba mean when she says, "It is my hope to find my best possible self in the service of others."

How can you share Makeba's message with your students?

Take a moment and jot down a few notes. Engaged Pedagogy
Weebly: Student Animoto videos and Narratives can be found at:

http://english84onlinedevaney.weebly.com/ http://ed.ted.com/on/p8MZ5OMO Transmedia narrative guides readers along a single storyline using multiple media platforms. The platform can be any media: websites, video, lyrics, puzzles, games, illustrations, social media, and apps.

These platforms become similar to the holodeck from the show Star Trek by transporting us to a highly participatory environment where we are not only immersed in the narrative, but we are also producing and adding text to the story. Transmedia: What it is and Why it is a Powerful Vehicle for Narrative Frank Rose, journalist and contributing editor at Wired magazine, in his book, The Art of Immersion illustrates how conventional narratives in books, movies and TV shows do not place us at the center of the action. However, fusing narrative with alternate reality or gaming experiences combining the emotional impact of stories with the first-person involvement of games “create an extremely powerful experience” (15). The use of transmedia platforms can effectively provide a deep, multilayered experience acting as a powerful literacy tool when audiences come together to participate in both telling and re-telling the narrative. Moreover, the generative power of storytelling deepens our critical thinking and writing processes producing a more rhetorical reader and writer.
Who are Awele Makeba and Edward Murrow? Why might we want to listen to their narratives? Are they credible/authentic sources?

How can you connect Makeba's and Murrow's narrative?

Do they share similar stories?
How are their stories different?

How do the authors' use language to compel their audience?

Stories whether written or spoken are always recounted within a context of what has happened in the past or what will happen afterward. What conversation(s) are these narratives joining? Immersing the Narrative Rose focuses on the marketing aspect of using transmedia platforms to immerse readers in a narrative, I am more interested in the literacy connections readers and writers make when they are synthesizing information and evaluating learned concepts across a narrative thread.

Here is a visual definition of transmedia VOICE THREAD: Engaged Pedagogy
http://voicethread.com/share/3276927/ Web 2.0 Resources http://ed.ted.com/
http://www.voicethread.com/ Audience investment and collaboration shapes the transmedia narrative telling the story along several media platforms. The various platforms invite multiple opportunities to interact and engage with the text. From this interaction an emergent narrative grows, creating a new story, one that we did not anticipate.

Everyone’s storytelling path is different because our schema or background knowledge is wide and varied. Therefore, how we respond to what we are reading can change the trajectory of the narrative as it develops across several platforms. A transmedia narrative brings together the excitement of an interactive game with rich story lines and coaxes participants to analyze text across several communication mediums.

Together, we will take a transmedia journey and when we reach our destination, we will have a narrative to share with our students.

Are you ready? Why use transmedia narrative? Glogster: Multimedia (Interactive) Poster
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