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Copy of ELE 301 Discussion of Reading: Harbinger Hall

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Danielle Reilly

on 27 March 2013

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Transcript of Copy of ELE 301 Discussion of Reading: Harbinger Hall

What does it take to
be a great and
effective teacher? We want to create a love of learning and knowledge in our students, regardless of their talents or abilities (remember, Bobby was not the smartest student or most enthusiastic learner in school before he met Mr. D’Arcy). As teachers, we also need to remember that making learning come alive for our students is essential, so that they really feel and experience their learning in a way that makes an impact on them for life. Group 1: By allowing Bobby to pick the figurines in the story based on the traits Mr. D’Arcy told him they had to match, he is using the technique of putting Bobby in charge of aspects of his own learning and giving him a choice. What do you think of the effectiveness of the strategy? How could you use this strategy in your own classroom?

Group 2: “Mr. D’Arcy took a long breath, stood erect, and puffed his cheeks, blowing out a series of signs and looking over the length of the map as if he were staring out across the great expanse of Russia herself. Bobby flew first the broken body of Chimp to Sweden, then those of the three old uncles, one at a time, full ceremony each; and then each of the others. He huddled the remaining family—mostly women and children—behind the Young Count, pictured the great wooden dacha doors closing behind them, imagining the shouts, the tears, the triumph of the women upstairs muted instantly by the tragedy they’d been unable to ward off and had only curtailed" (pg. 8). This passage highlights Bobby’s vivid imagination, and how these imagining and visualizing techniques are helping him to learn and follow what Mr. D’Arcy is saying. How effective do you think this strategy is, and would you use it in your classroom?

Group 3: Bobby is also very hands-on, flying the dead to their cemetery in Sweden. Do you think doing hands-on activities in the classroom helps to keep students engaged and helps them to learn better and more thoroughly? Group 1: “To Sweden with her! Around Petrograd, Bobby could see rivers of blood, smoke pouring from dachas, flames enveloping the finest houses in town, women carried off, gentle milk cows slaughtered by starving roamers!” (pg. 10). In this passage, Bobby starts to see things that Mr. D’Arcy hasn’t even explicitly mentioned, but he is visualizing and imagining this based on what Mr. D’Arcy has already told him. How is this passage a representation of how we as teachers want our students to start thinking in terms of student-based education?

Group 2: D’Arcy asks Bobby what he would do in this situation, which represents the strategy of imagining once again. D’Arcy keeps asking him questions, really pressing him to continue to question himself. How could you implement a similar questioning strategy in order to enhance and strengthen student learning?

Group 3: “Yes,” Bobby said. “But the worst of it comes well after World War One begins!” His father and mother looked at him for a long time, as proud as pizza pie. Their faces said it all: Bobby was finally taking an interest” (pg. 11). Bobby’s parents are ecstatic because Bobby is finally beginning to show interest in school, and knows much about what he is studying. How do you view the teacher's role and responsibility of helping students find their passion and take an interest in learning? What This Article Shows Us As Future Teachers A teacher has the potential to create interest in a student's mind, which can develop into a love of acquiring all knowledge, a successful career, and successful relationships based on knowledge. This shows that traditional schooling is not always best for everyone. Sometimes students learn best through alternative ways of teaching: storytelling and learning in a way that is more like experiencing. Harbinger Hall Discussion of Reading Bobby has a very active imagination in this story.

Even though this story takes place in the 1960s, do you think that with new technologies this level of imagination and desire for exploration is being replaced by the virtual worlds of video games and tv shows, leaving them without the real-world experience or child-like imagination games that we enjoyed as children?

Do you believe this change is beneficial or harmful to students? What is a "harbinger"? "A person or thing that announces or signals the approach of another; a forerunner of something." - New Oxford American Dictionary How does this definition reflect the content within and meaning behind this short story? Think/"Group"/Share Group 1: Bobby is intrigued by the secret room of maps and his knowledge of Russia and war. How can we as teachers do what Mr. D’Arcy did by taking advantage of Bobby’s curiosity and interests to teach important lessons about things that are students already like?

Group 2: Mr. D’Arcy uses another important teaching technique to increase Bobby’s curiosity and to make him more involved in the activity: he puts him in the perspective of another person (a Russian czarist). Do you think lessons in which students get to act like and/or be asked to consider events from a different perspective from their own is beneficial to students?

Group 3: “We live here, in Saint Petersburg” Mr. D’Arcy walked around to Bobby’s side of the table very slowly, carrying the box of people. He placed it carefully atop the map and put a precise finger on Saint Petersburg. “But it is summer now, so we are here at our dacha, our summer cottage, I should say, just south of the great city. The year is 1905” (pg. 5). In this passage, Mr. D’Arcy explains historical events as if he was there, or like he is telling a story. Do you think as a teacher, teaching lessons (especially in history) are more interesting when told more like a story than just reading it out of a textbook, which has little emotion, character development, and is just pure facts most of the time? Summary •Bobby is a fifth grade boy that decides that he does not want to go to school anymore. His friend is no longer there and he does not enjoy it.

•He comes up with a plan to skip school, giving his teacher a note that says he is moving.

•Bobby has a very active imagination. He ends up at Harbinger Hall, a mansion in his neighborhood, and begins imagining it is World War II.

•Bobby is found on the estate and the owner, Mr. D’Arcy, shows him maps of Russia and begins to play a game with him which he calls the Russian Revolution.

•They play this game from the czarist point of view, particularly the view of Count Darlotsoff.

•The game is played over two days and Bobby becomes extremely interested in the Russian Revolution and what happened. During this game, events of the Russian Revolution are acted out.

•After the second day he must return to school, since his parents find out about the plan. He finds out that the story about the Russian Revolution was Mr. D’Arcy’s own story. He continues to visit him every Saturday for many years to come.
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