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ENG 3405 - Looking at the Disconnect in Gendered Experiences

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Sam Fishel

on 8 November 2017

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Transcript of ENG 3405 - Looking at the Disconnect in Gendered Experiences

The Disconnect
Gendered experiences and portrayals take on different forms between children's literature and YA literature
Disconnect is apparent on the progression from "socially conscious" to "culturally conscious"
Weaknesses in these in children's literature can create barriers to understanding gender in adolescence

Looking at the Disconnect in Gendered Experiences and Portrayals
from Children’s Literature to Young Adult Literature

Goal #1
Enable students to be able to demonstrate where a piece of children’s literature is explicit and where a piece of children’s literature is vague concerning gendered experiences and portrayals.
Goal #2
Enable students to be able to demonstrate where a piece of young adult fiction reinforces and where a piece of young adult fiction blurs the lines concerning gendered experiences and portrayals.
Goal #3
Create resources that will enable a secondary-level ELA teacher to engage high school students in critical discussions about gendered experiences and portrayals (as relevant to an adolescent population).
Goal #5
Demonstrate the “text-to-life” connection by engaging students in activities that show how the literature provide during an individual’s childhood can affect their understanding of gendered experiences and gender roles as they move into adolescence
Goal #4
Move students' understanding of gender as portrayed in literature from a place of social consciousness to a place of cultural consciousness while avoiding the pitfalls of the “melting pot” mentality.
Exemplar Texts
Mama Played Baseball
- David A. Adler
Grace for President
- Kelly Dipucchio
The Outsiders
- S.E. Hinton
Be Who You Are
- Todd Parr
Being Friends
- Karen Beaumont
The Hunger Games
- Suzanne Collins
Interstellar Cinderella
- Deborah Underwood
Red: A Crayon’s Story
- Michael Hall
Made by Raffi
- Craig Pomranz
***A mix of children's books and YA literature
Culturally Relevant Assignment #1
Students will be asked to compare prior knowledge of gender roles to YA Fiction
S.E. Hinton’s
The Outsiders
and Suzanne Collins’
The Hunger Games

Using several sets of children’s books as a base of knowledge
Students will be asked to examine the treatment of gender (gendered experiences and portrayals)
Make a meaningful judgement call about the effect gender has upon the message of the literature
Students will be asked to read
Mama Played Baseball
by David A. Adler and
Grace for President
by Kelly Dipucchio
Discuss treatment of gender as a differentiating factor and as an empowering factor
Students will read and annotate excerpts from Sims Bishops’ “Reflections on the Development of African American Children’s Literature.”
Students will take note of the three divisions for “socially conscious,” “melting pot,” and “culturally conscious” children’s literature.
Students will be asked to write an extended journal entry detailing how these books qualify as “socially conscious”
Students will discuss how “sameness” in
Be Who You Are
by Todd Parr can lead the reader to minimize the impact of gender
Additional discussions on
Being Friends
by Karen Beaumont
Critical discussion on how ignoring or minimizing gendered experiences and portrayals can minimize the individual experience
Students will record a brief 5-10 minute “podcast” examine how ignoring a key differentiating factor can cause a "melting pot" mentality to take root
Students should reference the texts they have read so far in order to establish a “text-to-life” connection
Culturally Relevant Assignment #2
Students will continue the analytical procedure experienced in assignment #1 with a new set of children’s literature,
For the purpose of moving students from a place of conceptual complacency related to the “melting pot” of gendered experiences and portrayal and into a place of active engagement and empowerment via the cultural conscious.
Students will be asked to read
Interstellar Cinderella
by Deborah Underwood,
Red: A Crayon’s Story
by Michael Hall, and
Made by Raffi
by Craig Pomranz and take guided notes
Students will work in groups make a spiderweb chart for each story’s main character
Students should include specific elements of gender portrayed in the text and how these gendered experiences differ from the socially normative experiences of gender often placed upon characters such as these.
Students will have an opportunity to make another “text-to-life” connection by writing an entry in their classroom journal about the ways in which their gendered experiences have empowered them as an individual
Whether or not those experiences were readily accepted by those around them
Students will return to the Sim Bishop’s article and begin to examine how this recent set of children’s literature represent the kind of “cultural consciousness”
Students will be provided with a blank diagram worksheet that features two large shapes, of a wall and of a lightning bolt.
Ways in which gender can limit our experiences and portrayals of the self in society in the “wall”
Ways in which gendered experiences and portrayals can empower an individual to “be themselves” in society in the “lightning bolt.”
Creative Activism Assignment
“We need more diverse literature!”
Students will take their understanding of being culturally conscious towards gendered experiences and portrayals in literature and apply it towards a proactive effort to gain more works that reflect this value set at their local library.
Students write a formal letter to a local library petitioning for the acquisition of more young adult literature that demonstrate a meaningful treatment of gender
Letter will be sent at the end of the writing process
Full transcript