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Memory Moment

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Oona Abrams

on 19 August 2013

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Transcript of Memory Moment

Signpost Lesson 4:
Memory Moment

Definition of "MM"
A character mentions or flashes back to a memory triggered by what is happening now. The memory explains what is happening now and/or gives insights into a character, the plot or the theme.
Finding the "WW" is just the beginning!
Once you find the Memory Moment, you need to consider their meaning.
Reflect and discuss to unpack the possibilities!

Here is the "MM" Anchor Question:
Why might this memory be important?
Examples from Texts
Answers to WW Anchor Question
From Texts:
Ordinary People: Every time Conrad mentions a memory about his dead brother, his mother stiffens and changes the subject to something casual. It's important because Conrad learns to suppress his memories, which leads to depression.
Death of a Salesman: Willy mentions Biff's high school football game a lot. It's important because Biff is, um, 35. So Willy is trapped in the past.

by Grace Paley
Author info
Background Info
Breakdown of sections 1-3
1: "I saw my ex-husband..."
2. "I checked out the two Edith Wharton books..."
3. "I looked through the house of mirth"

SO: Who remembers 1) The MM definition? and
2) The MM Anchor Question?
I'll break the ice!
Part 1
MM Quote
from Part 1
"... as I look back, I attribute the dissolution of our marriage to the fact that you never invited the Bertrams to dinner."
This is a MM because it's triggered by what's happening now and shows more about the couple.

Anchor Question:
Why might this memory be important?
The husband says it is his wife's mistake. Why didn't HE invite them?
Why would this be the reason for their marriage to fall apart?
What would have gone differently if they had invited the Bertrams?
Did the husband want to be more social? Was the wife antisocial? She kind of seems like it on first impression. It's hard to be a couple where one person doesn't want to do what the other person likes to do.
Were the Bertrams popular? Did they have influence or power?
She says that she had Tuesday night meetings -- why would they invite a couple over on a Tuesday?
Part 2: Let's look for the MM signpost and answer the anchor question together: Why might this memory be important?
Part 2 MM Quotation
"I wanted a sailboat, he said. But you didn't want anything."
Part 2 MM Anchor Question:
Why might this memory be important?
Discuss with a partner
If you share the same opinion, STILL say the words. THEN try to add something else.
Part 2
Large Group Discussion
Why might the husband's or wife's memory be important?
Annotate story as we discuss.
Part 3:
YOU find the MM example now
Mark them as we read
Then answer the anchor question: first in writing, then with a partner.
Part 4: Read the ending of the story on your own. Mark the MM's.
Share with a partner
Ask each other the anchor question
Large group discussion
MM Wrap-Up

What did your classmates teach you today?
What did you discover today?
Notice and Note Connections
Do Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom, "Say Yes" by Tobias Wolff and "Reunion" by John Cheever have this "Memory Moment" signpost? Where?
Does this story have
C&C, A&A and WW in it?

Your MM Daybook Entry
In literature and in life, memories inform us about ourselves and what we value. Make a list of your top five memories of all time. Just write them down as fast as you can and you can rank them later. Remember that you can also web, draw, storyboard, diagram, etc., not just traditional narrative writing.
Ordinary People by Judith Guest
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
Full transcript