ENGLISH (LITERATURE)

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1. Strategy: Wise Choice Process

Application: Introduction to Literature

Educator: Rita Kronis, Chair, Communications & Foreign Language, Eastern Florida State College, FL

Implementation: When teaching any piece of literature, I first have students list the choices that shape a protagonist’s destiny. For example, in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Romeo 1) came uninvited to the Capulet’s party, 2) trespassed and hid below Juliet’s balcony, 3) married Juliet before knowing her well, 4) killed Tybalt, 5) fled Verona, 6) bought poison, 7) killed Paris, 8) killed himself. Next, I teach students the Wise Choice Process. Then I put students in groups where they apply the Wise Choice Process to the character. A reporter presents the group’s answers for each of the six steps, including the group’s recommended “wise choices” and, to explore motivation, reasons why the character may have made less wise choices.  Variation: Have two students perform a role play. For example, one student plays Romeo and the second student uses the Wise Choices Process to help Romeo identify his situation, how he would prefer it to be, and the choices that will help him achieve what he wants. [Editor’s Note: If all literary characters used the Wise Choice Process, it would probably do away with most novels, plays, and short stories.]

2. Strategy: Professor Rogers’ Trial (Case Study)

Application: Introduction to Literature

Educator: Rita Kronis, Chair, Communications & Foreign Language, Eastern Florida State College, FL

Implementation: By doing the case study “Professor Roger’s Trial” before we began our group projects, many problems were avoided in the groups. When problems did surface, we had a common language with which to discuss them. Two weeks after my students began their group projects, I asked each student to write a “status report” expressing how s/he felt that her/his group was doing. (Were members working well together? Had the work been divided equally? Was progress being made?) At the two-week mark, everything seemed to be going well. However, after another two weeks had passed and we were approaching the day of the first presentations, I began to get some complaints. For example, when two ladies told me that the men in their group were acting like Donald, I had a good idea what the problem was, and we were able to come up with some strategies to solve it. After listening to their grievances, I asked the ladies to set up a meeting with the men to find out why they were not participating. (Did they feel that they were part of the group? Were their talents being utilized? Did they have personal problems that were preventing them from meeting with the group?) Apparently this “talk” helped; the ladies discovered that although the men had procrastinated when it came to writing certain portions of the projects, they were still committed to the success of the group. In the last few days before their presentation, the men were able to work with the ladies to produce a video that they had been discussing all along. The men also did the editing and final touches. When they presented, the whole class was impressed by the group’s video, which constituted the creative portion of their overall project.

3. Strategy: Think/Pair/Share

Application: Any Literature Course

Educator: No name given

Implementation:

Think:  Have each student read/review the reading assignment through the eyes of one of the characters.

Pair:  Working with another student, create a summary of the events through the point of view/perspective of their assigned character.

Share: Send a tweet (or email/text message) to others in the class summarizing the events, as if written by their character.

In class, continue the discussion, sharing responses/reactions to the various points of view expressed by the ‘characters’ in the story. Discuss how social media might have affected the outcome of the story had it been available to the characters (e.g., Juliet might have texted Romeo to let him know she’d be faking her death).

4. Strategy: Victim/Creator Choices

Application: ENG 111

Educator: Elizabeth Hardy, Faculty, English, Mayland Community College, NC

Implementation: In our final journal on Suzanne Collins’ novel The Hunger Games, we discuss whether Katniss Everdeen is a victim or a creator. Though she seems to be a pawn without any choices, we evaluate what choices she does possess and if her choices represent the perspective of victim or creator, if (as Harry Potter does) she makes the choice between being dragged to her death in the arena or marching into the arena with her head held high. This activity allows students who have taken ACA 111 (our student success course with On Course as our text) to implement the vocabulary they’ve learned, while students who have not taken ACA 111 may be motivated to take the class. This strategy can be applied to a variety of novels used in English 111 or other courses.

5. Strategy: Scripts, Emotional Intelligence and the Wise Choice Process

Application: English literature

Educator: Brittany Keischner, Faculty, English, Century College, MN

Implementation:

Step 1. Choose a character from the text (novel/play) that students are reading and have students apply the scripts model:

a. Emotional Patterns (assessing character’s emotional intelligence)

b. Behavioral Patterns (deciding how self-aware the character is of his/her behaviors)

c. Thought Patterns (determining which Inner Voice is strongest for this character)

Step 2. Review the patterns and decide what might be the core beliefs of this character.

Step 3: Apply the Wise Choice Process.  What could the character have done differently at various Forks in the Road?  How could the character modify his/her scripts to achieve his/her desired outcomes and experiences?

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