Reflection: Adjustments to Practice Fiction as Argument: The Arguments of Ready Player One by Ernest Cline - Section 5: Sharing Themes

 

It was really interesting to listen the students discussion today, as they really came alive when the topic of relationships came up, and how real world versus virtual world interact with one another.  It shouldn’t have come as a surprise that this was their main interest regarding themes from this book (they recognized other themes such as corporations taking over even more, and the virtual government and elections being more important than the real ones, but those were individual interests with students rather than across all of them, judging from my listening in to their group conversations earlier), since they are in the throes of developing their own identities and friendships, and conduct themselves, to varying degrees, in both the physical and virtual world.   As I reflected more on the day’s discussions and this book, I realized that one thing we hadn’t addressed is the whole idea of ‘virtual’ and what that means, nor had we delved too deeply in the 80s pop culture environment (how can we skip that!  I love that part of the book!).  I think these are related to each other—that the pop culture images build virtual environments, whether virtual or not (no matter how long I teach, it isn’t until I’m actually working with students on a new text that I fully start to realize the possibilities, and can’t wait until the next time I teach it to improve!  Of course, knowing this is true is why, throughout the year, I’ve designed lessons that allow for students to show where their interests lie, so I can determine the best teaching moments).  So, tomorrow I will guide the discussion to defining “virtual” and the role of pop culture, since it also leads best to their argument essays (trying to address all of their central ideas from yesterday—each group had around five or six, would get a bit forced, anyway, so doing it this way they can still draw from their discussions, but with more scaffolding for their essay).

  Observations of Student Responses
  Adjustments to Practice: Observations of Student Responses
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Fiction as Argument: The Arguments of Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Unit 8: Thematic Unit: Popular Culture
Lesson 12 of 16

Objective: SWBAT recognize how a futuristic novelist can develop multiple central ideas that interact with each other to create a complex argument about society today.

Big Idea: Futuristic novels often make compelling arguments about the present.

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