Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding Organizational Tools of Memoir Day 2: Wild by Cheryl Strayed - Section 3: Group Presentations


The students did a reasonable job of analyzing the individual excerpts and how they related, but were less successful in recognizing the differences.  This required closely looking at tone--how Strayed describes events in the different passages, and how the word choices and explanations differ.  For example, Strayed writes about one of her boots falling over a cliff in the prologue in a rather exasperated way; two-thirds through the book we read the full scene, and she is more confident in the description, throwing her other boot over (they were too small and causing lots of sores--another pair was waiting for her at her next stop) and taping her sandals enough to keep going.  One of the groups used the boot scenes, but kind of merged them together rather than seeing the difference in tone and purpose until I asked some probing questions about the moments and had them go back to the text.  

This idea of tone and voice through word choices and phrasing is a conceptual understanding that I will continue to build on--I think it is a new level of analysis they don't identify well yet.  Additionally, I think it is often more subtle in non-fiction, or at least manifests itself differently than in fiction--I continue to realize the differences as I get deeper into teaching informational texts at this depth, and how I have to more explicitly explain how concepts look in non-fiction texts.

  Building Ideas
  Developing a Conceptual Understanding: Building Ideas
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Organizational Tools of Memoir Day 2: Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Unit 6: Thematic Unit: Gender and the Rhetorical Power of Narrative
Lesson 5 of 12

Objective: SWBAT recognize the organizational moves of memoir and analyze their rhetorical functions by closely analyzing excerpts from Cheryl Strayed's memoir "Wild."

Big Idea: Memoirs are highly structured, as writers organize their stories to create a desired central idea or series of ideas.

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