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Murphy Name: _________________________________
GLE: Fiction-Nonfiction Connections
Rationale: One of the most important skills you will hopefully take away from this course is the ability to make connections. Of those connections, the ones that may prove to be most useful include connections between what you read and who you are as well as between what you read and the world around you. Essentially, reading is the process of investigation. Although we spend much of our time in English courses working with literature, this project invites you to explore non-fiction texts that take the topics and ideas raised through the literature in the course and connect them to the real world. Your task is to continue that investigation beyond what has been presented to you within the classroom.
Background: As Michael W. Smith and Jeffrey Wilhelm explain, “…theme is a rich understanding, expressed through a crafted work of art but applicable to life beyond the work, and situated in an ongoing cultural conversation that tests and complicates it” (Fresh Takes on Teaching Literary Elements). Through each piece of literature that we read and discuss in class, we work extensively on defining the theme(s) of that text. Through the exploration of non-fiction texts, you will be asked to extend the understanding of those themes by finding additional sources that are engaging in that “cultural conversation” and extending it through your writing with, against or in conversation with the texts, both fiction and non-fiction. One of the most important understandings of theme is that it is neither simple nor static. Therefore, two people can read one text and see two different themes. Accordingly, as we explore the texts we read in class, we may discuss several themes that emerged for us as a class. You may use those themes, or you may focus on another based on your interpretation.
Task: Your task is to determine one theme from our readings and studies this semester to investigate and use nonfiction texts to investigate that theme. To complete this task you will:
Identify the chosen theme and write a thematic understanding statement that explains your comprehension of that theme and provides a rationale as to its selection.
Obtain three nonfiction articles and one multimodal artifact from reputable sources that connect to the theme.
Annotate and analyze the chosen articles, writing evaluation statements for each article.
Compile this information into a thematic understanding portfolio that includes an introduction page and works cited page in addition to the information listed above.
December 6th, 7th
December 8th, 9th
December 12th, 13th
December 14th, 15th
Start Thematic Understanding Statement
Finish Thematic Understanding Statement
Select + Print Articles, Artifact
HW: Have thematic understanding statement ready to type.
HW: Annotate articles and complete evaluation statements pre-writing.
HW: Evaluation statements
HW: Finish product, if needed.
Theme Selection: __________________________________________________________________________________
Over the course of the semester, we have read the materials listed below (and more!). Each novel also included nonfiction articles, poems, and essays. Selected themes can be inspired by reading material other than novels.
“Dead Man’s Path” (Achibe) “Soft-Hearted Sioux” (Bonnin) “The Medicine Bag” (Sneve) “Blue Winds Dancing” (Whitecloud) “Only Daughter” (Cisneros) “The Lottery” (Jackson) The Pearl (Steinbeck) The House on Mango Street (Cisneros)
American Born Chinese (Yang) Ethan Frome (Wharton) “Superman and Me” (Alexie) “Two Wolves” “Colonization in Reverse” (Bennett) “Totem” (King) “I Learned to Feel Undesirable” (Cho) “When I Was Growing Up” (Wong) “The New Colossus” (Lazarus) “Unguarded Gates” (Bailey) “English” (Agosin) “Tragedy and the Common Man” (Miller) “Eleven” (Cisneros) “Man of the Hour” (Pearl Jam) “Mirage” (Rossetti) “The Hill’s Wife” (Frost) “Under a Certain Star” (Szymborska)
Thematic Understanding Statement
Format: Thematic understanding statements should be about one page long when typed (no more, no less). When typed, the 12-point, Times New Roman and double-spacing should be used. The heading should follow the given guidelines.
Purpose: This statement should demonstrate to your audience your understanding of the chosen theme (gained from the content studied in this course). It should be formally written and communicate clearly the information required. Remember, this is the first piece your audience will read when presented with your final thematic portfolio.
Content: This statement should include the information provided below (in the order provided). Use the space given here to brainstorm your ideas BEFORE coming to class on the second day of this project.
A statement indicating selected theme → Remember, formal writing doesn’t use “I”!
The rationale behind your selection
An explanation of the theme AND its connection(s) to the course materials
New understandings from the study, if any
Perceived connections between the theme and the world
Articles + Artifact Selection
Sources: Sources must be reputable, meaning they have a good reputation because they check facts and are respected in the academic community. Below includes a list of sources to consider as you select three articles and one artifact to use in your thematic portfolio.
The New York Times The Washington Post* NPR News PBS News ABC News CBS News The Wall Street Journal CNN News* USA Today MSNBC* The Guardian* FOX News* NBC News The Huffington Post* *denotes some political bias
Step 1: Find nonfiction articles that relate in some way (based on your interpretation) to the theme selected. PRINT the articles for your use later. I suggest that you copy and paste articles into Word to eliminate as many advertisements as possible. Once copied, format the page to eliminate unnecessary printing – use 10- or 11-point font, single-spacing, and .5 inch margins. Warning: Using Word to reformat articles can cause headaches later on IF you do not record citation information at the time of article retrieval. BEFORE printing, make sure that you have the title, author, news source, date of publication, and URL included with the article. This information must be included, even if you record it elsewhere. For your multimodal artifact, you may use a piece of art, comic, advertisement, photograph, sculpture or YouTube video. If you select an artifact that can be presented with an image, print that image as well using the guidelines above.
Step 2: AT THE TIME OF RETRIEVAL, record the following information about your selected articles/artifact.
Article 1 Title: “_____________________________________________________________________________”
Author: ____________________________________________ Date of Publication: _____________________________
Publisher, if applicable: _______________________________ Date of Access: _________________________________
Article 2 Title: “_____________________________________________________________________________”
Article 3 Title: “_____________________________________________________________________________”
Artifact Title: “_____________________________________________________________________________”
Author/Creator: _____________________________________ Date of Publication: ______________________________
Source: ____________________________________________ Date of Access: _________________________________
URL for electronic retrieval: __________________________________________________________________________
Articles + Artifact Annotations & Evaluation Statements
Task 1: Once printed, please annotate each article using the guidelines provided.
Circle the title of the article. How does it connect to the article’s content or the theme selected? Next to the title, write one sentence about the title’s meaning.
Draw a box around the main point / thesis of the article. What is the author’s argument / purpose?
How does he/she support their thesis? Underline the evidence you see.
Circle any unknown words that arise while reading. Draw a line to the margin near the circle and briefly define the word.
Highlight any sentences that connect directly to the theme selected. Next to the highlights, write in the margin WHY or HOW that information connects to the theme.
At least once every other paragraph, write a note in the margin of the article that summarizes the important points, poses questions, or makes connections.
Task 2: If possible, complete the following annotations for your multimodal artifact.
Near the title of the artifact, write at least one sentence explaining how the title relates to the artifact.
Use circles, arrows, margin notes, and highlights to analyze the multimodal piece in the same manner we analyzed American Born Chinese.
Color / Shape
Typography / Font
Task 3: Evaluate each article and artifact’s relation to the theme chosen. Each evaluation statement should be nearly a page long and include the information listed below - this means each item will have its own evaluation statement.
The title of the article as the title of the page
A summary of the article’s main point and supporting evidence (approximately one, 5-7 sentence paragraph) For the artifact, this would be an overview of the artifact’s aesthetics, appeal, and history (if applicable).
A summary of the article’s connections to other materials within this course (one, 5-7 sentence paragraph)
A summary of the article’s connections to the theme selected, including new understandings provided by this article and it’s connections to the other articles/artifact obtained (one, 5-7 sentence paragraph)
Works Cited Page
A works cited page must accompany your final submission. Items must be listed in alphabetical order, according to author last name, and follow the provided format. Notice in the guideline below that the second line is indented inward. The directions in parentheses should not appear in your final citation. Be sure to use commas and periods only when directed, as well as italics and quotation marks.
Author (Last name, first name). “Title”. Title of container (website/news source), Publisher (sponsoring organization), Publication Date (in 6 December 2016 format), Location (URL, without
http://wwwhttp://www. included). Accessed 8 December 2016.
Format: Please staple the information together. You may submit your information using a folder or portfolio cover, if desired, but doing so will not impact your grade in any way. Include the information in the order listed below.
Page 1: Thematic Understanding Statement LATE SUBMISSIONS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED Page 2: Article 1, Annotated → Article order should be determined by works cited listing! Page 3: Article 1 Evaluation Statement Page 4: Article 2, Annotated Page 5: Article 2 Evaluation Statement Page 6: Article 3, Annotated Page 7: Article 3 Evaluation Statement Page 8: Artifact, Annotated Page 9: Artifact Evaluation Statement Page 10: Works Cited
Rubric / Assessment
Guided Learning Experience: Fiction-Nonfiction Thematic Connections
Cryptic Comparison 1
Writing- Select and apply an organizational structure appropriate to the task.
Write in a variety of genres, considering purpose, audience, medium, and available technology.
Statements are detailed and complete, demonstrating complex thought regarding the texts and their connections. A superior understanding of theme is expressed.
Statements adequately explore the chosen theme with some critical thinking demonstrated. A proficient understanding of the theme is expressed.
Statements are not cohesively or completely explored. Surface-level thinking is apparent. The understanding of theme expressed is near proficiency.
Statements are not completed to expectation. Writing is hurried or fragmented so thinking is not apparent. The understanding expressed requires extensive revision to demonstrate proficiency.
Multiple Literacies Students will determine appropriate media, relevant to audience and purpose, that extends and supports oral, written, and visual communication.
The texts paired were well-chosen and illuminated the topic in unexpected ways. Artifact analysis demonstrated new understandings.
The texts paired were satisfactory and complemented each other well. Artifact analysis demonstrated understanding of multimodal analysis.
The texts paired were satisfactory, but they seemed to not connect to a shared theme clearly. Artifact analysis lacked the detail needed to determine proficiency.
The texts paired were ill-suited for the task, inappropriate, or too short. Artifact analysis was incomplete, fragmented or hurried. Connections are questionable.
Read texts for a variety of purposes, analyze text structure and organization, analyze texts for theme using contextual evidence, read texts closely using annotation as a textual analysis strategy.
Annotations used to analyze texts were detailed, thought provoking and helpful in analytic process. Annotations allowed for a snapshot of complex thinking.
Annotations were detailed and satisfactory, but they may or may not have been helpful to the student. The snapshot provided displays an attempt at deep thinking.
Annotations could use more detail. Annotations were probably not helpful to the student. Annotations provide a limited view into student’s thinking.
Annotations were incomplete, hurried, or not representative of an analytical view into texts. Annotations were not purposeful to help student, and thinking displayed by them is surface-level or fragmented.
Evaluate sources for appropriateness, procure information using best research practices, utilize ethical research methods, cite information accurately
All information was cited appropriately without error. Sources selected were reputable and appropriate for the task.
Information was not cited appropriately or citations contained errors. Sources selected were not reputable or were inappropriate for the task.periods only when directed, as well as italics and quotation marks.
Write in a v