Saturday, January 15, 2011

Flat, Mythical or Complex? Oh, and Zombies

What am I reading now?   Infinity, Chronicles of Nick (Sherrilyn Kenyon)
Annnd . . . what do I think so far?  Loved every high-school-jock brain-eating minute of it. Nick is a great hero. Fringe of society, growing up good anyway. Quirky and psycho friends. Sarcastic, street smart, intelligent. Demons. Angels. Not sure even now who is really evil in this book. Hmmm--I'll have to read the next one.  ;-) Rooted for Nick all the way through. Okay, I'll admit it--this is my third zombie book. There was:
• Forest of Hands and Teeth (Carrie Ryan): Not a favorite of mine. Enjoyed the writing but not the story.
• You Are So Undead to Me (Megan Berry): Funny take on the zombie thing. Stop the Homecoming Apocolypse. Haha
• Infinity: In case you missed what I was saying above--fun!
Oh, wait, four zombie books. I also read:
• Undead Much? (Second from Megan Berry): Kiss a zombie? And it's not EWWWWW?

Flat, Mythical or Complex?
This next Thursday, I'm doing an inservice at our English Teachers' Book Club. My topic is using book structures to help readers understand stories better. Even though the ideas in the class are designed for teaching readers, I think there might be some good ideas for writers, too.

The first topic we will talk about is how following the structure of a novel can support student understanding and classroom conversations. Here is a form (Novel Structure) students can use to take notes as the story moves along. I know--it needs to be more complex to adequately follow most novels. But this is meant for students who don't usually contribute to class discussions about novels. They don't have a developed sense of story yet, so we'll start in a simple way on simple text. I'm going to teach this using Calvin & Hobbs cartoon stories.

The second part of the inservice will be looking at character types. Yup, using Calvin & Hobbs again. Here's the summary page of characters (Character Roles) I'm going to use. It includes the typical roles students will encounter in classical and contemporary literature, then they can record info they gather while reading. It's a great tool for students to use to enter novel discussions.


kbrebes said...

Great post. My take on Harry Potter is somewhat different. I see Draco as the contagonist, Ron as the sidekick supporter, Hermione as the planner (reason), Hagrid as emotion, and Snape as the skeptic! I like your archetypes, but I like mine, too! Thanks, Canda!

Renae W. Mackley said...

Wow. You've both (comment from Kathleen) put a lot of thought into this. It's a great starting place to show some of these characters for students and a good review for anyone. Thanks.