The purpose of this assignment is to familiarize yourself and your group with the short story, poetry or drama as forms of literature. In addition, your group will plan a brief presentation to the class that helps them understand ONE particular aspect of the genre you select. Your presentation should include an analysis of the selection you choose to have the class read in preparation. Below are the terms your group should learn about and explain to the class. More than one term can be included in your presentation, but one should be emphasized with some sort of class activity you plan that involves your classmates and helps them take a close look at the selection(s) you ask them to read.
Elements of short stories:
*plot and conflict (Ch.5) *use of characters (Ch. 3)
*setting (Ch. 4) *narrative point of view (Ch. 2)
*imagery and symbolism (Ch.7) *language (diction) and style (Ch. 6)
Choices for short story readings:
*Bambara, “The Lesson,” 387 *Bierce, “Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge,” 87
*Gilman, “Yellow Wallpaper,” 473 *O’Brien, “The Things They Carried,”101
*Hurston, “Spunk,” 215 *Faulkner, “A Rose for Emily,” 96
Elements of poetry:
*tone and speaker / persona (Ch. 15) *language (diction) (Ch. 12)
*figurative language (Ch. 14) *form (Ch. 16)
*imagery (Ch. 13) *symbolism (Ch. 17)
Choices for poetry readings:
*American Identity: Hughes,“I, Too,” 856; “Let America,” 857; “Cummings, 584
*Hispanic identity in poetry: Espada, 694-95; Soto, 942; Espaillat, 904-05; Cofer, 589
*Race/ethnic identity: Evans, 695-96; Song, 708-09; Ali, 884; Hughes, 861-62
*Identity through Nature: Whitman, 730; Harjo, 549-50, Bishop, 608-10; Frost, 741
Elements of drama: Chapter 20
*use of characters (Ch. 20) *stage directions (Ch. 20)
*dialogue (Ch. 20) *realistic vs. non-realistic drama (Ch. 23)
*script and language (Ch. 20) *short story elements (Ch. 2-7)
Choices for reading:
*Hwang, “Trying to Find Chinatown,” 994 *”Post-its,” 1331
*Glaspell, “Trifles,” 982 *”Beauty,” 1000
To complete this assignment, do the following:
1. Choose the specific short story, poem cluster, or play you will focus on and let your classmates know the reading assignment for your presentation day.
2. Read your selection and discuss it with your group.
3. With your group, decide which element of literature you could discuss in connection with your reading selection. I will suggest at least one to your group.
4. Read about the literary element in your textbook, using the index to find the term and discuss it with your group. Let me know if you need any clarification of the element.
5. Find at least THREE sources of information on your story (in addition to our textbook). It might be a book, an article in a literary journal, information from a SAC on-line database or internet search engine. Write up a Works Cited entry for each source. This is the only written part of the assignment. It should be turned in on your presentation day. If information is not available on the particular selection, you can research the writer, his or her background, time, culture.
6. Plan a 20-30 minute presentation that will help your classmates understand the selection and one element of the genre. Your presentation should include at least one visual element and should include participation from the audience.
7. Practice your presentation. Let me know how much time you will need and whether or not you will need any audiovisual equipment (computer /overhead projector, television with DVD/VCR player, copies of handouts for the class).
Evaluation: The presentation will be graded on the following:
1. Content--did your presentation give the class a better understanding of your selection and of a literary element of your genre?
2. Effort--did each member of the group contribute equally in the preparation and presentation? Is the effort of group members evident in the quality of the presentation?
3. Creativity--was an effort made to engage your classmates? How much thought went into the presentation?
See your schedule for deadlines for this assignmet. Let me know if you have questions at any point. Use this assignment as an opportunity to better understand literature and to share this information with your classmates.
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