ERIC Number: ED222919
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Oct
Reference Count: 0
Involving Students with the Short Story.
Duke, Charles R.
Although the short story is brief and seemingly simple to comprehend, experienced teachers know from painful experience that students often read without "seeing" and that the only way to get them to "see" is to isolate some of the elements of the short story and present them in a different way to focus attention on them. For example, to demonstrate the importance of sequence in plot, students can be asked to list some personal events on six file cards. The cards are then exchanged and students are asked to arrange the events in what seems to be a logical order. To assist students in making a distinction between plot and theme, students can be asked to develop a collection of pictures that seem to suggest stories. Divided into groups, students can select pictures that illustrate different stories with similar themes. Once students seem to have grasped plot structure, the teacher can assess their ability to recognize effective plots by asking them to supply the ending for selected situations. Constant practice in examining settings and inferring clues from the story will also help students perceive the significance of these elements and train them to keep track of details as a story proceeds. Characterization can be studied by demonstrating the limitations of stereotyping and making students aware of the need for collecting as much evidence as possible before forming any judgments or generalizations. A final assessment of student growth can be accomplished through creative problem-solving "tests" using such approaches as improvisation, visual aids, and writing. (HOD)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southwest Regional English Teachers' Conference (2nd, Phoenix, AZ, October 21-23, 1982).