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ERIC Number: EJ1002952
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Sep
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 5
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0013-8274
Minds "and" Hearts: Using Jeannette Walls's Memoir, "The Glass Castle", to Teach Emotional Intelligence
Irvin, Andrea
English Journal, v102 n1 p57-60 Sep 2012
English teachers have those favorite characters in the literature they choose to study with their students, from the classics of Lennie and George in "Of Mice and Men" to more contemporary characters such as Arnold in "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" who was "born with water on the brain" (Alexie 1). The author loves allowing students to explore characters and their motives vicariously through the stories they study in class, and she hopes by doing so that students learn something about their own character in the process. One of the more recent pieces of literature she has added to her curriculum is "The Glass Castle" by Jeannette Walls. In the memoir, Walls describes how growing up in poverty with a drunken father and a dysfunctional mother built her character and allowed her to understand more about life at an early age than most people learn in a lifetime. Often, teachers focus on the types of character that are being studied: static, dynamic, flat, or round. The author's focus on Walls's character is different. She focuses on Walls's inner strength and her determination to persevere in the face of obstacles. She teaches in a high-poverty rural area where many of the teens are plagued by dysfunctional family lives. By having her students analyze Walls's character, the author hopes to plant the seed in their minds that anything is possible; no matter where or how a person grew up, he or she can achieve and succeed. In this unit, the author helps her students develop personal strength, empathy, and hope as they read "The Glass Castle". (Contains 1 figure.)
National Council of Teachers of English. 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 877-369-6283; Tel: 217-328-3870; Web site: http://www.ncte.org/journals
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A