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Critical Narratives

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This slideshow is a presentation of the final assignment I gave my 11th grade English class for the book Always Running by Luis Rodriguez.

This slideshow is a presentation of the final assignment I gave my 11th grade English class for the book Always Running by Luis Rodriguez.

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  • You guys have produced some great, powerful works during our Always Running Unit- the poems, class discussions, gang violence essay, etc. I want this to be just as good...no, better!

Transcript

  • 1. CRITICAL NARRATIVES
    • CRITICAL: Containing or involving comments and opinions that analyze or judge something
    • NARRATIVE: a story or an account of events
  • 2. Always Running has many critical narratives within it. In Always Running, Luis Rodriguez narrates his life’s stories through a socio-political lens. This lens gives readers a critical view of oppressive social and political structures, such as institutions, laws, and dominant culture ideologies.
  • 3. (And now in Plain English:) Rodriguez tells his life’s stories in a way that makes the reader recognize the social and political (aka Socio-Political) issues that oppress people and cause tension- stress, pressure, and problems- for him and others like him. Rodriguez tells his life’s stories in a way that makes the reader recognize the social and political (aka Socio-Political) issues that oppress people and cause tension- stress, pressure, and problems- for him and others like him.
  • 4. Think about it... EC!
    • What Critical Narratives did Rodriguez write to comment on...
      • Immigration (laws)
      • Prejudice & Stereotypes (ideology)
      • Police and The Judicial System (institution)
      • The Educational System (ideology; laws; institution)
      • Poverty and Gangs (institution; ideology)
  • 5. Key Point: Rodriquez attached his life story to something larger than just himself; his narratives made powerful statements about Socio-Political issues that others could relate to. Rodriquez attached his life story to something larger than just himself; his narratives made powerful statements about Socio-Political issues that others could relate to. Rodriquez attached his life story to something larger than just himself; his narratives made powerful statements about Socio-Political issues that others could relate to.
  • 6. Critical Narrative Project We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out. --Ray Bradbury If you want not be forgotten, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing. --Ralph Waldo Emerson 300 points!!
  • 7. My Assignment...
    • My assignment is to write my own critical, autobiographical narrative. I need to focus on one particularly significant aspect of my life that causes tension. Then, I must critique, through storytelling, this force that causes tension in my life and the lives of others like me.
    • Requirements:
      • Cover Page with Title, Name, Date, Period #;
      • Beginning Quote (like Rodriguez’s chapters);
      • 4-5 pages, 1” margins, typed, double-spaced, 12 pt. Times New Roman font
  • 8. Our Goals
    • English Goals:
      • Practice the writing process & improve writing skills (CSTs are May 18-22!)
      • Learn to tell a story in a powerful and creative way
    • Larger Goals:
      • Critically analyze aspects of our lives and society
      • Share pieces of ourselves with the class community
      • Create a unique, powerful narrative that will strike a chord with others and leave a lasting impression
      • Generate ideas for a short film (Youtube launch!)
  • 9. Project Breakdown
    • Exploring SocioPolitical Issues (25 pts.)
    • Analyzing and appreciating critical narratives (100 pts.)
    • Brainstorming and Mapping our narratives (20 pts.)
    • Rough Draft #1 (20 pts.)
    • Revision ( If you’re not an excellent writer, you can still be an excellent rewriter.)
    • Rough Draft #2 (40 pts.)
    • Final Critical Narrative (80 pts.)
    • Critical Narrative Presentations! (15 pts.)
    • Vote on narrative to be put to film (20 EC for winner)
  • 10. What Should I Write About?
    • There are many SocioPolitical forces to choose from:
      • racism, classism, or sexism
      • the educational system or the judicial system
      • immigration issues
      • poverty
    • Also, I could critique society for the tension that comes with:
    • being a foster kid or living in a single-parent home
    • being different (a nerd, goth, sick with disease, etc.)
    • speaking English as a second language
    • being female or being male
    • being LGBT
  • 11. Brainstorm
    • TASK: Prepare three separate brainstorms for possible critical narratives you could write. Include Story, Critique, and Details
    • “ I bet she knows how to shake that ass!”
      • STORY: I was at a racially diverse beach party and the DJ called me up to show the crowd how to “shake that ass”
      • CRITIQUE: America stereotypes Black women as hyper-sexual objects.
      • DETAILS: There were lots of other girls standing near me who the DJ didn’t call up; I felt mortified and disrespected; nobody understood why I got mad; beautiful beach day/party was ruined; what were they thinking?
    • “ Me entiendes?”
      • STORY: My first week at Crenshaw High, teaching ESL (which they told me I’d be teaching 2 days before school started.)
      • CRITIQUE: The Public Education School System is failing its students, teachers, and communities.
      • DETAILS: We tried to understand each other but couldn’t; we got frustrated with each other though it wasn’t our faults; 23 students, some brand new to US; Nobody would help me; I wanted to quit
  • 12. Analyzing and Appreciating Critical Narratives
    • *sensory details about setting and scene
    • *dialogue
    • *private thoughts
    • *conflict/tension, this could be...
            • -character vs. character
            • -character vs. self
            • -character vs. society
            • -character vs. nature
  • 13. Creating Your Critical Narrative Map
    • Your map must have at least...
    • *1-4 panels
    • *3-5 sensory details per panel
    • *2 dialogue boxes overall
    • *1 private thought per panel
    • *conflict/tension, this could be...
            • -character vs. character
            • -character vs. self
            • -character vs. society
            • -character vs. nature
  • 14. Deciding How to Begin
    • The beginning of your Critical Narrative needs to be compelling.
    • Ways to begin a narrative:
      • Describe the scene- ‘Cross-legged on a thin, worn blanket under the April sun, I sat, imagining..’
      • Tell the ending, then work your way back- ‘I woke up in a ditch, not knowing how I got there’
      • Intriguing dialogue- ‘“It’s not you; it’s me,” she whispered, just before she shook her head and left.’
  • 15.
    • Robert was rich. He wore.... When he spoke.... On the weekends, he’d....
  • 16. Descriptive Writing: Show vs. Tell Show vs. Tell
    • “is” “was” “am” and “are” are words that tell. Good story development involves show, not tell.
    • Task: First, circle all of the ‘tell’ words in your story. Then, replace some of the sentences with ‘show’ descriptions.
      • Ex- “Devon was nervous about performing.” becomes “Devon’s hands trembled as he held the microphone.”
      • Ex- “Brenda is happy to be home.” becomes ...?
  • 17. Figures of Speech
    • The occasional use of alliteration, repetition, metaphor, simile, and other figures of speech makes your writing more vivid and engaging
    • Task: First, find one or two places in your writing in which you want to stress a point or present a clear image, then, incorporate a figure of speech into the sentence.
      • Ex- “The room was big and dark when she walked in.” become “It was as if she had entered a secret cave; the darkness and space seemed infinite.”
  • 18. Varying Sentence Structure
    • “I am the youngest one in my family. My family is big. There are two parents and six children. I live in Los Angles. We have a 5-bedroom house.”
    • How does that sound to you?
  • 19. Varying Sentence Structure
    • Too many short, simple sentences can make writing sound very juvenile. It is best to use a variety of simple, compound, and compound complex sentences.
    • Task: Make more of your sentences compound, complex, or compound-complex so that your sentences have variety.
      • Ex- “My little brother peed the bed. My mom had to clean it up. I was late for school.” becomes “I was late to school because my mom had to clean the sheets my little brother peed on last night.”
  • 20. Add a Quote
    • Find (or create) a quote that captures a truth tied to your Critical Narrative.