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Exploring the Use of Creative and Academic Writing

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Templates and imitative writing has been used since classical times to empower students and may be more useful now than ever as we enter the age of the Common Core State Standards.

Templates and imitative writing has been used since classical times to empower students and may be more useful now than ever as we enter the age of the Common Core State Standards.

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  • This needs wordsmithing
  • This needs wordsmithing
  • This needs wordsmithing
  • This needs wordsmithing
  • Bios
  • We see the templates of ancient proverbs in the on-going conversations of history.Here are samples of two students of the twentieth century.
  • Claude McKay, another 20th century student who used a literary template to make an argument.Wrote during the Harlem Renaissance adopts a sonnet template to comment upon racial violence in 1919. In a time when many of his peers were experimenting with modern forms that employed everyday speech patterns, McKay chose to employ a template from the European tradition. Churchill then recited McKay’s in his appeal to Americans in his We Shall Fight on the Beaches speech.Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and if, which I do not for a moment believe, this island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the new world, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/We_shall_fight_on_the_beaches
  • This is an actual student exercise from a textbook used by students in Kerry, County Ireland in the 1920s. Kerry was renowned for its education system. My father-in-law, a graduate of it, could recite large tracts of classic literature into his 90’s. His critical literacy instruction involved both recitation and imitation. Later chapters of this book had students comparing “appreciations” of literature, looking for features of the texts that made them more or less effective.
  • We will not impart most of the most important knowledge our students will gain in this century, so we have to equip them to be critical both and skillful communicators.
  • Let’s exploit connections to increase engagementLet CCSS warts and all be an occasion to revisit
  • Graffs and Pinto, can you give me some talking points here?
  • Transcript

    • 1. Exploring the Use of Templates in Creative and Academic Writing Dr. Gerald Graff Dr. Cathy Birkenstein Graff Cecilia Pinto Eileen Murphy
    • 2. The Problem• Students need to understand and express complex ideas.• Students from English Language Learners (ELLs) to Academic Language Learners (ALLs,) are often unnecessarily bewildered by academic literacy.• Current methods to address this bewilderment are often inadequate.
    • 3. Templates as Tools• Students need to understand and express complex ideas. Templates help students read and write more powerfully.• Students from English Language Learners (ELLs) to Academic Language Learners (ALLs,) are often unnecessarily bewildered by academic literacy.• Current methods to address this bewilderment are often inadequate.
    • 4. Templates as Tools• Students need to understand and express complex ideas. Templates help students read and write more powerfully.• Students from English Language Learners (ELLs) to Academic Language Learners (ALLs,) are often unnecessarily bewildered by academic literacy. Templates help demystify texts and text structures.• Current methods to address this bewilderment are often inadequate.
    • 5. Templates as Tools• Students need to understand and express complex ideas. Templates help students read and write more powerfully.• Students from English Language Learners (ELLs) to Academic Language Learners (ALLs,) are often unnecessarily bewildered by academic literacy. Templates help demystify texts and text structures.• Current methods to address this bewilderment are often inadequate. Templates help teachers provide the scaffolding students need to understand and express complexities.
    • 6. The Panelists• Dr. Gerald Graff• Dr. Cathy Birkenstein Graff• Cecilia Pinto• Eileen Murphy
    • 7. Reading the Past, Writing the FutureAlthough fierce debates have raged over____templates that promote formulaicwriting_, the opponents all share acommitment to templates which areinherent to creativity and critical thinkingthat they may not recognize. 3 Artifacts
    • 8. Classical and Renaissance Imitation• “collections of commonplaces, figures, proverbs, and all the rest served as a source of approved material which could be inserted directly or altered to fit individual needs.“Abbott, Don Paul. "Rhetoric and Writing in the Renaissance." A Short History of Writing Instruction: from Ancient Greece to Modern America. Ed. James J. Murphy. Mahwah, NJ: Hermagoras, 2001. 160. Print.
    • 9. Arguments, History, and Literary Templates• “Dictators ride to and fro upon tigers from which they dare not dismount.’” –Churchill• “Those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of the tiger ended up inside.” —Kennedy
    • 10. McKay’s Sonnet and Churchill“If We Must Die” by Claude McKayIf we must die—let it not be like hogsHunted and penned in an inglorious spot,While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs,Making their mock at our accursed lot.If we must die—oh, let us nobly die,So that our precious blood may not be shedIn vain; then even the monsters we defyShall be constrained to honor us though dead!Oh, Kinsmen! We must meet the common foe;Though far outnumbered, let us show us brave,And for their thousand blows deal one deathblow!What though before us lies the open grave?Like men well face the murderous, cowardly pack,Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!
    • 11. Return to Old School?: Of Course Not“Write the murder scene. When you havewritten it, turn to Oliver Twist, Chapter47, and see where and why Dickens’ accountis more thrilling than yours” (6) --Primer of Literary Criticism (1924)
    • 12. Used Well, Templates Can Be An Excellent ToolDemystifying Genres across DisciplinesEnglish Language Learners (ELLs)Academic Language Learners (ALLs)Building student resources for responding to rigorous reading and writing tasks in CCSS
    • 13. CCSS Not All New“Discuss the ways in which O’Brien uses aparticular character, image, or storytellingtechnique in The Things They Carried in orderto comment on the nature of storytelling.” --Murphy’s A. P. English Assignment
    • 14. Elements in Claims for Describing Text• Choice-maker-Who (Author, Speaker)• Element-What (Detail, Character, Image, etc.)• Choice-How (How the element is manipulated by the author)• Verbs for Describing Text• Interpreted Meanings-Why/So What (Ideas and Themes Readers Construct)
    • 15. Describing Text Template“_______ , the author of _______ uses _____________(choice-maker) (title) (literary element)to show (or another verb) _______________.” (Interpreted meaning)
    • 16. Where My Template Went Terribly Wrong“I’m confused…is that what you asked for?Toni Morrison uses dialogue, characterizationand internal conflict in the context of Belovedto explore the differences between men andwomen. -sara”
    • 17. Training Wheels for Complexity: Student Writing as Data“In The Things They Carried actions aren’t taken for the sakeof actions, but for the sake of anticipated reactions. Using thecharacter Tim O’Brien, O’Brien shows how reality-changingdecisions are executed based almost exclusively on fiction. In“On the Rainy River” he demonstrates the mind’s fabricationof an audience on which to test out potential courses ofaction; this audience’s reaction takes priority to staying true tooneself. “ --Kristen G.
    • 18. Templates: Old Practices Rendered New• Exploring templates and “the moves” in mentor texts (Literary and Discipline-Specific /Informational texts)• Practice expressing complex ideas aloud and informally (imaginative and academic claims)
    • 19. Scaffolding Accountable Discourse: Think-Aloud“Read and discuss imagery in small groups.” --“This makes me picture …” (Visualizing Imagery) --“I imagine the speaker’s voice sounding like…” (Exploring Tone)
    • 20. Scaffolding Accountable Discourse: Workshop Templates“Peer Workshop your paper/poems” Writing or speaking about each other’s work as authors instills the habit of thinking about author’s purpose and author’s craft, of seeing readings as writings.
    • 21. “Approved Sources?” Not in the 21st Century!We will not impart most of the mostimportant knowledge our students will gain inthis century; therefore, it is imperative toequip them to be both critical consumers oftext and skillful communicators.
    • 22. Connecting the Past to Our Future• Instilling desire and skill to communicate powerfully in our democracy is the core of our common work.
    • 23. The Special Place of Argument in the StandardsFrom Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical SubjectsAppendix A: Research Supporting Key Elements of the Standards• …the Standards put particular emphasis on students’ ability to write sound arguments on substantive topics and issues, as this ability is critical to college and career readiness. English and education professor Gerald Graff (2003) writes that “argument literacy” is fundamental to being educated. The university is largely an “argument culture,” Graff contends….He claims that because argument is not standard in most school curricula, only 20 percent of those who enter college are prepared in this respect….When teachers ask students to consider two or more perspectives on a topic or issue, something far beyond surface knowledge is required: students must think critically and deeply, assess the validity of their own thinking, and anticipate counterclaims in opposition to their own assertions.
    • 24. In recent discussions of___________, a controversial issue has beenwhether _____________. On the one hand, some argue that____________.From this perspective,____________________. On the otherhand, however, others argue that________________. In the words of one of thisview’s main proponents, “______________________.” According to thisview,_________.In sum, then, the issue is whether____________or_____________________. My own view is that______________________. Though I concedethat_____________, I still maintain that_________________. Forexample,_________________________. Though some might object that___________________________________, I reply that______________. The issue isimportant because___________________________________.
    • 25. Debate Templates1. Although it is often said________, I argue ____________________. [DISAGREE]2. X argues __________________, and I agree because _______________. [AGREE]3. On the surface, this text suggests _________. But a closer analysis shows _____. [COUNTERINTERPRETATION]4. I used to think that _____. Having read___, however, I now see ____________. *I WAS LOST BUT NOW I’M FOUND+5. X argues ____, and I have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, ____. On the other hand, ____. *I’M OF TWO MINDS+6. X can’t have it both ways. At the same time she says _____, she also says_____. [CONTRADICTION SPOTTER]7. Researchers have long wondered why____. My research suggests an explanation, namely, that _____. [PROBLEM SOLVING]
    • 26. Debate Templates Continued8. Debates over ___ have long obscured the far more important issue of _____. [DISPLACE THE DEBATE]9. Seemingly esoteric theory X actually sheds light on the practical matter of _____. *IT’S CLEARER/MORE RELEVANT THAN YOU THINK+10. Although fierce debates have raged over _____, the opponents all share a commitment to ____that they may not recognize. [OPPOSITES CONVERGE]11. Until now I’ve been suggesting/it’s been believed that ____. But it’s more complicated. For one thing, _____. For another, ____. And complicating matters even further, _____. *IT’S MORE COMPLEX+12. Of course it might be objected that _____. And I concede that ___________. Nevertheless, I would still maintain that _____. [NAYSAYER]13. We all agree nowadays that___________________. Where the agreement ends, however, is on_________ [WHERE CONTROVERSY BEGINS]
    • 27. Questions

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