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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.

Published in: Education, News & Politics
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Critical Narratives

  1. 1. CRITICAL NARRATIVES <ul><li>CRITICAL: Containing or involving comments and opinions that analyze or judge something </li></ul><ul><li>NARRATIVE: a story or an account of events </li></ul>
  2. 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. 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. 4. Think about it... EC! <ul><li>What Critical Narratives did Rodriguez write to comment on... </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Immigration (laws) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prejudice & Stereotypes (ideology) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Police and The Judicial System (institution) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Educational System (ideology; laws; institution) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Poverty and Gangs (institution; ideology) </li></ul></ul>
  5. 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. 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. 7. My Assignment... <ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>Requirements: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cover Page with Title, Name, Date, Period #; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Beginning Quote (like Rodriguez’s chapters); </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>4-5 pages, 1” margins, typed, double-spaced, 12 pt. Times New Roman font </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Our Goals <ul><li>English Goals: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Practice the writing process & improve writing skills (CSTs are May 18-22!) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learn to tell a story in a powerful and creative way </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Larger Goals: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Critically analyze aspects of our lives and society </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Share pieces of ourselves with the class community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create a unique, powerful narrative that will strike a chord with others and leave a lasting impression </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Generate ideas for a short film (Youtube launch!) </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Project Breakdown <ul><li>Exploring SocioPolitical Issues (25 pts.) </li></ul><ul><li>Analyzing and appreciating critical narratives (100 pts.) </li></ul><ul><li>Brainstorming and Mapping our narratives (20 pts.) </li></ul><ul><li>Rough Draft #1 (20 pts.) </li></ul><ul><li>Revision ( If you’re not an excellent writer, you can still be an excellent rewriter.) </li></ul><ul><li>Rough Draft #2 (40 pts.) </li></ul><ul><li>Final Critical Narrative (80 pts.) </li></ul><ul><li>Critical Narrative Presentations! (15 pts.) </li></ul><ul><li>Vote on narrative to be put to film (20 EC for winner) </li></ul>
  10. 10. What Should I Write About? <ul><li>There are many SocioPolitical forces to choose from: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>racism, classism, or sexism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the educational system or the judicial system </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>immigration issues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>poverty </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Also, I could critique society for the tension that comes with: </li></ul><ul><li>being a foster kid or living in a single-parent home </li></ul><ul><li>being different (a nerd, goth, sick with disease, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>speaking English as a second language </li></ul><ul><li>being female or being male </li></ul><ul><li>being LGBT </li></ul>
  11. 11. Brainstorm <ul><li>TASK: Prepare three separate brainstorms for possible critical narratives you could write. Include Story, Critique, and Details </li></ul><ul><li>“ I bet she knows how to shake that ass!” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>STORY: I was at a racially diverse beach party and the DJ called me up to show the crowd how to “shake that ass” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CRITIQUE: America stereotypes Black women as hyper-sexual objects. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>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? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ Me entiendes?” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>STORY: My first week at Crenshaw High, teaching ESL (which they told me I’d be teaching 2 days before school started.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CRITIQUE: The Public Education School System is failing its students, teachers, and communities. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>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 </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Analyzing and Appreciating Critical Narratives <ul><li>*sensory details about setting and scene </li></ul><ul><li>*dialogue </li></ul><ul><li>*private thoughts </li></ul><ul><li>*conflict/tension, this could be... </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>-character vs. character </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>-character vs. self </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>-character vs. society </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>-character vs. nature </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Creating Your Critical Narrative Map <ul><li>Your map must have at least... </li></ul><ul><li>*1-4 panels </li></ul><ul><li>*3-5 sensory details per panel </li></ul><ul><li>*2 dialogue boxes overall </li></ul><ul><li>*1 private thought per panel </li></ul><ul><li>*conflict/tension, this could be... </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>-character vs. character </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>-character vs. self </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>-character vs. society </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>-character vs. nature </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Deciding How to Begin <ul><li>The beginning of your Critical Narrative needs to be compelling. </li></ul><ul><li>Ways to begin a narrative: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Describe the scene- ‘Cross-legged on a thin, worn blanket under the April sun, I sat, imagining..’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tell the ending, then work your way back- ‘I woke up in a ditch, not knowing how I got there’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Intriguing dialogue- ‘“It’s not you; it’s me,” she whispered, just before she shook her head and left.’ </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>Robert was rich. He wore.... When he spoke.... On the weekends, he’d.... </li></ul>
  16. 16. Descriptive Writing: Show vs. Tell Show vs. Tell <ul><li>“is” “was” “am” and “are” are words that tell. Good story development involves show, not tell. </li></ul><ul><li>Task: First, circle all of the ‘tell’ words in your story. Then, replace some of the sentences with ‘show’ descriptions. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ex- “Devon was nervous about performing.” becomes “Devon’s hands trembled as he held the microphone.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ex- “Brenda is happy to be home.” becomes ...? </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Figures of Speech <ul><li>The occasional use of alliteration, repetition, metaphor, simile, and other figures of speech makes your writing more vivid and engaging </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>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.” </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Varying Sentence Structure <ul><li>“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.” </li></ul><ul><li>How does that sound to you? </li></ul>
  19. 19. Varying Sentence Structure <ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>Task: Make more of your sentences compound, complex, or compound-complex so that your sentences have variety. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>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.” </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Add a Quote <ul><li>Find (or create) a quote that captures a truth tied to your Critical Narrative. </li></ul>

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