Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Donkey Kong Style-ish

It's on like Donkey Kong...Day 2 Style. Agenda...Check

So we are onto day 2 at the Summer Writing Project through UNCC (I'm telling you...if you have not checked out this site...What are you waiting for? It's basically the best thing since peanut butter). We discussed this new idea that I hadn't been exposed to before. This idea surrounds the "Single Story." We were introduced to this idea during our "Writing into the Day" opening activity. We were introduced to Chimamanda Adichie (Follow her on Twitter!). We watched her wonderful TedTalk video (I have mentioned this wonderful site before...there are countless amounts of inspirational and thought-provoking videos). So to stop my rambling about TedTalks....Chimamanda's video was about "Single Story" and the idea that people read a story and develop a sense of understanding on a whole population. Here is her talk:

So basically...if you didn't take the time to watch the video (you should have!), she mentions that often times people read stories and develop a sense of "understanding" about all the people like the character in the book they just read. I feel as though this is so typical. There are countless books all dealing with the same "type" of character. However, I believe that people typically fall into a habit of reading books that surround similar characters. People become interested in a particular story, and therefore, gravitate towards similar books dealing with similar characters and situations. Is this the right thing to do as a reader? Well, of course not...but it is entertaining and enjoyable. Who wouldn't want to read lots of books that they enjoy? I mean at least that would make sense.

I feel though that it is important for people, especially readers...specifically young readers, to become readers of lots of genres, characters, places, and times. Reading, or hearing through storytelling, allows us as readers to explore new areas of the world and the people that live there without having to leave our comfortable sun-room with our glass of cool sweet tea.I want my students to enjoy reading, but larger than that, I want my students to enjoy reading various genres. Even if they aren't the favorite style of writing to be reading, at least it is getting read. I want to encourage my students to read nonfiction, informational text, fantasy, realistic fiction, historical fiction, sci-fi, etc. I basically want my students to read anything and everything they can get their hands on! Read, read, and then read some more. Being exposed to the differences in writing will not only then de-myth the "Single Story" idea, but it will improve their own writing. By seeing and being exposed to model text and model writing, my students will become better writers themselves. So am I saying that simply reading more will remove "Single Story" syndrome, as well as improve writing? I believe I am. Wow! Connections ;)

I think that is a big enough revelation for Day 2 at the Writing Project. I'm ending this post blown away (weird that it is something I'm blown away by written by myself) and preparing for tomorrow's revelations!


  1. Sarah,
    I really enjoy your contribution to the conversation on Single Narratives. So often the most dangerous education is the brief, interrupted one so many stop at. By seeing a partial view of things, bias and expediency of thought take preference over comprehensive inquiry. History teaches us the error of incomplete education over and over (maybe you are right about learning from our past-thanks for that).

  2. I really enjoy reading your blog posts. With your posts yesterday and today (like how you began by mentioning the wid video got you considering an idea idea you hadn't before), I feel like I am watching your thinking progress through your writing, and with that progression there is also this realization on your end of the learning that's happening from the writing and thinking that you are doing. Totally digging the your use of parenthesis and font style to get your meaning across. I think I may do some craft stealing from you tomorrow :) Too cool!

  3. "I basically want my students to read anything and everything they can get their hands on!" I completely agree with you here and I think that it most certainly widens their world perspective and their abilities as readers and writers. What I'm wondering is how you go about ensuring that they read a variety of genres. Do you use different types in your lesson plans? Do you assign them for outside reading? I was just wondering logistics so I can steal your ideas :)