PRE-‐Texts©: An Illustrated Manual
Cultural Agents Initiative Harvard University
PRE-‐Texts© Mission Integrate the arts into academic learning in order to promote passionate engagement for teachers and students. To serve all levels and socio-‐economic environments by showing that local development can follow from local talents and recycled materials.
PRE-‐Texts© Vision PRE-‐Texts is the most effective approach to educating resourceful citizens for the intellectual and social challenges of the 21st century.
PRE-‐Texts© Goals 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
To promote ƐƚƵĚĞŶƚ͛ƐŽǁŶĞƌƐŚŝƉŽĨĐůĂƐƐŝĐĂůƚĞǆƚƐ, a cultural capital. To experience creative thinking as critical thinking. To recognize that ŝŶƚĞƌƉƌĞƚĂƚŝŽŶŝŶǀŽůǀĞƐͬǀĂůŝĚĂƚĞƐŽŶĞ͛ƐŽǁŶĞǆƉĞƌŝĞŶĐĞ͘ To show that texts need creative intervention in order to make sense. To illustrate that language is an art that can trigger other artistic processes.
Contents 1. What is PRE-‐Texts©? 2. PRE-‐Texts© Workshops 3. How PRE-‐Texts© Works? 4. PRE-‐Texts© Goals, Objectives, Target outcomes 5. PRE-‐Texts© Curriculum outline 5.1. Activity one: Warm-‐Ups 5.2. Activity two: Book Making 5.3. After Each Activity: What did we do? 5.4. Activity three: Reading Aloud 5.5. Activity four: Questioning the Text 5.6. Activity five: Inter-‐text 5.7. Activity six: Literature on the Clothesline 5.8. Activity seven: Portraits, back-‐to-‐back 5.9. Activity eight: Poetry 5.10. Activity nine: Movie Music Score 5.11. Activity ten: Photography and Point of View 5.12. Activity eleven: Literary Figures 5.13. Activity twelve: Forum Theater 5.14. Activity thirteen: Grandmother Tells the Story 5.15. Activity fourteen: Off on a Tangent 5.16. EŽǁŝƚ͛ƐzŽƵƌdƵƌŶ 5.17. The Ten Staples of PRE-‐Texts© 6. More Info and Contact Information
What is PRE-‐Texts©? PRE-‐Texts© is an integrated literacy and youth development program for multiple learning styles. From 2007 on, workshops and local adaptations have been implemented in Boston, Cambridge, Mexico, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Uganda, Zimbabwe, and China. Through interactive workshops to train trainers, our program ͞ƌĞĐǇĐůĞƐ͟ƉŽƉƵůĂƌ practices that develop a love of learning and offer creative strategies for teaching literacy and the skills needed for active citizenship. PRE-‐Texts© interprets literature through multiple art forms in order to develop: 1. Reading and interpretive skills, 2. Confidence in speaking and thinking in the target language, 3. Motivation to read and write in the target language, 4. Critical thinking skills, and 5. Resourcefulness. 6. Admiration for oneself and for others. The PRE-‐Texts© curriculum encourages students to take ownership of their own learning process by making them co-‐authors of good literature which they interpret creatively, using their own experience and the world around them.
PRE-‐Texts© Workshops Artistic creativity is the approach that keeps children and youth engaged in reading through PRE-‐Texts©. We invert the conventional order of teaching from lower to higher order thinking and begin with the challenge to create an addition to, or variation on, a classic text. The challenge engages students in art-‐making which needs to access data and basic understanding, whereas beginning with basics can bore students and cut short the desired progression. Our approach takes classics as stimuli to make new works of art, not as sacred objects. Young people -‐-‐ and older ones -‐-‐ have fun playing with literature, which requires attention to vocabulary, grammar, and analytic skills. Participants re-‐work challenging texts into various genres of writing; they perform variations through theater games, they paint visions or moods inspired by stories, set stories to music or dance, and adapt their own passions for art into new interpretive activities, continuing for as long as the program lasts. The program guides students to intervene in existing literature, and thereby to develop ownership of enriched language and of other expressive media. We demystify classic writing and treat it as a pretext for ƉůĂǇ͘ŶĚ͕ŝŶŽƌĚĞƌƚŽĚĞǀĞůŽƉďƌŽĂĚĂƐǁĞůůĂƐĚĞĞƉƌĞĂĚŝŶŐ͕ƉĂƌƚŝĐŝƉĂŶƚƐŐŽ͞ŽĨĨŽŶĂ ƚĂŶŐĞŶƚ͟ƚŽďƌŝŶŐŝŶĂƚĞǆƚʹ from any field -‐-‐ that can be related to the core text of the workshop.
How PRE-‐Texts© works? Training Workshop For Educators: 20 hours (4 hours, 5 days). Subject to Variations.
Implementation: Example for a 10-‐week program (Warm ups, Book-‐making, Reading aloud, what did we do? ĂŶĚ͞KĨĨŽŶĂdĂŶŐĞŶƚ͟ĂĐƚŝǀŝƚŝĞƐ repeat each session during the 10-‐week program)
PRE-‐Texts© Learning Objectives 1. To Develop Critical Thinking: To imagine new relationships and outcomes by altering pre-‐existing literary texts is also to engage critical thinking. 2. To Increase Reading Enjoyment: Pleasure and play are central determinants in ĐŚŝůĚƌĞŶ͛ƐĚĞƐŝƌĞƚŽƌĞĂĚĂŶĚͬŽƌĐŽŶƚŝŶƵĞƌĞĂĚŝŶŐŝŶƚŚĞĨƵƚƵƌĞ͘ZĞĂĚŝŶg enjoyment leads to continuing improvement in reading and literacy levels. 3. To Develop Artistic/Literacy Skills: Learning through creativity is central to the approach of Pre-‐Texts. Artistic engagement with literature develops skills to ŝŶƚĞƌǀĞŶĞƉƌŽĚƵĐƚŝǀĞůǇŝŶĂƌĂŶŐĞŽĨůŝĨĞ͛ƐĐŚĂůůĞŶŐĞƐ͘
Pre-‐Texts Target Outcomes Short-‐term Outcomes: x Increased Awareness: students discover that a classic text can have new uses. They realize that reading is not passive, but instead an active component of authorship. x Increased Knowledge: students learn vocabulary, grammar and historical/cultural references by exploring a classic text used for making art. x Increased Skills: students develop strategies to intervene in existing material, and to connect that material with their own experience and objectives. x Increased Motivation: students express a heightened desire and interest in reading. They use literary texts to ͞ŵĞĞƚ͟ƵŶĨĂŵŝůŝĂƌǁŽƌůĚƐ and mine them for artistic leads. x Improved Attitude: students perceive reading and writing as opportunities for play rather than impositions or homework. They generate self-‐discipline as artists. Intermediate-‐term Outcomes: x Improved Practices: educators will incorporate more challenging texts and imaginative interpretation strategies to raise learning expectations and results among students. x Improved Habits: students show positive literacy development and reading habits in their regular classes. x Improved Staff Engagement: positive engagement among instructional staff follows from collaboration between artists/educators and classroom teachers. x Improved Student Behaviors: after using literary texts as a precursor for activities, students develop self-‐authorizing confidence as well as admiration for each other, along with the necessary skills to process emotional challenges. x Improved Procedures: Educators incorporate arts in their curriculum as vehicles for enhancing instruction of the range of academic subjects. Long-‐term changes Outcomes: x Improved Environment: students discover their capabilities to analyze, intervene and transform their own world in an innovative and effective way.
Improved Social Conditions: communities, parents and schools benefit from the positive impact of more engaged and participant students in daily life activities. x Improved Economic conditions: engaged students with better literacy skills have better possibilities for accessing higher education and enhance their future income. x Improved Political Conditions: students develop citizenship and community through admiration of creative participation in workshops. They evaluate their own world and notions of conformity; society is now perceived as a work in progress that invites them to make changes and explore possibilities.
Activity One: Warm-‐ups Learning Goals: To let go of inhibitions; to acknowledge that making mistakes is part of the artistic and learning process; to trust other people as partners in art-‐making and learning; See Augusto Boal ͞'ĂŵĞƐĨŽƌĐƚŽƌƐĂŶĚEŽŶ-‐ĐƚŽƌƐ͟. Maverick Landing Community Center, East Boston -‐ 2009
1. Naming Gestures. Stand in a circle. Each student speaks her/his name and simultaneously makes a physical gesture. Everyone in the circle repeats the name and gesture together. Do this around the circle. For an extra challenge, have the students try to remember and repeat all of the names that came before. 2. Colombian hypnosis. ŝǀŝĚĞƚŚĞŐƌŽƵƉƐŽƚŚĂƚĞǀĞƌǇŽŶĞĐŚŽŽƐĞƐƚŚĞůĞƚƚĞƌ͟͞Žƌ ͘͟͞ Student A leads and B follows. A puts a palm up toward the face of B, a few inches away. ĨŽůůŽǁƐ͛ƐŚĂŶĚwith her/his eyes (keeping the few inches distance) as A moves around the room. A should try to get B to move in different new ways. Then partners switch roles and B leads A. 3. Can I Trust You? Similar to activity #2. Students find a partner. The leader and the follower both hold their palms up, touching them together. The follower closes her/his eyes, and the ůĞĂĚĞƌůĞĂĚƐƚŚĞ͞ďůŝŶĚ͟ĨŽůůŽǁĞƌĂƌŽƵŶĚƚŚĞƌŽŽŵĂŶĚŵƵƐƚ avoid bumping into other students and walls. Then partners switch roles. 4. Guess The Personification. All stand in a circle. Ask students to walk about the room searching for an object with which they can create a personification (e.g. hungry
trash can). Then ask students to speak the personification without giving away the ŽďũĞĐƚ;Ğ͘Ő͘͞/ĂŵǀĞƌǇŚƵŶŐƌǇ͘͟ͿdŚĞŽƚŚĞƌƐƚƵĚĞŶƚs must guess the object. 5. Tangles and Knots. Everyone stands in a circle. Remember who is standing to the right and the left. The facilitator asks the group to spread out and begin to walk freely about the room. Now walk close to those who have the same colored shirt as you, the same colored shoes, the same glasses, etc. Further instructions: create 3 circles, or 4 squares or 2 triangles (using everyone in the room). Then the facilitator ƐĂǇƐ͕͞ĨƌĞĞǌĞ͘͟sĞƌǇ͕ǀĞƌǇƐlowly everyone must reaches toward the persons who were standing on their right and left, and lock hands. This will be a tangle. The group then tries to untangle itself͕ǁŝƚŚŽƵƚůĞƚƚŝŶŐŐŽŽĨƚŚĞŝƌŶĞŝŐŚďŽƌƐ͛ŚĂŶĚƐ͘ 6. Quirky Me. Students find a partner and tell each other one quirky thing about ƚŚĞŵƐĞůǀĞƐ;Ğ͘Ő͘͞/ůŝŬĞƚŽƐŝŶŐŝŶƚŚĞƐŚŽǁĞƌ͘͟ͿdŽŐĞƚŚĞƌƚŚĞǇƉĞƌĨŽƌŵƚŚĞƋƵŝƌŬǇ actʹ one student mimes the activity (acting it out in silence) while the other student makes the corresponding sounds. The class must guess what the quirky thing is. 7. Complete the Image. Two people shake hands and freeze. The facilitator asks the spectators what story they see in the image. Then, one person leaves the frozen image, leaving it incomplete. A volunteer then comes to completes the image in a new way to make a different story. Students talk about what they see in each image. 8. Two by Three. WĂƌƚŶĞƌƐĂůƚĞƌŶĂƚĞĐŽƵŶƚŝŶŐ͞ϭ͟-‐͞Ϯ͟-‐͞ϯ͟. Then, they replace 1 for a sound and physical gesture, counting 2 and 3 normally. Now replace 2 with another sound and gesture and count 5 normally; now replace the 3. Participants will laugh at the errors they make and also appreciate the arbitrary nature of language. 9. Remember That Rhythm. Everyone sits in a circle. The first person makes a two beat rhythm using his/her body and/or the floor (e.g. two snaps, one with each hand). Each student adds a subsequent two beat rhythm, but must repeat all of the rhythms that came before her/him before adding their own. Students can help each other remember the rhythms. 10. Carnival of Rhythm. Everyone sits in a circle. One student begins by making a ƌŚǇƚŚŵƚŚĂƚƚŚĞǇƐŚĂƌĞŽƵƚůŽƵĚ͕ĂŶĚŽŶĞďǇŽŶĞƚŚĞƐƚƵĚĞŶƚƐ͞ƉĂƐƐ͟ƚŚĞƌŚǇƚŚŵ around the group as if they are passing an object (each repeating the rhythm themselves). Once the first rhythm is passed, the next student creates another rhythm and begins to pass it around the group. Now there are two rhythms. Continue by having the next student do the same. 11. Rhythm and Chairs. Choose 5 students. Each gets a chair and must create a frozen image using the chair. The facilitator numbers the images 1 to 5. The rest of the group then moves around the space slowly and at any time the facilitator will call out one of the numbers, and the group must then replicate that frozen image. You can have each student replicate the image individually, or the group as a whole can replicate the image (using their bodies to replicate the role of the chair).
Activity Two: Book-‐Making Learning Goals: To embolden students to intervene in existing material; to experiment with design options; to recognize discarded material as useful; to promote a culture of ƌĞĐǇĐůŝŶŐĂŶĚĐĂƌĞĨŽƌƚŚĞǁŽƌůĚ͛ƐůŝŵŝƚĞĚƌĞƐŽƵƌĐĞƐ͘
Inspired by Eloisa Cartonera, an artist-‐led publishing house in Argentina, PRE-‐Texts© begins by creating books from everyday recycled materials. How to design the cover is an exercise in creativity and resourcefulness and builds anticipation for the text as content. As students make their books, they listen to a story read aloud and think of a question to ask the text. This revives the practice of children and trains the practice of scholars. Research begins with asking a question of texts, other objects, and events. Materials for making books: (*optional) Cardboard (recycled if possible) Stapler Paint* Scissors Hole Puncher Colored Markers Paintbrushes* Pens / Pencils Paper (recycled if possible) Glue / Tape Decorative Materials Newspaper (to protect floors) Yarn / String Magazines* Stencils* Stickers*
What did we do? After each artistic activity the facilitator asks students to reflect on what happened during the activity. `
After Each Activity: What did we do? Learning Objectives: To generalize from concrete activities to general principles; to ƉĂƵƐĞĂŶĚĐŽŶƐŝĚĞƌƚŚĞĞĨĨĞĐƚƐŽĨŽŶĞ͛ƐĂĐƚŝǀŝƚǇ͖ƚŽŝŶĨĞƌĂŶĚƚŽabstract; to anticipate interesting responses from everyone in the group; to speak cogently and briefly. /ŶƐƚĞĂĚŽĨĂƐŬŝŶŐƐƚƵĚĞŶƚƐ͞tŚĂƚĚŝĚǁĞůĞĂƌŶ?͟ƚŚĞƌĞĨůĞĐƚŝŽŶĂĨƚĞƌĞĂĐŚĂƌƚ ĂĐƚŝǀŝƚǇƌĞƐƉŽŶĚƐƚŽƚŚĞƋƵĞƐƚŝŽŶ͞tŚĂƚĚŝĚǁĞĚŽ͍͟dŚĞƐƵďƚůĞĚŝĨĨĞƌĞŶĐĞŝƐ fundamental. The first, more conventional question, will probably fail to elicit deep reflections, because participants will sense ʹ correctly -‐-‐ that the answers are predictable and that the facilitator is hoping to get affirmation for the lesson and even thanks for it. Asking instead about what participants did puts the focus on them. In response to the conventional question, students can allege, in an unfriendly way, that they learned nothing. But they will be embarrassed to say that they did nothing after they obviously participated in an arts activity. ĨƚĞƌƚŚĞƉƌŽŵƉƚ͞tŚĂƚĚŝĚǁĞĚŽ͍͕ĞĂĐŚƉĂƌƚŝĐŝƉĂŶƚŽĨĨĞƌƐĂĐŽŵŵĞŶƚ͘ It is important that each one makes a contribution. In this way, participation is insured. Very active students gradually learn economy of expression and also judgment about when to intervene. Shy students learn that contributions are an obligation and that the group will wait for them. When each person has spoken there may be time to take the floor again; but there is never a case in which a participant should speak twice before all have spoken. Several good citizenship building effects follow from this simple procedure: the rule itself establishes democratic leveling of rights and responsibility; students come to expect interesting and intelligent responses from everyone in the group; facilitators are free from the burden of getting some students to limit their comments and others to overcome their reticence. Intellectually, ͞tŚĂƚĚŝĚǁĞĚŽ͍͟ƐƚŝŵƵůĂƚĞƐŚŝŐŚĞƌŽƌĚĞƌƚŚŝŶŬŝŶŐ͘dŚĞƋƵĞƐƚŝŽŶ is grounded in a concrete practice and it explores theoretical observations. In fact, participants almost inevitably offer comments that can be given technical names in literary theory, language philosophy, and group dynamics. For example, someone may note that reading/receiving and writing/producing are not really opposite activities, since one cannot read wiƚŚŽƵƚŝŵĂŐŝŶŝŶŐǀĂƌŝĂƚŝŽŶƐŽƌĚĞƚĂŝůƐƚŚĂƚĚŽŶ͛ƚĂƉƉĞĂƌŝŶƚŚĞ text (deconstruction); or that each reader brings his/her experience to interpretation (reader-‐response); or that telling the same story in the voice of a different character changes the story and its impact (narratology). Students may notice that words have ĚŝĨĨĞƌĞŶƚŵĞĂŶŝŶŐƐŝŶĚŝĨĨĞƌĞŶƚĐŽŶƚĞǆƚƐ;tŝƚƚŐĞŶƐƚĞŝŶ͛Ɛ͞ůĂŶŐƵĂŐĞŐĂŵĞƐ͟Ϳ͖ŽƌƚŚĂƚ ƚĞǆƚƐĂƌĞƉŽƌŽƵƐĂŶĚŝŶǀŝƚĞƐƉĞĐƵůĂƚŝŽŶƐ;ĐŽ͛Ɛ͞ŽƉĞŶǁŽƌŬ͟Ϳ͘&ĂĐŝůŝƚĂƚŽƌƐƚƌĂŝŶĞĚŝŶ these theories can mention them as tags for student reflections, but the tags are ƵŶŶĞĐĞƐƐĂƌǇĨŽƌƐƚŝŵƵůĂƚŝŶŐƚŚĞƐŽƉŚŝƐƚŝĐĂƚŝŽŶƚŚĂƚĨŽůůŽǁƐĨƌŽŵ͞tŚĂƚĚŝĚǁĞĚŽ͍͟ `
Activity Three: Reading Out loud Learning Goals: To enhance in students the level of attention to speech while they are engaged in manual activities. To strengthen listening skills.
The facilitator or a volunteer student reads the chosen text in a clear and moving voice while participants continue to make their individual books. The act of reading out loud while others listen intently as they engage in manual labor has a long and distinguished tradition throughout the Caribbean in the practice of cigar manufacture. Workers would collect money to hire a reader; and they would choose the book to be read: newspapers, novels, history, and philosophy. Students continue to make books as the reader finishes reading the text. During the reading, students are encouraged to identify missing or curious information in the story that makes them curious and to prepare a question to ask of the text. The facilitator can provide examples of questions to encourage students to think about their questions.
What did we do? At the end of every activity the facilitator encourage students to reflect by asking: What did we just do?
Activity Four: Ask a Question of the Text Learning Goals: To intervene and experience that texts are open to new uses. To promote critical thinking and ownership of the text and print culture in general.
What the author does not say is sometimes as important as what the author does say. By reading, we engage with the text and fill in details that are not supplied yet. A question might also be posed to the author. Then, students ask their questions aloud, so that all can appreciate the range of opportunities to intervene. Facilitators can give examples and ideas about possible questions to the text to break the ice and encourage students. Ask students if they want to listen the text again so they can think about their question while listening again.
What did we do? At the end of every activity the facilitator encourage students to reflect by asking: What did we just do?
Activity Five: Inter-‐text Learning Goals: dŽĚĞǀĞůŽƉĂĚŵŝƌĂƚŝŽŶĨŽƌŽƚŚĞƌƐ͛ǁŽƌŬ͘do expand interpretation and promote critical thinking.
After participants formulate a question and share the questions orally, the facilitator invites the students to write a response to either their own question or the question of another student. It can be a speculation, an explanation or an exploration. This makes students co-‐authors of the expanded text. Allow enough time for students to think and write their answers to the question. Then ask students to display their work in the as they finish writing (see activity six: literature in the clothesline)
What did we do? At the end of every activity the facilitator encourage students to reflect by asking: What did we just do?
Activity Six: Literature on the Clothesline Learning Goals: To strengthen writing skills, understanding, and interpreting texts; To enhance communicative skills by encouraging students to experiment with language; To promote admiration for the range of speculations and explanations.
Inspired by a popular practice in Brazil͛ƐĞĐŽŶŽŵŝĐĂůůǇƉŽor Northeast, where poets ͞ƉƵďůŝƐŚ͟ƚŚĞŝƌǁŽƌŬŽŶa clothesline in the town square, PRE-‐Texts© displays student interventions in this approach to instant publication. Throughout the program, the clothesline can be the space to hang new stories, write questions, draw characters, etc. Facilitators can have students write their names on their work or remain anonymous. All ǁŽƌŬŝƐŚƵŶŐƚŽŐĞƚŚĞƌƐŽƐƚƵĚĞŶƚƐĐĂŶĨƌĞĞůǇǁĂůŬĂďŽƵƚƚŚĞƌŽŽŵ͕ƌĞĂĚŝŶŐĞĂĐŚŽƚŚĞƌ͛Ɛ contributions.
Activity Seven: Portraits back-‐to-‐back Learning Goals: To ůŝƐƚĞŶĂƚƚĞŶƚŝǀĞůǇƚŽĂƉĂƌƚŶĞƌ͛ƐŝŶƐƚƌƵĐƚŝŽŶƐ͖ƚŽstimulate reflection on the relationship between reading and interpretation, also between shared experiences and personal differences.
Participants sit back to back while one describes a character from the text that all had heard in the oral reading and the partner draws from the description. After 10 minutes, they change roles. When each participant has drawn a portrait, we create a gallery organized by characters and invite participants to the opening ͞'ĂůůĞƌǇdalk.͟ Several participants get a turn to comment on how well his or her description was executed by the partner. The results are always a combination of convergence and divergence, because each participant is actively interpreting while describing and while drawing.
Activity Eight: Poetry Learning Goals: To appropriate and manipulate the words, grammar and themes of a ͞ĐůĂƐƐŝĐ͟ǁŽƌŬ͘By turning an iconic medium into a popular genre, students learn that classic writers have done the same thing, borrowing and stealŝŶŐŽƚŚĞƌƉĞŽƉůĞ͛Ɛ words.
Students will be asked to break the text down into five sections and then each different section will be assigned to individuals. Second instruction is to cut the number of words in half (the words could be completely changed or condensed). The goal is to keep the powerful meaning of the text in as few words as possible, focusing on the senses. Through this exercise, participants create different styles of poetry by rearranging the text in different ways. By editing the text, the readers are required to understand the meaning of each sentence. This exercise makes the writing process more accessible for new writers. When everyone shares his or her poem, they can appreciate that everyone writes in a different style. Some people use only words from the text, while others find new rhymes and yet others will update the text into a contemporary situation. There are many variations for this activity, including a challenging exercise devised by a fifteen year old facilitator: assign a different genre of poetry (haiku, sonnet, epic, couplet, etc) to each participant.
Activity Nine: Movie Music Score Learning Goals: To help students understand and interpret how sound resonates with meaning. To develop oral skills as they relate non-‐verbal communication to verbal expression. To expand the range of music and cultures students will hear attentively.
Choose 5-‐6 recorded music clips of one minute each. Ask students to mark on their copy of the text where each clip would appear in the musical background of the story. Students then explain their choices and find convergence and divergence. This is an opportunity to expand the range of music students listen to. A variation: Arrange students into groups of 3, 4 or 5 depending on class size. Using a passage or character of your choice, have each group compose a musical accompaniment. Students perform their lŝǀĞ͞ƐŽƵŶĚƚƌĂĐŬ͟ǁŚŝůĞƚŚĞfacilitator or another student reads the chosen passage aloud. Because students have varying musical abilities, focus on percussion and sound effects. Use some instruments if available. But even a desk and a pen can be used to make sound. While listening, ask the students who are not performing to jot down something about the soundtrack that they noticed, to share during discussion.
Activity Ten: Photography Learning Goals: To make concrete the abstract concepts of theme, perspective, and composition; to appreciate the particular skill set of each art form; to develop stamina for observation and attention to detail.
Students take photographs, using digital cameras provided by facilitators or the cameras on their cell phones. They take each photo from the point of view of a particular character in the text. Another approach is to capture an object that represents a theme or a mood of the text. Give students approximately 15-‐20 minutes to collect photos both inside and outside, if possible. Using a projector, project the images on a screen for all students to see. Ask each photographer to descƌŝďĞƚŚĞŝŵĂŐĞĂŶĚŚŽǁŝƚƌĞƉƌĞƐĞŶƚƐƚŚĞŝƌĐŚĂƌĂĐƚĞƌ͛Ɛ perspective. Then ask for comments and challenges from the other students. dŚŝƐĂĐƚŝǀŝƚǇŝůůƵƐƚƌĂƚĞƐ͞ĚŝǀĞƌŐĞŶƚ͟ƉĞĚĂŐŽŐǇ;ǁŚĞƌĞĂůůƐƚƵĚĞŶƚƐŚĂǀĞĂĚŝĨĨĞƌĞŶƚ interpretation to share that benefits the ĚŝƐĐƵƐƐŝŽŶͿĂƐŽƉƉŽƐĞĚƚŽ͞ĐŽŶǀĞƌŐĞŶƚ͟ pedagogy (where all students must find one correct answer). It also introduces abstract concepts (such as perspective, composition and filters) used for interpretation in ways that are practical and easily understood. The facilitator will continually ask and encourage more questions (more puzzles) to engage students in thought and expression. If discussion about topics that are powerful and relevant to their own lives, will engage students completely. T
What did we do? At the end of every activity the facilitator encourage students to reflect by asking: What did we just do? `
Activity Eleven: Literary Figures Learning Goals: To demonstrate the power of creative language; to strengthen collaboration; To sharpen interpretive skills; To help students understand rhetorical terms such as metaphor and simile, as well as other literary devices.
dŚŝƐŝƐĂŬŝŶĚŽĨůŝƚĞƌĂƌǇ͞ĐŚĂƌĂĚĞƐ͘͟In small groups, students identify a literary figure in the text (metaphor, simile, metonymy, etc). Students then create a group ͞ŚƵŵĂŶ ƐĐƵůƉƚƵƌĞ͟ƚŽrepresent the literary figure. Give them about 10-‐15 minutes to design their sculpture. Then each group demonstrates their sculpture. The other students attempt to ͞ƌĞĂĚ͟the figure by finding the quote in the text and reading it aloud to the group. Ask students to write new metaphors, similes and personifications (giving them prompts if you wish) and write them in their handmade books. Students will learn to value their own ideas and to see language as a powerful tool for self-‐expression and community building.
Activity Twelve: Forum Theater Learning Goals: To develop conflict resolution skills; To imagine creative solutions to real life conflicts suggested by the text. To develop citizenship by creating interventions in crisis situations that had seemed unsolvable.
FORUM-‐THEATER ͞ĂƌĞŚĞĂƌƐĂůĨŽƌůŝĨĞ͟presents a one-‐act tragedy that opens up to interventions from the audience. Read Theater of the Oppressed, by Augusto Boal. Participants identify different conflicts in the text; they form small groups that relate to a particular conflict. Then they meet to discuss what the conflict means to them, personally. After this session for creating connections in the group, they prepare, rehearse, and act out skits that dramatize the selected conflict. After a group presents their skit, participants from the other groups become spect-‐ actors who are invited to intervene by replacing the protagonist or any other character, and act out -‐ on stage and not from the audience -‐ a possible way out of the tragedy. The other students on stage improvise based on each new intervention. All spect-‐actors have the right to intervene and play out their ideas. Collectively, they discover that conflicts can open up to a range of productive interventions.
Activity Thirteen: Grandmother Tells the Story Learning Goals: To link texts in the target language with heritage languages and cultures; to ƐƵƉƉŽƌƚƌĞƐƉĞĐƚĂŶĚĂĚŵŝƌĂƚŝŽŶĨŽƌŽŶĞ͛ƐŽǁŶŚĞƌŝƚĂŐĞĂŶĚƚŚŽƐĞŽĨŽƚŚĞƌƐ͖ to demonstrate storytelling as an art form. Participants re-‐tell the story from the point of view and language of a non-‐English speaker. This expands the range of interpretations and validates home languages. Bilinguals recognize their advantage as interpreters.
(Allow 30 minutes for this activity) Students re-‐write the story or part of the story from the point of view of someone in their family or group of friends whose first language is not English. Have students start by writing their work on scrap paper, and then have them transfer what they write to their handmade books after you have had a chance to correct their grammar and vocabulary. This way they are always proud of what is written in their books. Then, have students tell and describe their new story or synopsis to the class. You can also have the students write the story in a home language, to be shared with a native speaker. Students will gain a deeper appreciation for the value of being bilingual and will be more motivated to attain this goal for themselves. Students who are in the process of becoming bilingual will have the chance to recognize their advantage as interpreters. They will recognize the power of language as a tool to connect with others.
Activity Fourteen: Off on a Tangent
(Homework activity) Learning Goals: To expand the range of reading; to foster curiosity and research skills; to develop taste, judgment, and the capacity to relate one kind of text or field to others. Ask students to bring a literary, scientific, historical or artistic page that they can somehow relate to the common text. It can be from a book, a newspaper, a magazine, the internet, or a journal. The found text should contain at least one vocabulary word that the rest of the class most likely does not know. The student teaches this new word to the class during their presentation. Student presentations should be brief ʹ they should read their text and teach the new vocabulary word to the class. Then other students will guess the connection to the text and play with the new vocabulary word. TŚŝƐĂĐƚŝǀŝƚǇďƌŽĂĚĞŶƐƚŚĞƐƚƵĚĞŶƚƐ͛ƌĂŶŐĞŽĨƌĞĂĚŝŶŐŝŶŶŐůŝƐŚ͘dŚĞǇǁŝůůŵŽƐƚůŝŬĞůǇ read through multiple texts before choosing one, since they will want to be proud of their choice. It also gives students a chance to take on the facilitator role and teach the class themselves. When students displaying their choices of text to classmates and also teach them new words and fields, they become truly motivated about learning.
Activity Fifteen: EŽǁŝƚ͛ƐzŽƵƌdƵƌŶ Learning Goals: To appropriate the program. To experience that using a program means adapting it to create new variations that develop individual objectives and skills.
Facilitators who have used our program are teaching all over the world. New activities range from creating skits, mask making, miming, set building, chalkboard playgrounds, doll making, jewelry making, architectural models, collages, and many more. Facilitators are the best resources our students have. When facilitators become creators and designers of new activities, they inspire creativity and risk-‐taking among students so that teaching and learning become more engaging and effective. As teachers become more familiar with PRE-‐Texts© and its philosophy, they create their own activities based on our models. Facilitators always know best what works for their students, and you will alter our activities to suit ƐƚƵĚĞŶƚƐ͛ unique needs
The Ten Staples of PRE-‐Texts 1. -‐ Base each activity on a literary work of high quality, that is, literature that displays rhetorical figures and uses of grammar that give pause and stimulate the imagination. 2. -‐ Recycle/ change/ rearrange existing materials (literature, cardboard, gestures). 3. -‐ Model the lesson. Maestro, meaning teacher or artist, comes from the same root as to show (to give an example) without imposing or explaining too much. 4. -‐ Encourage artistic and interpretive independence, always with reference to the original text being used and mined. Originality and creativity will then develop alongside critical faculties for interpretation. 5. -‐ Take advantage of the particular technical contributions of each art form and activity. 6. -‐ Prepare collaborations between teachers and artists by including both in the same training sessions. 7. -‐ Create safe spaces for participants (ǁŝƚŚ͚ǁĂƌŵ-‐ups, laughter, and mutual admiration) where students can take risks. 8. -‐ Allow (gently insist) that all participants respond to invitations to think and to ĐƌĞĂƚĞ͘ŽŶ͛ƚďĞƐĂƚŝƐĨŝĞĚǁŝƚŚŽŶĞŽƌƚǁŽ͞ĐŽƌƌĞĐƚ͟ĂŶƐǁĞƌƐ͘ 9. -‐ Keep expectations high; assume that they will be achieved and provide the necessary support. 10. -‐ Celebrate the range of activities with exhibitions, performance events and/or art galleries at the end of the implementation cycle for PRE-‐Texts.
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