How Do I Love Thee? CEP 818 Abstracting & Analogizing Abstracting The topic of my content area is spatial description. Students are given a room and are asked to describe it. Before they make any attempt at the description, they need to ‘understand’ what they see. For that, they have to boil the picture down to its essential components and define the function of the room. The real picture on the left can be interpreted based on its function.

window A place to eat

A place to sit

Real room

Abstract room

The abstract room will help students identify the most important elements of the real room. All they need to know at this stage is that the room has a place to sit and a place to eat. Locating the window would help position these two places. At this stage, students don’t need to worry about the furniture used in these 2 places. In their spatial description, they’ll need to start by identifying the function of the room, and abstracting the real room will serve this purpose. It’ll also let them see clearly where exactly in the room each section is located (middle, left, right). Analogizing Now that students have abstracted the room, the next thing would be to help them come up with ways to describe it sensibly. And here’s the trick: There’s no one way of describing a room. What matters is that in the end it makes sense to the reader. The description has to lead to a fully clear image of the room. In this sense, a reasonable analogy would be Lego toys. Lego toys consist of parts that need to be assembled. There isn’t a specific way to assemble the parts as long as the end product results in the complete intended figure. The analogy isn’t 100% accurate, but it helps in the sense that whatever order they choose to describe the room, the end product has to be a logical output of this description. In this way, students will have to Created by: Jean-Claude Aura

Date: October 2010

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How Do I Love Thee? CEP 818 think creatively to put the different pieces of the room together to form a clear picture of what the room looks like. A misplaced part would make the toy figure look distorted and would be equivalent to messing up with the description of the room, like mixing up the 2 sections instead of handling each separately.

It doesn’t matter how this toy is assembled. What matters is that once the parts are assembled, they form the intended figure.

Poem I see a room without a broom, And I wonder what it is. However, I think it’s a little too soon, So let’s look at the different places. And what about the window? Well, it casts no shadow For it’s there in the middle. And don’t you dare giggle, Another look at my left

For I had a hard time

I look at my right,

Makes me long for a rest.

Making all this rhyme.

And see a most pleasant sight.

For there in all its beauty

A table to fest,

Lies my favorite settee.

For a half dozen guest.

The poem describes the room both verbally and visually. With the verses placed the way the furniture is, the poem informs the reader of the visual aspect of the room. Created by: Jean-Claude Aura

Date: October 2010

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Abstracting & Analogizing
Abstracting & Analogizing

This document highlights the importance of abstracting and analogizing in writing.