Saturday 30 June 2018

3 booklets for teachers and students on how to have fun with literature.

I have written 3 booklets on response, analysis and practical ways to introduce texts as a means to support our MA students (mostly teachers) at Goldsmiths, in their work in schools, and in response to their analyses of transcripts of students' response to books, poems, plays, and stories.

The conventional means of analysing texts lags at least 40 years behind the insights of intertextuality, narratology, structuralism, reception theory and even Hollywood pragmatism (!). A lot of this sounds obscure and difficult and is often only available on literary theory courses for BA or MA courses. I thought that I would  apply these for use in schools in my 3 booklets, available through my website. Much of it can be used for any age of pupil right the way through from the youngest to the sixth form. I've done this because I think these ideas are important, useful, insightful and - when applied in age-appropriate ways, they are fun ways to read, or analyse literature (if that's what you're doing) and, likewise, fun ways to play with stories and poems as part of writing them. There isn't really as much of a distinction between reading and writing as the school curriculum often imposes.

In 'Poetry and Stories in Primary and Lower Secondary Schools' I break down the process of 'response' (ie how we think, what we say, what we write, when we read something),  so that you have a checklist of ways to enable children and students to 'get into' and analyse a text in fun but profound ways.

In 'Writing for Pleasure' I show how you can look at the 'syntax' of a story and create new stories by changing the 'syntax' - sounds complicated but it's dead easy! -  likewise changing the 'paradigms' that's  the 'elements' of a story. I give the example of changing 'The Tempest' into a modern story or film. Again, dead easy.

In 'Why Write? Why Read?' I've broken down key ideas developed by people like Roland Barthes, Wolfgang Iser, Julie Kristeva and GĂ©rald Genette into easy-to-use themes and questions about texts and applied them as an example to 'Christmas Carol'. 

All three booklets are available through my website. The first one is available through Bookmarks Bookshop. All three are available from Newham Bookshop, and Roving Books.