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Presentation on theme: "ITS NOT ALL ABOUT ME? HELPING YOUNG ADOLESCENTS EXAMINE MULTIPLE PERSPECTIVES IN TEXTS Roberta Linder, Ed.D. Aurora University 2008 IRA Conference May."— Presentation transcript:

1 ITS NOT ALL ABOUT ME? HELPING YOUNG ADOLESCENTS EXAMINE MULTIPLE PERSPECTIVES IN TEXTS Roberta Linder, Ed.D. Aurora University 2008 IRA Conference May 8, 2008 Atlanta, Georgia

2 Multiple Perspectives To understand experiences and texts from our own perspectives and the viewpoints of others and to consider these various perspectives concurrently



5 Why read texts from multiple perspectives? Promote thoughtful literacy (Allington, 2001) Attend to the cultural diversity in our classrooms and our society (Garcia, 2005) Component of effective literacy instruction for adolescents (Alvermann, 2002) Develop new skillsbe active rather than passive consumers of media (Buckingham, 2003; Hobbs, 2007) Recommendation of National Middle School Association (NMSA) Instructional materials and resources are most worthwhile when they reflect multiple viewpoints and encourage young adolescent to explore new ideas. (p. 25)

6 Preparation for Exploring Multiple Perspectives Critically examine the text to be presented to the students. Determine the perspective(s) present in the text as well as those absent from the text. Determine what, if any, supplementing will be necessary in order to provide the students with information about the absent perspective(s). Select an appropriate activity or strategy.

7 Questions to guide critique of texts How does the adult author construct the world of adolescence in the text? What does the author want us to think? Who gets to speak and have a voice in the novel and who doesnt? What/who is left out of the novel? How might alternative viewpoints be represented? How would that contribute to your understanding of the text? Does the author represent an insider or outsider look at a culture?

8 Preparation for Exploring Multiple Perspectives So Far from the Bamboo Grove (Watkins) Critically examine the textwhat is presented and what is absent Determine what point(s) of view are absent and should be added Select appropriate activity or strategy Presented: viewpoint of Japanese living in Korea at the end of WWII Absent: details about the Japanese occupation of Korea and the dropping of the atomic bombs Strategies/activities Website on Korea Construct timeline of 19 th and 20 th century events in Korea video tape of the atomic bombs Multiple Perspectives Web Mind Portrait/ Alternative Mind Portrait Steps in examination process Steps I followed with this texc

9 Activities and Strategies for Examining Multiple Perspectives Character Perspective Charting Mind Portrait/Alternative Mind Portrait Discussion Web Theme-based Units Voices of American Teens project Media projects

10 Features of Character Perspective Charting (Shanahan & Shanahan, 1997) Engages students in a form of story mapping Highlights the interrelatedness of the goals and conflicts of the characters Demonstrates how different themes are derived from a storys different perspectives Used with short stories or chapter of novels Different perspectives can be charted concurrently or individually



13 Pulling Up Stakes by David Lubar First Crossing Character: Adrian Setting: Alaska during the winter months Conflict: Moved from Transylvania and some students think hes a vampire Goal: To make friends Attempt: Goes inside when the sun rises at the end of the Alaskan winter Outcome: Students believe hes a vampire and are glad to be friends with him Reaction: Hes glad he was able to do this for them Theme: People should accept others for who they are, not who they want them to be.

14 Pulling Up StakesContrasting Character Perspective Charts Setting: same Problem: think Adrian is a vampire Goal: find out whether or not Adrian is a vampire Attempts: hold a cross in front of him, extra garlic on pizza, put gel in his hair and have him look in a mirror Outcome: believe hes a vampire because he leaves at sunrise Reaction: feel like the luckiest kids at school Theme: accept people for who they really are Setting: same Problem: thinks Adrian is a vampire Goal: find out whether or not Adrian is a vampire Attempt: follows Adrian back inside his home, kisses him, then wants him to kiss her on the neck Outcome: believes Adrians a vampire because he leaves at sunrise Reaction: appears very interested in getting to know Adrian, perhaps as a boyfriend Theme: accept people for who they really are Characters Mack & Jonah Character Zinah

15 Additional Classroom Ideas The Highwaymanhighwayman, Bess, Besss father, Tim (the ostler), the Redcoats CharlesLaurie, Lauries mother, Lauries father, Lauries teacher All Summer in a DayMargot, parents, teacher, classmates The CircuitPanchito, older brother, younger siblings, father & mother, teacher Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie Steven, brother Jeffrey, mother, father, Renee

16 Features of Mind Portrait/ Alternative Mind Portrait (McLaughlin & Allen, 2002) Students visually represent two different characters perspectives Students share the portraits of their characters perspectives Through discussion of all the various perspectives, a more complete interpretation of the text is possible

17 Procedure for Mind Portrait/ Alternative Mind Portrait Read/listen to the text Mind portrait side: draw outline or illustration of main characters head; write phrases or sentences describing the thoughts of the character Select a person representing a different point of view Alternative Mind Portrait side: draw outline or illustration of characters head; write phrases or sentences describing the thoughts of the character Discuss and share characters and their thoughts

18 Classroom Applications for Mind Portrait/Alternative Mind Portrait Novels So Far from the Bamboo Grove Picture book read-aloud Baseball Saved Us Short stories The Emperors New Clothes Poems

19 Features of Discussion Web (Alvermann, 1991) Students must provide both positive and negative responses to a proposed question Students must work with group members in order to arrive at the best responses to the question and to reach a conclusion based on their written responses Involves reading, writing, speaking, listening

20 Procedure for Discussion Web Prepare students for the reading of the text with pre-reading activities or brainstorming a list of groups who all have a stake in the issue Pose a question based on the reading selection; students work individually or with a partner to generate ideas for both columns Two sets of partners work together to reach a conclusion Determine which reason best supports their conclusion Write individual responses based on the original question


22 Classroom Applications Culmination of research on Olympics Should professional athletes be allowed to compete in the Olympics? Preparation for persuasive essay Should pop be sold in the school cafeteria? Should students have to wear uniforms? Narrative text Should Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones have turned Roger in to the police? Nonfiction text (news articles) Would our school district benefit from changing to a four-day school week? Should middle schools have single-sex classes for the students?


24 Theme-based Units List the possible perspectives that encompass the suggested topic (especially those usually absent from instruction); brainstorm with other people, if possible Compile a text set that corresponds to the various perspectives and also addresses the reading needs of the students (reading levels, preferences) Narrative & expository texts; leveled readers Primary source material Graphic novels / texts Picture books Magazine articles / readers theater Websites Videos/DVDs


26 Baseball Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball. Jacques Barzun The Black Sox (1919) Field of Dreams (video) Website of Chicago Historical Society Integration of baseball The Noble Experiment The Jackie Robinson Story (video) Women in baseball (AAGPBL) A League of Their Own (video) Exploratorium websiteThe Girls of Summer Science of baseball Exploratorium website Individual team websitescheck DL lists Comparing timelines of baseball historical dates and American historical dates Reading box scores from the newspaper

27 Using RAFT activities RoleAudienceFormatTopic JackieselfdiaryShould he join the Dodgers? RachelparentsletterPeoples reactions Branch RickeyBrooklyn Dodgers staff memoDecision to integrate Brooklyn Dodgers manager Sports writersInterviews April 1947 & Sept His analysis of Jackie European American fan SonConversation after a game What is happening to baseball? African American fan SonConversation after a game Pride & new opportunities for African Americans Scout from another team Manager of opposing team Scouting reportJackies abilities to play baseball and ignore remarks

28 Voices of American Teens Project


30 Voices of American Teens What is diversity? How are peoples lives affected when different cultures live together? Read/listen to a minimum of 2 short stories representing a teen from a different culture work independently or with a partner Complete a summary sheet for each story Select favorite character Complete a project for the character Essential QuestionsStudent Activities

31 Project on American Teen character

32 Preparation for the project Presented and discussed the project sheet Modeled the process Read and listened to The Circuit Took notes on summary sheet for the story Presented examples of a PowerPoint, poster, and interview Allowed students to make decisions regarding which stories to read and whether or not to work with a partner Provided lists and summaries of stories in anthologies Enter their selections on their project sheets

33 Example of Story Summaries

34 Student Responses--Project

35 Student Responses--Stories

36 Media Activities Magazine advertisement analysis Advertisement webs Questioning the Author

37 Questions for Critically Reading Media Who is in the text / picture / situation? Who is missing? Whose voices are represented? Whose voices are marginalized or discounted? What are the intentions of the author? What does the author want the reader to think? What would an alternative text / picture / situation say? How can the reader use this information to promote equity? McLaughlin & DeVoogd, 2004

38 Questions for Critically Reading Media What are you thinking about or feeling while you are reading? How are these thoughts and feelings influenced by your background, your experiences, and other texts you have read? What is the text asking you to think or feel? Do you agree with the point of view offered by the text? Why or why not? What events or points of view might have been left out of the text? What view of men / women does this particular text promote? How is this different from the views constructed in other texts? Why? Do you agree / disagree with the images presented? Why or why not? Kempe (2001)

39 Magazine Advertisement Analysis Collected magazines for analysis & placed 3 issues in large envelopes (Seventeen, Game Pro, Road and Track, People) Students selected which magazine they wanted to analyze and recorded data related to the number of pages containing ads, types of products advertised, and types of people featured in the ads Completed statements using data Classroom discussion to highlight ad placement in magazines (audience), prevalence of advertising, absence of certain populations in advertising

40 Advertisement Web Selected Ad Advertising Technique Target Audience Reaction of student 1 Reaction of student 2 Omitted information Message of the ad Audience members omitted Where would you find this ad?

41 GoalQuery Initiate discussion What has the author done to capture the readers attention? How does the author hold the readers attention? Focus on authors message What message does the author convey in the images? What message does the author convey in the words? Why did the author choose to use pictures and no words? What does the author want the reader to think/feel about this product? What message is conveyed by the authors choice of music? QUESTIONING THE AUTHOR (adapted from Beck & McKeown) When working with various types of media, there may be additional questions which readers should consider as they make meaning from the texts. Many of these questions have been modified from Five Key Questions That Can Change the World (2005) available from the Center for Media Literacy (

42 GoalQuery Link information to values and points of view According to the author, what lifestyle is valued in our society? According to the author, what values guide our society? What does the author communicate about politics, economics, race, gender, age, etc.? What ideas or points of view may have been left out? How does the author establish a relationship with the reader? Identify difficulties with the way the author has presented information or ideas What information has the author accurately presented in the words or pictures? What words or picture elements have been exaggerated by the author? What information has been left out by the author? What stereotypes (gender, age, race, etc.) have been portrayed by the author? Use of technologyHow did the author make use of technology in constructing the text? How did the author customize the text to the technology (for example, print magazine / e-magazine)? How has the author made use of different media for his/her message?

43 Changes in the way teachers read texts Changes in the way teachers present comprehension instruction Changes in the way students understand texts


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