Thursday, March 01, 2012

Aesthetic Response and Literary Cloze

I’m at a conference, and I was talking to my friend and fellow teacher, Julie Sheerman from Marceline High School, about the literary cloze activity we did in class today.

In a semester, she does Literary Cloze early in the semester. For her, the best part of the activity is the fact that it always works—there is always a marked central tendency among the writing that the students do. Most interesting, and I think, important, is her observation that typically students who are more disengaged or resistant seem to do better than traditionally successful students. Julie thought the real lesson is getting a gut reaction from students. And, it’s something to help them shift their thinking about finding the THE answer. “Good” students have a harder time with it because they are inhibited. They have a hard time with the individuality of it.

I think this lesson is about building confidence. We all have an almost inherent, aesthetic response to a poem (and research show across ages). Oh, and Julie pointed out—that aesthetic response could be complete apathy—you might hate it, and that’s okay too. We didn’t talk about that today.

I was just thinking about this and had to share it with you. What do you think?  

No comments: