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Friday, February 24 • 2:15pm - 3:15pm
Interpretive Play in Literary Worlds

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Typically, literature teachers have students read a story, interpret its meaning, and then share and discuss their ideas. In a recent high school elective I took a different approach.  The students interpreted a short story or novella through creative writing.  They responded to sections of a work by creating a character who engaged with the characters and plot by entering the world of the story.  The creative writing tasks were arranged as a series of missions for which the students could earn points.  After each creative entry the teacher responded to the student, commenting on the "moves" the student made within the literary world.  What surprised me was the level of critical engagement with the meanings of the story.  By not writing expository prose or engaging in analytical discourse, some students felt freer to contemplate and respond to the work on an emotional level and to even make perceptive observations about the mode of narration or the complex relationship between the author and his or her work.  In the elective I interacted with the role play of the students by responding in writing to their short fictional forays into the story world by creating my own character called the Game Master.  In this session I would like to invite the participants to engage in this exercise through a creative response to Ursula K. LeGuin’s short story “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” and to discuss the benefits and potential drawbacks of such an approach to literary engagement.

avatar for Gary Nied

Gary Nied

English Chairman, Teacher, Cistercian Preparatory School

Friday February 24, 2017 2:15pm - 3:15pm
US206 US206

Attendees (5)