Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Book Report Alternative

Blog prompt: Discuss the process of crafting your Book Report Alternative. Did you think it was a successful activity? Why/why not? How might you adapt it? And the all-important question: how do you know this assignment is not “fluff”? It might be helpful to think about the question, “Just what is academic writing anyway?”
Crafting a prompt and project for the book report alternative was somewhat difficult. I had to create something up that was academic that would lead to an aesthetically pleasing project to the audience (me).
My purpose was to invoke thoughtful thinking and ideas. I didn't just want to have a list of crucial events, or sway the audience to thinking there was only one correct set of answers. This is why I had to include convincing reasoning for each event/person, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. This helped to inspire me and think outside of the usual chronological order of events in a story.
To me I think it was a successful activity. I chose Ella Enchanted, a fun and fantasy based novel, perfect for an adolescent. To go with the theme I chose to make a poster of what I considered to be the most influential events and people, exaggerating the charcters' features where I could to emphasize their roles in the novel and to help get the point across. To keep my poster from being just an art project, I wrote up a seperate paper explaining why I chose each aspect. It was fun getting into the creative side of education since I am used to solely writing papers, this was a nice fresh breath of air.
I found this book report alternative to be academic because it involves you having to read the novel. You also had to take time to look at each character and event and invokes further thinking as to why it is placed in Ella's path. I had to look further into the symbols and imagery used to help put myself in Ella's shoes. In the end, my project is humourous and creative and I believe it has convincing reasons attached to each picture.


  1. Mabelyn, I like how your assignment required students to explain what plot points and characters they picked to draw and why. Your assignment incorporates Appleman's point of "multiple perspectives" as you do not want their to be a right answer. I would love to see you expand on the question of what is academic writing? You characterize academic analysis or academic reading-considering symbols and imagery-but what about writing? Is drawing a type of "writing?"

  2. To me academic writing is anything of value, that someone can learn from, and hopefully expand on or want to expand on. It may require prior knowledge or research and can be easily assessed. It can come in different forms, as does literature, so I do think art is educational and academic and can actually express and expand on more than using solely words. It's another form of expression and definitely has academic value. It's also a fresh way to teach/learn and variety should always be a key ingredient to successful teaching