I am devising an activity from the New Literacy Studies perspective with college students (1st year). We are studying World Literature. I have to create something innovative. Since carnival is a specially cherished tradition in the Spanish city where I live, I think that a literary costume party -wherein the students would have to describe in first person the character they have chosen and his/her adventures- would make a great warm-up activity. How would you give some continuity to this idea later in the term? How about fanfiction? Another idea?
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Why not have students go out and find pieces of literature that represent a particular country? You could assign students a country they may not be familiar with, and then they could find some creative way to analyze and present both the literature and the culture it represents.
I think you could extend this initial activity by encouraging students to bring in a text either written by or describing the character they pick and to comment upon it analytically. This could be used to help them develop the discipline of studying and analysing texts by themselves rather than carrying out such activities purely in class.
Would it be possible to have them act out impromptu or improvised scenarios in which their characters act as they might be expected to act based on the ways they are characterized in the text? For example, how would the various characters act if they were on the Titanic together?
Which text are you having them read?
You could continue to have them consider various texts through the lens or perspective of their chosen character. Ask them to compare their character to a character in another novel of play. Ask them to consider what their character would say to the characters in another novel of play. They could look for common thematic or genre connections. Sounds like a fun idea!
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