English 341: It’s Like This

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Author: Makayla Harrigan

Makayla Harrigan: Caught in the Middle

Makayla Harrigan: Caught in the Middle

Enchanted Air is a memoir of a girl, Margarita, who is split between two places, Cuba and the United States. She struggles to find the balance between her two worlds, and it only worsens as revolution breaks out in Cuba. Margarita finds herself asking why the two worlds must even be so separate. This book is written through a series of poems. I enjoy reading it this way because I feel that the way it is written can cause the reader to slow down and put more emphasis on certain parts–almost creating an atmosphere of its own as you read. This book would be a great starter to discuss multiple subjects in a classroom. For example, it might lead the way into a poetry unit or to discuss hispanic culture.

 

 

so much depends

upon

 

eyes open wide

to see

 

a dancing tree

swaying in the wind

 

a bounding horse

flying across an open field

 

a girl with wings

to take her anywhere she dreams

 

 

 

Makayla Harrigan: Ada and Butter

Makayla Harrigan: Ada and Butter

In The War That Saved My Life, Ada is exploring and learning nearly everything for the first time. One of the first things that catches her eye, when arriving in the country, is a horse. And when she arrives at the home where she will be staying–there is a horse named Butter. Ada teaches herself to ride the horse and loves it because it gives her the opportunity to move more freely. She also learns how to knit and sew and uses these new skills to make some close friends Christmas gifts. So for this make, I made a stuffed felt horse. I also learned to knit, crochet, and sew when I was little. I used this knowledge plus some trial and error to make something I have never made before.

Makayla Harrigan: She Conquered

Makayla Harrigan: She Conquered

The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley is about a young girl, Ada, that has a clubfoot. Ada lives in London with her younger brother and mother. Her mother treats her terribly, Ada is forced to stay in their tiny apartment, take care of her younger brother and take care of the cooking, and anything else her mom tells her to do. The story starts as WW2 is starting and all the children are being sent to the countryside. Once Ada makes it to the countryside, she begins to explore the world with a new found freedom with the help of a horse named Butter.

I think that this book would be a great way to introduce that topic of WW2. It provides some insight, such as what happened with children during war time. I believe that by introducing the topic through this book, it could help children who would otherwise not be interesting in history make connections in other ways. Ada is crippled, and other children who have disabilities may find ways to connect with her, making the book more relatable. It could also be used to discuss bullying or discrimination in a more relaxed way.

Makayla Harrigan: Dear Diary

Makayla Harrigan: Dear Diary

For this weeks make, I made a journal. Keena Ford is written as a journal, Keena’s mom buys her a journal for behaving and because her mom thought that Keena could use the journal to express her feelings instead of acting out. This book would be a great way to introduce journaling to students. To help get your students start journaling, I think it would be a lot of fun for them to put together their own. Provide them with a variety of materials to make it their own. If this is done with younger students, it is a great idea to provide them with space to draw to help them communicate their ideas.

Makayla Harrigan: Oops, She Did it Again :/

Makayla Harrigan: Oops, She Did it Again :/

My series book is Keena Ford. It is about a young girl in second grade who is always getting into trouble…accidentally. She never means to get in trouble, but she usually just gets a little ahead of herself. I feel like this book has a lot to offer. It highlights Keena’s relationships (and struggles) with her parents, brother, and teachers. This book could be a great way to discuss in a more casual manner some struggles children face. For example, Keena is afraid to tell her teacher or her mom that she made a mistake. As a result, things escalate and quickly out of hand. Once everything is cleared up, Keena’s teacher asks her why she did not just tell her that she had made a mistake. This is something that, I feel, many children (and adults) struggle with. There are other takeaways from this book that could serve as themes for various lesson plans. Keena Ford is a great book that is fun and that many people could enjoy and learn from.

My main takeaway from the Miller text is edge reading. So much of the time it feels like there is never any time to read. And people think that you have to sit back and read a book for at least a half-hour straight. Miller extinguishes this idea and promotes edge reading, which is pretty much reading whenever you can. Just carry a book with you and while you are waiting for someone or something, take out your book and read for a few minutes.

Miller also makes the point that if teachers are unwilling to allocate some time for free reading during class, how can it be expected that students will do this when they are at home. It is cliché to say, but you must lead by example, and if students are being shown this, it can come across as unimportant. As a future teacher, I hope to instill in my students a love and appreciation for reading. It should be something that can let your imagination run wild. It should be a source of exploration and adventure, and help students to connect to their peers. I want to make literature come alive and use it as a tool to explore other aspects of learning and creativity.

Makayla Harrigan: The Stove’s On

Makayla Harrigan: The Stove’s On

For this week’s make cycle I decided to recreate Little Red Riding Hood’s basket. I really enjoy baking and I thought this would be a great opportunity to recreate some things I thought might be found in Little Red Riding Hood’s basket. I made blackberry jam, butter, and biscuits–using the buttermilk that separated from the cream while making the butter. I also made plum galettes, and banana bread.

 

 

 

 

Makayla Harrigan: Fairytales or Guidebooks

Makayla Harrigan: Fairytales or Guidebooks

People write all kinds of stories. Biographies, historically based fiction, fairytales and more. Every kind of writing has a purpose, so why are fairytales written? Fairytales started as oral traditions and slowly began to be written down. Oral traditions themselves served multiple purposes, one being for entertainment, or they could be to teach a lesson, or possibly pass down family history. Fairytales, in my opinion, have carried on the purpose of entertainment, but also to teach a lesson or moral.

Little Red Riding Hood is a fairly common fairytale that has been shared for generations. As with many other fairytales people grew up with, Little Red Riding Hood has become, for many, something they just know rather than a story they remember reading. But why does it stick with us and what can it teach us? The simple story, often geared towards children, has been retold by many authors—each with a slightly different take. Does this show us that there are perhaps multiple things to take from this childhood favorite?

Specifically, one can learn that you should not talk to strangers. In “The Story of Grandmother,” Little Red Riding Hood makes the mistake of tell the wolf where she is going and he then beats her to Granny’s and almost eats her. She also tells the wolf where she is going in “Little Red Cap,” but this time she gets eaten and is then saved by the wolf. Metaphorically, one can learn that it is important to be cautious. In “Little Red Cap,” she gets eaten partly because she is a little to trusting. These, however, are only a few things to take away from the story of “Little Red Riding Hood.” There are various ways to interpret a story that change what its meaning is.