English 341: It’s Like This

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Author: Rachel Larson

Blog 3: Series & Miller’s book

Blog 3: Series & Miller’s book

For my first series book I chose The Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. So far, I have really enjoyed the story and I believe it will be a great read! One of my favorite parts of this book is how Snicket treat young children as mature, smart individuals. For example, the oldest member of the siblings, Violet, takes on the role of an engineer, with a bright mind always thinking of new inventions. The second, Klaus, is an avid reader who has a niche for science. Even Sunny, the baby, who can’t really speak or comprehend much, seems so be intelligent for her young age, always seeming to be more aware then we assume. By creating the central characters as strong, independent and intelligent individuals, it gives children someone to look up to, and shows them admirable characteristics for them to possibly embody. I also love how Snicket adds vocabulary excerpts as a learning tool to help children expand their vocabulary. Personally, I prefer books that are somewhat a challenge, to stimulate my mind and keep me interested in the story. I feel like this would be a great book for children seeking to excel their current reading level, and I can think of hundreds of lesson plans involving this series!
As for Miller’s book, I love her relatability and her teaching style. She understands children have chaotic lives and sometimes cannot find time outside of school to read. So she works with their schedules and points out times in their day when they can squeeze in at least 10 minutes of reading. She discusses how when teachers assign reading for class, it discourages children from truly retaining the information, and instead they skim- read, only trying to find answers. I feel that Miller not only understands the importance and vitality of reading, but also what tools children need to become readers. I am really looking forward to hearing more of her ideals, and learning how to become a “wild reader”.

Little Red Riding Hood Arts & Crafts

Little Red Riding Hood Arts & Crafts

For my first Make, I chose to do an arts and crafts project, creating some of the characters from Little Red Riding Hood using household items: toilet paper rolls, yarn, crayons, a ribbon and a paper towel! Although I had limited resources this time, I thought it would be an awesome project for children to do in the classroom to celebrate finishing a book or unit. Plus, I love arts and crafts!

The picture I had in my head looked a lot better than the outcome, but what’s new. If I were to do this with the children in real life, I would make a trip to Michael’s and go all out: glitter, felt, googly eyes, anything that the kids could think of to make these toilet paper roll people come to life. I had fun making Little Red, Grandma, and The Wolf with my friend, so I think my students would have fun with this activity too.

 

Blog 2: Fairytales

Blog 2: Fairytales

I found Robert Cole’s quotes to be an interesting take on the purpose of a story. Personally, I would agree with Coles statement, “The whole point of stories is not ‘solutions’ or ‘resolutions’ but a broadening and even heightening of our struggles.” (Coles), because as readers we tend to search for some type of relation to the characters in the story and their situation. And based on how the character handles their struggle, we consider how we deal with our own. The “Little Red Riding Hood” cycles proposed multiple different version of the same tale. Cole’s quote forces us to not focus on being satisfied (or unsatisfied) with the resolution of these stories, but to focus on the content of the story itself, and how it relates to our struggles. It shifts the purpose of the simple tale of LRR, into something much more personal, carrying an individual meaning for everyone.

When relating Coles’ quote to the “Little Red Riding Hood” stories, we must think of the struggles that Little Red faced throughout the tale. I believe her main problem was her blissful ignorance in thinking that The Wolf would not harm her, and even further trusted him enough to tell him where she was going. In the Brothers Grimm version, “Little Red Cap”, Little Red listens to The Wolf when he encourages her to delay her trip to look at the flowers and the birds, using manipulative phrases such as, “You are walking along as if you are on the way to school, and yet it’s so heavenly out here in the woods.”  (Brothers Grimm). Little Red wants to believe that the world is a safe place, where the sun always shines and everyone is friendly, therefore, she takes the Wolf’s advice and picks flowers and get herself deeper into the woods. Being very easily persuaded myself, I can identify with Little Red, because I too have a positive perception of the world, and wish people weren’t as cruel and conniving as they are. But that’s what separates my struggle from Little Red’s, because I understand reality, and I know better not to trust strangers.

My personal favorite version was Chiang Mi’s “Goldflower and the Bear”, simply because Goldflower was clever enough to take control of the situation, show some courage and cleverly freed herself and saved her brother. Although as I focus on Cole’s first quote, I see multiple struggles that the reader can possibly identify with in this story. One example would be what makes Goldflower so admirable, her strength and courage. Numerous people everyday struggle with their own lack off strength and courage. It is a trait that is earned, not inherited, and reading this version of LLR could “even heighten” (Cole) their struggle with it. Another example of Goldflower’s problem is her conceited attitude when she teases the Bear in the tree after her escape. Having an egotistical attitude often places you in a worse position then that of when you started, and Goldflower could have easily gotten herself in too deep for her wit to save her. Just as Cole had said, instead of focusing on the happy resolution of this story, the reader will be focused on their own struggle with their ego.

Rachel Larson- Hello classmates (-:

Rachel Larson- Hello classmates (-:

Hey friends! I’m Rachel Larson, a 21 year old Liberal Studies major from Sacramento, CA. I just recently moved to Chico from Monterey for new opportunities and adventures (also to try and rebuild my savings account). I work at Trader Joe’s and go to school full time, but also find time to go on hikes, hangout with my plants, and explore local beer gardens. (-:

I usually like to read books that are thought provoking- books that make you stop and really think about what you just read. My favorite books usually leave you with something to ponder and learn from, and maybe even make you think differently. Reading should be fun, like a binge- worthy TV series! It is difficult for me to read my personal books during the school year, simply because of time and other assigned readings. I usually don’t like reading assigned books for school, but it also introduces me to a new book or genre that I most likely wouldn’t have chose for myself. There’s always a positive side! I’m particularly looking forward to this class because we were given options with our assigned reads, making it more fun then forced. Can’t wait for this class! (-: