At a Glance

Discipline

  • Languages

Instructional Level

  • College & CEGEP

Course

  • 603-101-MA Introduction to College English

Tasks in Workflow

Social Plane(s)

  • Group
  • Whole Class

Type of Tasks

  • Discussing
  • Gaming & role-playing

Technical Details

Useful Technologies

  • Google Slides
  • Smartboard

Class size

  • Small (20-49)

Time

Single class period (< 90 mins)

Socio Affective Engagement

  • Array
  • Array

Overview

This activity introduces basic concepts of literary analysis and interpretation including the difference between denotation and connotation. It also helps students become comfortable speaking to each other and to the larger class in a low-stakes, fun way.

 

Instructional Objectives

  • Master key concepts related to literary analysis and interpretation (i.e. denotative and connotative meaning)
  • Get to know one another better by interpreting one another using connotation

 

Student Learning Outcomes

 

 

Workflow & Materials

Contributor's Notes

Benefits

  • Applies content knowledge to self in a direct way
  • Engages students from the start (class 1) around key concepts in a fun way
  • Breaks the ice
  • Shows how many different ways we might interpret the same response

 

Challenges

  • Fear of public speaking (if done in a very low-stakes way, students are usually relaxed)
  • Speech issues (I often include an announcement before we begin where I invite students to speak to me one-on-one if speaking in front of the class is a concern for them)
  • Pronouns:  use they as he/she does not acknowledge nonbinary students; if they is the default, students can be asked which pronoun they prefer; plan for this so that no one is misgendered (this happened once)

 

Tips

  • Divide the room with one side negative, the other positive and the middle neutral; when showing different items during slide presentation (i.e. love, government, essay, Shakespeare, etc) and ask students to position themselves along the continuum 
    • This is a fun way to get them to think about how complex and subjective interpretation is and how this is based on connotative associations
    • Movement is always a good idea!
  • If time allows during presentation, each person can comment on whether their partner’s interpretation was “accurate” or not which can be fun and illuminating
  • If time allows, alternate interpretations of student responses can be offered by the larger class

 

Feedback

Leave a comment! Activities get better when we receive feedback and understand how they might be adapted and reused. Please let us know what you think after using this Activity, or if you have questions about how it might be used differently.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *